Black Gemstones: A Complete Guide


The unforgettable Audrey Hepburn wouldn’t probably mind wearing black gemstone jewelry, neither eccentric Andy Warhol nor design and tech genius Steve Jobs. 

These legends loved the color black. So do my girlfriend and many consumers around the world.

In this essential shopping jewelry guide, you’ll quickly discover:

  • the secrets behind gemstone terms like black jet stone accessories or onyx watches,
  • plus the pros and cons of buying and wearing the unique and edgy black minerals and
  • the healing powers associated with most of them

With no further delay, read here the complete guide on precious and semi-precious black gemstone carefully compiled for you including some secret “gems” knowledge before you swipe that jewelry credit card too quickly.

What Gemstones Are Black (Chart): Top 13

Name Color Shade Meaning* Hardness Scale** Value (Carat)***
Black Diamond Fancy Black Love, Fidelity 10 High
Black Onyx Pure Black Protection 6.5-7 High
Black Sapphire Black-Blue Grey Power, Kindness 9 Medium
Black Pearl Tahitian Black-Dark Grey Wisdom 2.5 High
Black Opal Black & Colored Parts Protection, Spontaneity 5.5-6 High
Black Garnet Opaque Black Creativity 6.5-7.5 Medium-High
Black Jet Black-Dark Brown Protection, Healing 2.5-4 Low
Black Spinel Black Inspiration 8 Medium
Black Zircon Black-Grey Prosperity 8 Medium
Black Star Blackish-Green Love, Fidelity 5.5  
Black Obsidian Deep Black Mental Cleansing 5-5.5 Low
Black Tourmaline Dark Charcoal Black Protective, Cleansing 7-7.5 High
Black Cat’s Eye Black Rainbow Discipline 5.5-6 Medium*Symbolic metaphysical properties**Moh’s hardness scale is the ascending geological measurement from 1-10***Carat a standard unit measure for physical gemstone valuation

These are the 13 popular black gems, including their different properties whereby for full disclosure, they are also a few stones that might or might not be considered black, depending on the definition at hand.

It’s now time to dive into more detail on the good, bad, and ugly sides of the mystical as well as captivating black jewelry stones.

Black Gemstones Pros and Cons 

Benefits of Black Diamonds

  • As precious in value as colorless diamonds, however much more rare
  • Made of many crystals with different shades of black, even gray
  • Metaphysically believe to represent love, fidelity, and good fortune
  • Harder than even sparkling white diamonds due to its stones composition
  • Origins of a black diamond might be outer space which recreate uniqueness

Drawbacks of Black Diamonds

  • Due to their hardness, difficult to cut and shape
  • The 4´cs of diamonds (cut, color, clarity, carat) bit more difficult to assess
  • Since black diamonds are non-light reflecting, the surface is rather matt

First, black diamonds are unique indeed in that on one side they are as precious as their colorless relatives. However, on the other,  less found (to be exact, only in two continents and countries in Africa and South America).  Finally, the dark color reflects the universe where the might originates.

What an extraordinary story to share when you put a black diamond engagement ring on the finger of the one you truly love.

Benefits of Black Onyx

  • Semiprecious gemstone that can be found in many regions in the Americas, Asia, Africa
  • It still possesses a good stone hardness to make a solid jewelry
  • Pure black in color giving it that interesting timeless appearance
  • Original black onyx is of high value in the fashion accessory market
  • Associated with different health and mental benefits like protection or stamina

Drawbacks of Black Onyx

  • This microcrystalline quartz not as hard as a diamond stone
  • Scratch resistance levels not the highest
  • Not as valuable as it used to be (supply, demand, imitations)

Black onyx is a member of the agate gems which are either pure black (mostly). However, there are black and white layered ones too.

Since ancient times the “claw” or “nail”, as the Greeks used to refer to when they talk about this particular onyx stone, has been fascinating people—up to today.

Benefits of Black Sapphire

  • Affordable jewelry gemstones for rings, charms, and other pieces
  • In the world of chakras and Zodiac stands for power, kindness, or anti-stress stone
  • One of the hardest in Moh´s scale of hardness minerals

Drawbacks of Black Sapphire

  • Not considered valuable as many other gems

The black sapphire is one of a family of sapphires, whereby a blue sapphire engagement ring is more popular with consumers. 

