23 Black Gemstones For Jewelry

Article Highlights

Black stones are not only for mourning occasions or goth fashion. They can be used as impressive complements to pastel-colored and white clothing. Black gems can also complement other colored clothing. These stones bear a neutral color and offer flourishes that easily go well with your dressing. Black stones are known to produce great jewelry, from affordable pieces to expensive ones. Here is a list of the black gemstones that have made their way into the jewelry industry.


Black Spinel

Black spinel is not widely known since it is a rare gemstone. While spinel stones may occur in different colors, black is among the rarest of the species available. The black spinel is incredibly reflective and has a high luster. The stone can be faceted into popular gem cuts such as pear, oval, square, marquise, and cushion.

Black also showcases remarkable brilliance. Some deposits may display chatoyancy due to the inclusions present, but generally, spinel has stunning clarity levels. Black spinel is a high-quality stone and quite affordable. With a hardness of 8 Mohs, the stone is perfect for jewelry use since it is durable.


Black Tourmaline (Schorl)

Tourmaline occurs in a wide range of colors, and black deposits are the most common. Black tourmaline is also referred to as Schorl and occurs as opaque material. When polished after being cut, the stone displays a vitreous to resinous luster. The gemstones may appear in several fancy and traditional shapes and can be cut into different remarkable styles.

Black tourmaline is ideal for everyday jewelry use since it has a hardness of 7.5 Mohs out of a possible 10, making it very robust and durable. The gemstones are not rare – a property that makes them quite affordable to gemstone enthusiasts.


Black Obsidian

Obsidian is basically natural glass. The glass is formed upon lava hardening rapidly; therefore, it does not form crystal structures. Black Obsidian is consequently also regarded as Volcanic Glass. The gemstone bears a high luster and is very smooth when felt with your hands. Obsidian was used in the ancient days for numerous things such as to make mirrors, some basic tools, and even jewelry.

The stone can be cut en cabochon to boost its physical properties and be faceted for stronger character and depth. Obsidian may seem like a hard stone but has a hardness of 5.5 Mohs. It can break easily or get scratched when exposed to harsh conditions. However, taking good care of the gem as jewelry will make it last longer. Obsidian is a stunning gemstone and can produce outstanding jewelry pieces.


Black Diamond (Carbonado)

There was once when black diamonds were compared to ‘sealing wax.’ At the time, the stone was not regarded highly for jewelry pieces. Today, however, the narrative changed. Black diamonds are among the most sought-after gemstones and are used to make high-end designs. These stones mainly contain carbon, but the black color is because of the numerous impurities present. Graphite is the common impurity that gives this gem its black color. Naturally occurring black diamonds are rare and occur in a few countries around the world.

Black diamonds happen to be one of the toughest diamonds, and they are very durable. With a hardness rating of 10 out of 10 Mohs, they are ideal for phenomenal jewelry pieces. The black diamonds do not sparkle as with the colorless diamonds, but they can reflect light uniquely.

Because they are extremely rare, black diamonds fetch very high prices in the market. The treated versions are, however, common in the market and come at lower prices. Black diamonds contain one grade referred to as Fancy. The low-quality white diamonds can be heated to turn black, but they are not valuable in the market.


Black Pearl

It is a bronze-colored pearl that is quite precious as a gemstone. Black pearl occurs on two main production sites, which include the Polynesian Islands in Tahiti. This source gives the world about 95% of all black pearls. The other source is Penn and Majuki islands found in the Cook Islands. This source accounts for about 4% of black pearls worldwide.

The gemstones are quite valuable and make alluring pieces of jewelry. Pacific Islands are responsible for 1% of the black pearls on earth.


Black Sapphire

When corundum is not occurring as a red stone, it becomes a sapphire. The red one will automatically be a ruby. Sapphires occur in diverse colors, including black and white. The black stones may appear transparent to translucent in clarity. However, there are some deposits popularly known as black star sapphires that occur as opaque materials.

These gemstones may not necessarily be black but bear a dark hue meaning it could be purplish or bluish which makes them appear black. Black sapphires are used to create outstanding jewelry pieces and other artistic ornaments.


Black Zircon

Zircon may be the ideal substitute for diamonds. Just like diamonds, zircon also occurs in different colors, including black. Black zircon is a stunning gem-quality stone that is affordable. Black zircon got its black hue from an impurity in the stone which is iron oxide. The gem may occur as a solid black or dark brown material.

Black zircon is brittle and might fracture or break when exposed or knocked. This is not an everyday jewelry piece since even coming across it in the market is not easy. The gemstone has an incredible brilliance when faceted.


Black Garnet

Garnet is a popular gemstone as the common variety occurs red just like a ruby. Black garnet is rare and not as common in the market. It occurs in several black types, such as black melanite and black andradite. In the jewelry world, black melanite deposits are quite common.

Black melanite resembles black tourmaline but with a higher luster. The brilliance of the gemstone appears vividly from the faceted pieces making them look gorgeous. The stone has no cleavage, and it is tough enough for mesmerizing jewelry pieces.


