Black Gemstones: List of Black Precious & Semi-Precious Gemstones
When it comes to colored gemstones, color is king. Today, many customers prioritize color and are less concerned with the actual gemstone variety as long as the stone is durable enough for their purpose.
However, finding gems by color can often be very difficult especially since gemstone dealers tend to list availability by gem type or gem variety rather than gems by color. When most people think about a black gemstone not many types come to mind, but there are a number of other black gemstones available today.
There are several black gemstones that did not make this list, mostly due to rarity, or they may be black in other ways; such as, a multicolor stone that contains black or a bi-color stone that has parts that appear to be black. We felt that this guide should only list those gem types that can be found in black as their primary color. So, using our guide below, click on any of the gem types to learn and shop some of the world's most popular white gemstones available today:
Black Spinel GemstonesBack to Top
Spinel is a solid glassy magnesium aluminum oxide, and its use as a gemstone for has occurred for many years. Spinel occurs in a range of colors of the rainbow and even comes abundantly in black. Significant sources of spinel include; Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand other less essential sources are Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Madagascar, Nepal, Nigeria, Tadzhikistan, Tanzania, and America. Spinel has a Mohs hardness of 8 out of 10 on the Mohs scale meaning it is suitable for all jewelry purposes.
Spinel is ideal for almost any type of jewelry, such as spinel rings, necklaces, pendants, bracelets, hairpins, and other beautiful ornaments. More dramatic but straightforward jewelry can results from black spinel set with white gemstones such as sapphires.
Black Tourmaline GemstonesBack to Top
Tourmaline can occur in a wide range of colors, and Black tourmaline is the most common color occurrence. Black tourmaline gemstones are known as 'schorl' and are opaque and when cut and polished 'schorl' exhibits a vitreous to sometimes slightly resinous luster.
Black tourmaline gemstones are also available in various traditional and fancy shapes and a range of cutting styles. GemSelect's black tourmaline gemstones are available as single stones. Black tourmaline gemstones have a Mohs hardness of 7 to 7.5 out of 10 which means they are very durable and robust. GemSelect's black tourmaline gemstones are suitable for any jewelry design purposes.
Black Cat's Eye Scapolite GemstonesBack to Top
Black cat's eye scapolite gemstones are a chatoyant variety of scapolite. Chatoyancy is an optical phenomenon distinguished by a reflection of light that resembles a cat's eye. The 'phenomenon' is rare and known to occur in only a handful of gem varieties.
Black cat's eye scapolite is rare and almost unheard of by most, and due to its lack of hardness, cat's eye scapolite is primarily a collector's stone. Black cat's eye scapolite gemstones have a 5.5 to 6 out of 10 on the Mohs scale so one should protect them from hard knocks if the stones worn in jewelry. If using any scapolite in jewelry limit its use to earrings, pins, pendants, or brooches, due to its lack of durability.
Black Star Diopside GemstonesBack to Top
Black star diopside gemstones appeared around the 1800s. Black star diopside gemstones get cut with a cabochon cut to display the asterism properties that make it desirable. Black star diopside gemstones may exhibit hints of dark green but are generally available in a jet black. The black star diopside gemstones are formed by calcium magnesium silicate with needle-like inclusions which make a star effect. Black star diopside gemstones are believed to alleviate aggression, stubbornness, and facilitate creativity.
Black star diopside gemstones are from a variety of locations including; Russia, Pakistan, South Africa, Austria, Brazil, Italy, North America, Sri Lanka, and Finland. Black star diopside gemstones earn a 5.5 out of 10 on the Mohs scale meaning one should wear them with care if their intended purpose is to create jewelry with them. Black star diopside gemstones are a birthstone for March, and they are also the gemstone for the Pisces zodiac sign.
Black Star Sapphire GemstonesBack to Top
Black star sapphire gemstones are a rare variety of sapphire that exhibits an effect known as asterism under specific lighting. When viewing a black star sapphire gemstone, a six-rayed star will appear to float across the surface of the stone. The 'effect' is best observed under a direct light source and while tilting and rotating the gemstone from different angles. All sapphire has a hardness rating of 9 out of 10 on the Mohs scale making it the second hardest material on earth, and black star sapphire is no different. Black star sapphire gemstones are typically opaque. The rutile inclusions in the black star sapphire which give it its mystique also result in a vitreous luster when cut as cabochons and polished.
Black star sapphire gemstones are one of the most durable materials and can be worn daily in any gemstone jewelry including daily-wear rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, pendants, pins and brooches. Black star sapphire gemstones are ideal for jewelry exposed to direct light, such as cabochon rings. Some black star sapphires gemstones can come in large sizes - these are perfect for oversized rings and pendants. Black star sapphire gemstones are very popular for men's jewelry.
Black Obsidian GemstonesBack to Top
Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass which lends itself to use as a gemstone. Obsidian has been used to make arrowheads, and blades, as well as ornaments for thousands of years by people such as the pre-Columbian Mesoamericans and the ancient Egyptians.
Obsidian occurs in places that have experienced volcanic eruptions. Such areas include Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Canada, Chile, Georgia, Greece, El Salvador, Guatemala, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Scotland, Turkey, and the United States. Since Obsidian is volcanic glass, it has a vitreous (glassy luster). It may contain inclusions which cause a silver or gold sheen. Obsidian on the Mohs scale of hardness is a 5 - 5.5 out of 10.
Black Rutile Quartz GemstonesBack to Top
Black rutilated quartz gemstones are one of the very few gemstones that are desirable because of their inclusions. Black rutilated quartz gemstones are affordable and unique, and like most all rutilated quartz they are usually cut as cabochons, but faceted pieces will be seen from time to time. Black rutilated quartz gemstones may also be cut into beads or carved into large ornamental spheres.
Black rutilated quartz gemstones mainly come from India, and another essential source is in Brazil. Black rutilated quartz gemstones earn a 7 out of 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness, so they are suitable for any jewelry application.
Black Jasper GemstonesBack to Top
Jasper is one of the many gemstone varieties of quartz available today. Jasper is typically a multicolored, striped, spotted, or flamed gemstone in appearance. Jasper can form in virtually any color. The most common Jasper patterns include interesting marbling and veining, orbital rings, streaks, spots, flaming, and banding. Jasper is always opaque in clarity, even in thin slices. It is known to take an excellent polish and exhibits a fine, vitreous to dull luster.
Jasper gems are typically cut en cabochon, usually with shallow domes. Jasper stones are available in large sizes. Black jasper gemstones earn a 6.5 to 7 out of 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Jasper quartz is perfectly suitable for any type of jewelry design imaginable; including, pendants, necklaces, and rings. Jasper has the durability and hardness required for mainstream jewelry, making it very resistant to wear and tear.
- First Published: January-11-2019
- Last Updated: January-12-2020
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