Moreover, just like a colorless diamond, the rarity of dark stones provides a distinctive opportunity to show him or her how individuality can literally look like.

Benefits of a Black Pearl

  • Perceived value higher than the more common white pearl jewelry
  • Real monetary value price is also considered high
  • They bring luck, wisdom, and absorb negative energy for the mythology believers

Drawbacks of Black Pearl

  • One of the least hard around on the standard scale of stones 
  • May strip the Tahitian pearl surface quickly when worn daily

Black South Sea pearls as they are also known should be part of any jewelry collectors due to their properties, origin, and special status they hold within fashion as detailed in my other eye-opening post about the benefits of pearls here.

Benefits of Black Opal

  • This opal color is of high value in the accessory with meaning marketplace
  • Symbolizes spontaneity or fortunes for the black opal wearer
  • This black gemstone is rare (found nearly only in Australia)

Drawbacks of Black Opal

  • Hardness of the opal not as high as with precious gemstones

Black opals are a great match with contrasting or similar dark ones since they are so many types of them to wear as earrings or brooch pairs, including corresponding metals like white or rose 18K gold pieces.

The fact that almost all black-colored pearls can be traced back to Down Under singles them out like a Kangaroo in New York, unique and cute.

Benefits of Black Garnet

  • Affordable gem though higher priced rare ones like demantoid might exist
  • Highest refractive garnet index, therefore might result in colorfulness
  • Mystically equals creativity and a talisman to wear for enhanced self-confidence
  • Generally good choice with a balanced scorecard in terms of price or properties

Drawbacks of Black Garnet

  • The high refractive index can also be problematic regarding color consistency
  • Black garnet considered average gemstone by some

A black andradite garnet as it is also referred to is insofar an eccentric jewelry to buy for yourself or as a gift due to its refractive garnet index. Meaning that this gemstone can reflect light with its slow movement through the garnet stone.

This phenomenon of the slower light traveling through black garnet creates the fascinating effect of – the more its spreads around the material, the more it alters the stone in terms of its appearance.

A fascinating piece of jewelry indeed.

Therefore, if you want some unusual anniversary wedding bands or locket pendants, then why not pick black garnet?

Benefits of Black Jet Jewelry

  • Historically, beads-based black jet is considered a wearable treasure
  • Low price and still beautiful piece to wear or gift

Drawbacks of Black Jet

  • Back in the days it’s worn only as a symbol of mourning a loved one gone
  • Low-value item compared to other gems and precious metals 

Though the physical properties of the black jet are not as high, the metaphysical ones are pretty darn impressive for those into healing through gemstones crystals.

Moreover, many collectors and jewelry shoppers like the dark-brownish color of black jet jewelry. This stone stood its test of time, from medieval beads tradition to today’s top list of the hottest jewelry trend.

Benefits of Black Spinel

  • One of the hardest gemstones on the black jewelry list
  • Affordable despite its valuable properties
  • It is one of the rare stones to get your hands on
  • Represents the root Chakra, responsible for positive energy among others

Drawbacks of Black Spinel

  • May change the dark color due to its inherent nature 
  • Not the most valuable spinel (which is ruby red)

As the birthstone for August, black spinel is not only one of the rarest gems, but a popular relationship jewelry gift representing positive characteristics like loyalty or inspiration.

Tell me, which healthy relationship isn’t in need of such remarkable values?

Benefits of Black Zircon

  • Symbolizes wealth and prosperity in the spiritual world
  • A black zircon gem is a valuable, lower priced ring, pendant or bracelet to own
  • One of the hard stones, measurable with a scale of 8/10
  • Generally a safe gemstone for all skin types 

Drawbacks of Black Zircon

  • Not necessarily perceived special due to low-mid range pricing and availability

Black Zirconium is a budget-friendly piece of jewelry on your wrist, finger, ankle, or neck. Be it as a unisex promise band or an unforgettable engraved pendant for women and men. 

Its simplicity, price point as well as availability makes it the perfect jewelry ring for millennials and older folks like me who just want a fashion item to wear every day.

Alternatively, gift it as an inexpensive, but not everyday birthday or anniversary present to a loyal friend or beloved family member.

