Black Gemstones: Types, Benefits and Uses

September 28, 2023
Black Gemstones, diamonds

How do you rate Black gemstones, as in do you like, maybe even love them and wear them confidently?

Or do you avoid them because of that old notion held several centuries ago of associating Black gems with death and thus worn as mourning jewelry? In more recent times too, Black gemstones were considered perfect for the goth fashion.

Fortunately, nowadays, both the death connection and the goth fad have faded away as no longer relevant so we can better appreciate these Black gems for their particular beauty to create a dramatic look – black and white – or just to compliment white or pastel-colored clothing, or to add a flourish. I’m sure you can name many of these Black gemstones, e.g. Black Diamond, Black Opal, Black, Pearl, Black Spinel etc

But did you know the Black Opal is more expensive than a Black Diamond? And, as a birthstone for those of you born in October, you can add the Black Opal to your jewelry wardrobe providing, of course, that you’re not superstitious about opals of any colour or subscribe to the above notion that they should only be worn as a sign of mourning.

Also, if you really like black gems and are thinking to add some to your jewelry wardrobe, you have more than a dozen to choose from.

Types of Black Gemstones with Uses

1. Black Onyx

Black onyx, a variety of chalcedony quartz, is a gemstone known for its striking black color with occasional white bands or stripes. This gemstone is not only visually appealing but also believed to possess protective properties. It's associated with grounding energy, making it a popular choice for those seeking stability and strength in their lives.

2. Black Diamond

Black diamonds, sometimes called "carbonados," are genuine diamonds with a captivating black hue. These rare gems symbolize power, authority, and strength. Their unique appearance makes them highly sought after in the world of high-end jewelry, offering a sense of mystery and sophistication.

3. Black Spinel

Black spinel is often used as an affordable alternative to black diamonds. With its deep black color and remarkable brilliance, it exudes elegance. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, black spinel is believed to bring energy, revitalization, and inspiration to those who wear it.

4. Black Tourmaline

Black tourmaline, known for its strong electrical and grounding properties, is revered as a protective gemstone. It is believed to shield against negative energies and promote emotional stability, making it a popular choice for those seeking balance and harmony.

5. Obsidian

Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass with a glossy black surface. It's not only visually captivating but also associated with truth, protection, and transformation. In many cultures, obsidian has been used for its healing properties.

6. Jet

Jet, a type of lignite, has a very deep black color with a matte finish. Throughout history, it has been used in mourning jewelry and is believed to have protective and purifying qualities.

7. Hematite

Hematite is a metallic gray to black mineral with a shiny surface when polished. It's often used in jewelry and is thought to enhance focus, concentration, and grounding.

8. Shungite

Shungite, a black, non-crystalline mineraloid composed mainly of carbon, is believed to have healing and purifying properties. It's commonly used in water purification and is thought to have numerous health benefits.

These are just a few examples of black gemstones, each with its own unique characteristics and meanings. Black gemstones are often used in jewelry for their elegant and striking appearance, and they can also hold special significance for individuals based on their beliefs and associations.

Black Gemstones in Wellness and Alternative Therapies

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the use of black gemstones in alternative therapies and wellness practices. While this isn't a traditional aspect of gemstone knowledge, it reflects a contemporary trend that has emerged.

Black gemstones, such as black tourmaline, obsidian, and shungite, have gained popularity in the wellness community for their purported metaphysical properties. Here are some ways they are being used:

  • Crystal Healing: Many believe that black gemstones can help absorb negative energy and promote a sense of balance and harmony in the body and mind. They are often used in crystal healing sessions where the stones are placed on or near the body's energy centers (chakras) to facilitate healing and energy flow.

  • EMF Protection: With the increasing prevalence of electronic devices and exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF), black gemstones like shungite are being used as EMF protection tools. They are often placed near electronic devices or worn as jewelry to shield against potential harmful effects.

  • Meditation and Mindfulness: Black gemstones are sometimes incorporated into meditation and mindfulness practices. Their deep and calming energy is thought to aid in relaxation and grounding during meditation sessions.

  • Water Purification: Shungite, in particular, is known for its water-purifying properties. It's believed to remove impurities and toxins from water, making it a popular choice for creating gem-infused water or elixirs.

While the use of black gemstones in alternative therapies and wellness practices is still a subject of debate, it reflects the evolving ways in which people interact with and appreciate these captivating gemstones.

