If you are thinking that black gemstones are just limited to emo or Goth fashion or they are only for mourning jewelry; you’re wrong. Your jewelry is incomplete without the beautiful, mysterious allure of black gemstone. There is no match to the grace of black gems, especially when you wear them with white and pastel-colored clothing. Jewels with black gemstones are of neutral color and give the much-needed look without offending the shade of your clothes. There is a wide range of natural stones available in black color which includes diamond, pearl, opal, onyx, tourmaline. and other unique gemstones that can be made into jewelry. Here is a list of black gems worn on jewelry, from the most precious to the more affordable.
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Black opal is the most precious variety of opal which rivals diamonds in terms of value and price. Opals are spectacular gemstones that can flash every color of the spectrum with intensity and quality. Opal comes in many shades of body tone in which white opal is most common while black opals are rarest. The stunning black opal is unique of its kind because the dark color of the body often makes the fire of black opal more obvious. The colors diffracted by the black stones stand out quite strikingly. Australia produces most of the black opal in the world.
You can wear opals in the form of earrings, pendants, brooches, and rings. Opal is not as hard as many other gems (Hardness 5.5 to 6.0) so it is recommended to use opal in earrings and brooches to avoid scuffs and impacts. The bezel can be used in rings to protect to stone from the abrasion of edges.
Generally, opal is the Birthstone for the month of October.
The name may sound oxymoron, but the black diamonds are real. You may have heard about many shades and colors of diamonds, but black diamonds are a “rare kind”. They are not associated with kimberlites which are the main source of Diamonds but they are found as black rocks called “carbonado”. There are various inclusions such as graphite which give this diamond a dark color. Black Diamond is the toughest form of diamond on the planet. Black diamonds are different from their traditional counterparts with their own distinctive luster and shimmering scintillation. Due to their distinct properties, rarity and uniqueness they are expensive than white diamonds.
The “Spirit of de Grisogono” whopping 312.24 carats is the notable black diamond which is the 5th largest cut diamond in the world. Others include the Black Star of Africa at 202.00 carats. and the Black Orfloff 67.50 carats.
In recent years, black diamonds have increased in demand and popularity. They are only found in the Central African Republic and Brazil.
Beryl is clear in pure form but it gets different colors due to the impurities present in it. For example, Emerald gets its green color due to the presence of chromium. Beryl is found in almost all colors out of which red beryl is rarest. The black variety of beryl is also very rare. The unusual coloring is due to the presence of black spinel inclusions. This black gem is a mineral of great hardness so it can be used in jewelry in rings, earrings, necklaces, brooches, and bracelets. Dark beryl frequently is observed with the “star effect”.
Black pearls are some of the rarest and most exotic of gem materials; and accordingly more valuable than white oysters. A particular species of oyster called “Pinctada margaritifera” produces the black gemstones, which are also called Tahitian pearls. Pearls now are days are mostly cultured in freshwater farms of China and dyed later with different colors. So, you must carefully buy black pearls and don’t pay higher for the dyed pearls. To identify natural pearls from the dyed ones you must carefully examine the pearl. If you see concentrations of color varying in pearl, it would mean the Pearl was dyed.
Sapphire belongs to the corundum family of minerals. When people think of sapphires rich cobalt blue shade comes to mind. But there many other color variations available in sapphires including black sapphire gemstones. These incredibly dark sapphires absorb most of the light that enters them appearing as a black gemstone. They are not strictly black in most cases, but of such a dark purplish/bluish hue that they look black. The black sapphires are comparatively inexpensive compared to other varieties of corundum. Hence, they are an affordable alternative to onyx or black diamonds. There are also black star sapphires that exhibit the “star effect” of typical sapphires.
Sapphire is designated as the traditional birthstone for the month of April along with diamonds. In the modern calendar, it is the birthstone for the month of September. Sapphires are mainly produced from Sri-Lanka know as Ceylon sapphires.
Serendibite has one of the main sources of black gemstones is a recently discovered precious stone since its discovery in recent times. Before 2005, only the dark green variety of serendibite from Sri Lanka was known to exist. Now dark stones of Serendibite mineral are produced from Burma (Myanmar). It is a very rare stone and found associated with other minerals such as diopside, spinel, phlogopite, scapolite, calcite, tremolite, apatite, etc.
Garnet which is known for its dark red and orange color also exists as black stones. The black garnet comes only from pyrope and andradite garnets. The black gemstones of andradite are particularly called “melanite”. Garnet is a hard stone and can be used in various jewelry such as necklaces, rings, bracelets, and earrings.
Garnet in general is the traditional and modern birthstone for the month of January.
Zircons are excellent substitutes for diamonds and, like diamonds, the precious stones come in a variety of colors. Besides red, yellow, and green, zircons also occur as black stones. Zircon is general is a modern birthstone for the month of December in the United States, and the birthstone for September in the Hindu calendar. Zircons are abundant, hence the relatively inexpensive price of the black gemstones despite their gem quality.
Cassiterite is an ore of tin. Mostly, it is used for the extraction of tin but, sometimes its fine specimens of the black rocks are also kept as gemstones. Its color is usually black or opaque brown, but occasionally transparent and translucent crystals of colorless to yellow to pale brown are found. Some uncommon gem varieties exhibit exceptional fire, because of their high luster and dispersion. Its hardness is the same as that of the quartz gems. Bolivia was the only country to produce Cassiterite but in the late 1990s, China, Russia, Nigeria, and Namibia started to produce gem-quality Cassiterite.