Benefits of Black Star Gemstones

  • The star creation due to the dome cut and inclusion makes it one of a kind gem
  • Cost-effective stone that still looks great to the eye
  • In Christianity, believed to be once an angel placed to guard Adam

Drawbacks of Black Star Stones

  • Considered of low grade and hence non-high valued, since in abundance available
  • Often confused with black sapphire 

The black star diopside shines not through its color, but with its star shape deriving from the special cut and inclusion that “forces” the jewelry maker to finalize it the way we know and appreciate it.

If you are looking for a gemstone that represents biblical angels guarding and enabling a divine being whilst looking appealing on her or him. Then my dear reader, search no further and pick the black star unisex rings, cuffs, or necklaces.

Benefits of Obsidian Jewelry

  • Budget-friendly gemstone that fits most seekers
  • Harder than window glass though share many properties
  • Its volcanic rock origin gives it a specific lustrous appearance
  • In Feng Shui, meditation or healing circles considered a shield from bad aura

Drawbacks of Obsidian

  • Low valued stone for our body accessory needs
  • Obsidian possesses one of the less hard gems to buy

Handmade obsidian bracelets or beads symbolize a personality with a great aura that is keen to protect that positive energy against the negativity of the environment she might find herself in.

Thus, wearing obsidian jewelry is definitely trendy without the need to show off how much money you have. Moreover, the fact that this stone originates from a hot volcano is really cool, original, and a great selling and shopping argument.

Benefits of Black Tourmaline

  • One of the most sought-after healing crystals (tension release, blocks negative energy)
  • Next to metaphysical advantages associated, physical attributes like detox attached to it
  • Physical properties of black tourmaline are of solid strength, though not perfect
  • Cost-friendly gem while not being perceived cheap

Drawbacks of Black Tourmaline

  • Sensitive gemstone to wear as a pendant due to its properties
  • Misinterpreted as obsidian by some
  • Other tourmaline colors from green to red considered of better class

You can wear your black tourmaline wristband or teardrop earrings every day without too much worry since this is a strong enough gem despite other sayings. 

Sure you have to take care of it, clean it, e.g., soaking overnight, while enjoying the ascribed healing benefits ranging from physical well-being to left-right brain balance.

Even if not the latter, tourmaline ring or armband hugged by a 925 sterling silver is a pretty and memorable piece to call your own or as a thank-you gift.

Benefits of Black Cat’s Eye Jewelry

  • One of the coolest names for a gem
  • Price medium range depending on the item craftsmanship
  • Regarded as a discipline supporting stone
  • Good physical property in terms of hardness quality

Drawbacks of Black Cat’s Eye Gemstone

  • Confused with lower ranked Tiger’s Eye sometimes
  • For some metaphysical believers bad for financial decisions

Black Cat’s Eye, also known as Chrysoberyl and other names associated with it, is actually a popular gem. Especially in places like India, though more Black Cat’s Eye accessory products are becoming available in the US, Europe, and other parts of the world.

It is even said that the legendary Cleopatra, the epitome of ancient beauty and fashion, was a fan of the Black Eye jewelry, as the #1 fashion magazine in the world Vogue writes.

A trendy and wearable item with such a cool story and decent pricing makes it another interesting gemstone you can purchase and gift.

Or get it for your accessory collection exclusively and enjoy how this dark shining gem blinds your friends and family are watching the stunning Black Cat’s Eye on your ears, neck, or arms.

Which Is The Rarest Black Gem

Black opals are considered to be the rarest and most precious of all black gems, followed by black onyx and black spinel. Rare stones are usually, not always, of higher value than their counterparts as supply and demand play an important role too.

The black diamond is probably the most popular black gem by jewelry lovers, since a diamond, even a dark one, is a precious stone. Though, other black pieces of jewelry like black opal or black onyx rings are experiencing a rise in consumer demand.

What Is The Difference Between Precious and Semi-precious Gemstone

There are approximately 200 gemstones known. Four gemstones are considered precious: diamond, ruby, sapphire, and emerald. The rest are labeled as semi-precious gems. Few semiprecious stones are not even stones e.g., pearls and some non-precious gemstones are so rare and can outprice precious ones.

Bill Dominic

Bill is an art history and business graduate. Moreover, he loves to test, compare, shop jewelry & fashion items for his 5 sisters, girlfriend, nieces when not enjoying a great novel.

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