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 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 stones 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 diamonds, pearls, opals, onyx, tourmaline and other unique stones that can be made into jewelry? Here is a list of black gems worn on jewelries, from the most precious to the more affordable.
Table of Contents
Black opal is the most precious variety of opal which rivals diamonds in terms of value and price. Opals are spectacular gemstones which 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 most 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 black opals 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 (Hardenss 5.5 to 6.0) so it is recommended to use opal in earring and brooches to avoid scuffs and impacts. The bezel can be used in rings to protect to stone from abrasion of edges.
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 notable black diamond which is 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.
Diamonds in general are the traditional and the modern Birthstones for the month of April.
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 presense 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 “star effect”.
The beryl black gemstones are only found in Brazil, Mozambique and Madagascar. Beryl, excluding emerald, is the birthstone of the month of November.
Black pearls are some of the rarest and most exotic of gem materials; and accordingly more valuable than white oysters. A particular specie of oyster called “Pinctada margaritifera” produces the black gemstones, which are also called Tahitian pearls. Pearls now are days are mostly cultured in fresh water farms of China and dyed later with different colors. So, you must carefully buy black pearls and don’t not pay higher for dyed pearl. To identify natural pearls from dyed one you must carefully examine the pearl. If you see concentrations of color varying in pearl, it would mean the Pearl was dyed.
Pearl is the birthstone for the month of June along with “Alexendrite“.
Sapphire belongs to the corundum family of minerals. When people think of sapphires rich cobalt blue shade comes in 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 it appearing as 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 which exibit the “star effect” of typical sapphires.
Sapphire is designated as traditional birthstone for the month of April along with diamond. In modern calendar it is birthstone for the month of September. Sapphires are mainly produced from Sri-Lanka know as Ceylon sapphires.
Serendibite has one of the main source of black gemstones is a recently discovered precious stone since its discovery in recent times. Before 2005, only dark green variety of serendibite from Sri Lanka was known to exist. Now dark stones of Serendibite mineral are produced from in Burma (Myanmar). It is 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 come 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.
Zircons are excellent substitutes for diamonds and, like diamond, the precious stones come in a variety of colors. Beside 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 extraction of tin but, sometimes its fine specimens of the black rocks are also kept as gemstones. It’s color is usually black or opaque brown, but occasionally transparent and translucent crystal of colorless to yellow to pale brown are found. Some uncommon gem varieties exhibit exceptional fire, because of its high luster and dispersion. Its hardness is same as that of the quartz gems. Bolivia was the only country to produce Cassiterite but in 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 as “Andean diamond”. Most of times it is only restricted to rare gem collections.
Onyx is the most traditional black gemstone of 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 form with dark base with a white layer of Chalcedony. Though its significance and value has been diminished as compared to ancient times, but its 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 a 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 a with 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 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 needle making what is called tourmalinated quartz.
This black gemstone is known protection and dispelling negative energies turning them into positive, usable energy.
Spinel exists is variety of colors but red spinel is famous for making it a substitutes for ruby. Spinel also occurs as 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 black star of India casts four-rayed star as opposed to the black star sapphire for instance, which reflect a six-rayed star. This star black stone come mostly from India. Both Star Diopside and regular Diopside, without the star shine, are used in jewelry.
Moonstone is 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 birthstone for the month of August, but but in modern astrology it is birthstone for June. Black Moonstone, has many attributes in common with other colors of this crystal.
The jet is an organic black gemstone which 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 different process so, it is not found associated with typical coal. People have been making items such as ornaments and jewelry from jet since Neolithic age. This black stone gained popularity 1861 when Queen Victoria began wearing it in “mourning jewelry” after the death Prince Albert.
Deposits of jet are located in many countries such as 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 very bright luster. It can be easily carved or cut into desired shapes.
Obsidian is a black volcanic glass. It is found as obsidian lava flows. It is formed by rapid cooling of lava. This black stone does not have a definite crystal structured like most of the 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 has 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 color such as dark or mottled green, orange, and black are also assosiated with this black gemstone. It comes from the chalcedony group of mineral which is polycrystalline Quartz. The stone is hard and it has earthy luster.
Hematite, or haematite, occurs as dark red to black stone. It is also found in grey and silver color. It has same crystal structure as ruby and sapphire. Its name is derived from 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 more 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 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 surface and sub-surface. But, all the black stones are not of gem variety or precious. Black stones have their own chrisma 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 blackstones may also refer to any type of stones, including jasper, that are dyed black and polished for using in jewelry.