The metallic luster in black stones makes them desirable for jewelry. It is used for wearable jewelry in Bolivia and named “Andean diamond”. Most of the time it is only restricted to rare gem collections.
Onyx is the most traditional black gemstone of the agate (microcrystalline Quartz) family. It is a solid black Chalcedony or a banded or layered black and white of microcrystalline Quartz. Onyx is an ancient gemstone, having been used in jewelry and as a gemstone since antiquity. Black Onyx is one of the most popular forms with a dark base with a white layer of Chalcedony. Though its significance and value has been diminished as compared to ancient times, it’s still being used widely in jewelry
Onyx is the traditional birthstone for the month of July.
Onyx is a gemstone found in various regions of the world, Yemen, Uruguay, Argentina, Australia, Pakistan, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Madagascar, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, United Kingdom, United States, etc.
Agates are a cryptocrystalline variety of Silica, known for the fineness of grains and brightness of colors. They are found in a great array of colors including black. As mentioned earlier onyx is also a type of agate, but this term is only used for agate with parallel black and white banding. The entirely black agates are also a great choice for jewelry as well as ornamentations.
Tourmaline is a group of gemstones with a wide variety of exciting colors including red — which are called rubellites — and black. Tourmaline is a most colorful gemstone, but it is often found as a black stone. (Dravite). 95% of tourmaline are in the form of black rocks is the school. The black tourmaline is glassy with undertones of dark blue or brown, yellow if dravite. The black gemstone is often found in quartz in the form of long elongated needles making what is called tourmalinated quartz.
This black gemstone is known for protecting and dispelling negative energies turning them into positive, usable energy.
Spinel exists is a variety of colors but red spinel is famous for making it a substitute for ruby. Spinel also occurs as a black gemstone which is completely opaque unlike other black stones, such as diamonds and sapphires, which are known for their metallic luster.
Black Star Diopside
Black Star Diopside which is also called the black star of India casts a four-rayed star as opposed to the black star sapphire for instance, which reflects a six-rayed star. This star black stone comes mostly from India. Both Star Diopside and regular Diopside, without the star shine, are used in jewelry.
Moonstone is a white stone and named so because it put people in mind of the moon. But this is not always true because moonstones are also available as black gemstones which hail from the group of minerals called feldspars. Other varieties of feldspar are sunstone, oligoclase, and andesine. The black moonstone is not fully black but ranges from a dark slate grey to lighter shades of grey.
Black Moonstone is very rare to find, but mostly found in Madagascar.
Traditionally, moonstone is the birthstone for the month of August, but in modern astrology, it is the birthstone for June. Black Moonstone, has many attributes in common with other colors of this crystal.
The jet is an organic black gemstone that is a variety of coal. It is also known as black amber. Lignite or gem lignite. The color “jet black” is named after this alluring stone. The black jet stone is not pure mineral, but are in fact a fine variety of coal and is formed by the different process so, it is not found associated with typical coal. People have been making items such as ornaments and jewelry from jet since the Neolithic age. This black stone gained popularity in 1861 when Queen Victoria began wearing it in “mourning jewelry” after the death of Prince Albert.
Deposits of the jet are located in many countries such as the UK, Spain, Germany, China, Turkey, and Siberia. Jet from Whitby Area which is called “Whitby Jet” is now famous throughout the world. It gives a nice matte finish with a very bright luster. It can be easily carved or cut into desired shapes.
Obsidian is black volcanic glass. It is found as obsidian lava flows. It is formed by the rapid cooling of lava. This black stone does not have a definite crystal structured like most gems. This stone is known for its shine and hardness. The black stones have a shiny surface. Obsidian is being used by humans and our primates since pre-historic time as arrowheads. Beautiful artifacts have also been unearthed by archeologists. This black stone may appear grey when cut in a different way. Apache Tears and Snowflake obsidian also come from the same family.
Jasper is an opaque gemstone found in brown, yellow, or reddish colors. Some other uncommon opaque colors such as dark or mottled green, orange, and black are also associated with this black gemstone. It comes from the chalcedony group of minerals which is polycrystalline Quartz. The stone is hard and it has an earthy luster.
Jasper in traditional birthstone for the month of March.
Hematite, or haematite, occurs as dark red to black stone. It is also found in grey and silver color. It has the same crystal structure as ruby and sapphire. Its name is derived from the Greek word haimatitēs, which means “blood-like,” owing to the red color streak (Color in Powder Form). Hematite is the primary ore of iron and is harder than pure iron.
In astrology it is known as “stone for the mind”, owning to the effects on concentration, focus, memory sharpening, and original thought.
Fluorite, which is also known as fluorspars, fluorites is a common mineral. It comes in all colors of the spectrum and in different beautiful contrasts. It is not a mainstream gemstone because of its low hardness and perfect cleavage. The black fluorite can be used in jewelry for its astrological benefits.
Other Black Gemstones
Black rocks are widely distributed on the earth’s surface and sub-surface. But, all the black stones are not of gem variety or precious. Black gemstones have their own charisma and they don’t even need to be precious people to wear them in jewelry. Even some of the black gemstones discussed above in the article such as hematite, jet, and obsidian are not so precious or semi-precious stones. But these are great stuff to be used as ornaments. Other black rocks that can be used in or made into jewelry are amphibolites, lodestone, tektite, and lava. The name Blackstone may also refer to any type of stone, including jasper, that is dyed black and polished for use in jewelry.