Black Gemstones in Fashion and Pop Culture

Black gemstones have a long history of making statements in the world of fashion and pop culture. Here are some notable examples:

  • The Black Pearl: Black pearls, although not technically a gemstone, have captured the imagination of many due to their rarity and unique beauty. They gained widespread recognition through movies like "Pirates of the Caribbean," where Captain Jack Sparrow famously sought after the legendary black pearl.

  • Iconic Jewelry: Black gemstones have adorned some of the most famous jewelry pieces in history. The Hope Diamond, for instance, is known for its deep blue color but also contains a trace of black carbon, adding to its intrigue.

  • Red Carpet Glamour: Celebrities have often chosen jewelry featuring black gemstones for red carpet events. Black onyx, black diamond, and black spinel have all graced the necks, ears, and fingers of A-listers, adding a touch of elegance and drama to their outfits.

  • Alternative Engagement Rings: In recent years, there has been a rise in the popularity of alternative engagement rings featuring black gemstones. Black diamonds, in particular, have become a trendy choice for couples looking for a non-traditional and edgier option.

  • Symbolism in Music: Black gemstones are sometimes referenced in music lyrics and videos for their symbolism. They can represent mystery, power, and rebellion, adding depth to artistic expressions.

  • Cultural Significance: In some cultures, black gemstones hold special significance in rituals and ceremonies. For example, obsidian has been used for centuries by various indigenous peoples for spiritual purposes and as a tool for divination.

The presence of black gemstones in fashion and pop culture showcases their enduring appeal and ability to convey a wide range of emotions and meanings. Whether they're featured in a classic Hollywood film or worn as a symbol of individuality, black gemstones continue to be a source of inspiration and fascination.

Black Gems from the most expensive to the more affordable

Because it is so rare, found only in Australia, the Black Opal tops the list of the most expensive Black gemstones with the equally beautiful Black Diamond in the second spot. The third in line, and this was a surprise, is the Black Beryl, also rare, hence again its high price and second only to the red beryl.

The Black Beryl comes from Madagascar and Mozambique and is the birthstone for the zodiac sign of Scorpio.

Third in line re cost and rarity is the exquisite Black Pearl AKA Tahitian Pearls and the birthstone for June with the Black Sapphire occupying the fourth spot. In the 5th spot, there’s another surprise because it’s new to me, is the Serendibite from Burma (Myanmar). And in the 6th spot, one of my favorites, is the gorgeous Black Spinel, mostly from Thailand.

Next, in the 7th place, is the Black Star Diopside from India and therefore also known as ‘the Black Star of India’ that differs from the Black Star Sapphire, which has six rays whereas the Black Star Diopside casts a four-rayed star. in the 8th spot there is the Black Garnet, followed by the Black Tourmaline, Black Fluorite – another surprise for I thought fluorite was only in the blue, green, yellow, and pink pastels – Black Zircon, Black Moonstone, and Queen Victoria’s favourite, Jet, which is not a true gemstone as it’s not a pure mineral but rather wood decomposed under high pressure over millions of years. I may have these out of order in terms of value so I suggest you speak to Monika or Joe at LL Private Jewellers for clarification in case you’re thinking of adding any of these black beauties to your jewellery collection.

Your Creative Self

Black gems whether set in a ring, pendant, bracelet or necklace make a statement but if you desire the truly dramatic and stunning effect pair them with colourless diamonds or the more affordable white topaz. But of course you’re not limited to the dazzling effect of black and white because black goes with every colour except maybe brown so you have an almost unlimited colour range to choose from especially if you’re considering a tourmaline gem.

If you're looking to add a touch of mystery and sophistication to your jewelry collection or seeking a gemstone that resonates with your personal beliefs, black gemstones are certainly worth exploring. Their beauty goes beyond the surface, inviting you to uncover the secrets hidden within the darkness.

My particular preference of a complimentary colour for a black gem is blue – blue diamonds, blue apatite, and tanzanite – but for a piece that is uniquely and entirely yours you just have to imagine it and Joe at LL Private Jewellers will make it for you.

Please for more information about black gemstones please call LL Private Jewellers at 604-684-6343.

About The Author

Author's Name

Emma Rae

Emma Rae, a distinguished Canadian jewelry writer, boasts over five years of expertise in the industry. Known for her deep understanding of jewelry design and trends, she's a credible and authoritative voice. Her insightful writing, featured in top jewelry magazines and online platforms, showcases her passion and respect for craftsmanship. Emma engaging and knowledgeable articles have earned her recognition and trust in the jewelry fashion world.



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