Black Onyx

Onyx was used in ancient times as a healing stone and as jewelry. Black onyx occurs with a vitreous luster and is very smooth when felt with your hands. The gemstone’s luster is enhanced by cutting en cabochon, giving it an alluring look. However, you should understand that this stone is not shiny and can be very rare.

Most of the deposits you will find in the market are not naturally occurring black onyx but dyed pieces to give them the black color. The gemstone is relatively durable as it has a hardness rating of 7 Mohs, meaning it is fairly tough. However, you have to take good care of the piece as jewelry since it may break or chip when knocked against a hard surface. Black onyx was valuable back in the days, but today it is not pricey and as valuable.



You must have come across the phrase jet-black. Did you know that this phrase came about due to the black jet gemstone? This historic gemstone is incredibly black, which is why many people will use it as an example when referring to a black substance. Jet comes from fossilized wood and bears similar physical properties to amber. Some people refer to jet as Black Amber.

In the ancient days, the black jet was regarded as a mourning stone, but its fame plunged in the 1920s. Black jet is a very soft stone with a hardness rating of 2.5 to 4 Mohs. That means the gemstone is not ideal for everyday jewelry as it is fragile. The stone is quite abundant and not costly.



It is also known as haematite. This gemstone is an iron ore that bears similar crystal structures such as sapphire and ruby. It was named after a Greek name, ‘haimatites’ meaning ‘blood-like.’ That was because of the red color it exhibits. Hematite may occur in diverse colors such as silver or grey but must contain a rust-red streak. In fact, hematite is the primary source of iron, and it is harder than pure and natural iron.


Black Cat’s Eye Scapolite

It is a gemstone variety belonging to the family of scapolite and exhibits chatoyancy. Chatoyancy is the optical illusion distinguished by the brilliant reflection of light. This particular gemstone reflects light and thus resembles a cat’s eye. The chatoyancy illusion is not common to many gems, which makes such stones quite rare and expensive.

Black cat’s eye scapolite is not an easily occurring gemstone, and since it is not hard enough, it is loved by collectors more than jewelers. With a hardness rating of about 5.5 Mohs, it is not perfect for jewelry use since it can easily break. However, it can be used to make stunning pins, earrings, brooches, and pendants.


Black Star Diopside

These gemstones occurred first in the 1800s. Black star diopside can be cut en cabochon to bring out the elegance of its properties that make it impressive. These stones are generally jet black, but some deposits could bear dark green hues. Black star diopside is made up of calcium magnesium silicate and contains needle-like inclusions.

People believe that these gemstones can alleviate stubbornness, aggression and even facilitate creativity. Some of the honorable sources of the black star diopside include North America, South Africa, Pakistan, Russia, Italy, North America, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Austria, and Finland. The stone has a hardness rating of 5.5 Mohs, meaning you have to put it on with care if you purchase it as jewelry.


Black Star Sapphire

This is a rare variety in the sapphire family of gemstones. Black star sapphire exhibits a phenomenon referred to as asterism when exposed to certain lighting. A floating six-rayed star appears on the surface of this gem. You can easily see this effect from rotating the stone at different angles and when viewed from a direct light source.

All sapphires have a 9 Mohs rating making them the second hardest substance in the world. That means this gemstone can be used to create outstanding jewelry pieces that are long-lasting. Black star sapphire is an opaque stone and contains rutile inclusions that produce the fascinating phenomenon. The gemstone also creates a vitreous luster when polished and cut en cabochon.


Black Jasper

Jasper is a family member of the quartz gemstone family. It is among the several deposits of quartz available on earth. Jasper occurs as a striped, flamed, spotted, or multicolored gemstone. Jasper appears in almost every color, including black. The common jasper patterns include alluring orbital rings, spots, streaks, banding, flaming and marbling, and veining.

Jasper has an opaque clarity and showcases a vitreous to dull luster when polished. With a hardness rating of around 7 Mohs, jasper proves to be perfect for any jewelry design, be it pendants, rings, or necklaces. The black stones will occur in large sizes and can be cut en cabochon.


Black Opal

Opal is an October birthstone, and it has been considered the most fascinating and luckiest gemstone. That is because opal can present all colors on its own. High-quality opals have been categorized into five distinct categories, namely: black opal, white opal, boulder opal, fire opal, and crystal opal.

Black opal appears as an opaque to translucent material. It may exhibit a dark gray or black color. Black opal is also the rarest and most expensive deposits of the opals.


Black Jade

Jade is a highly sought-after gemstone bearing an illustrious history in China. The word jade means the color green. High iron levels in the jade make it turn black with some green hues. Like the black garnet, black jade also occurs in two varieties: nephrite and jadeite. Jadeite has a higher quality and is considered more valuable.

Jade is quite soft with a hardness rating of 6 Mohs, making it ideal for carving into stunning designs. However, the stone is quite durable and tough, meaning it can create spectacular pieces of jewelry. The gemstone can be faceted even though the carvings and cabochons are common with black jade.


Black Rutile Quartz

Black rutile quartz is among the few stones that are fancied because of the inclusions they contain. The stones are unique and affordable to jewelers. Most of these deposits are cut en cabochon, but you can come across the faceted pieces once in a while. Black rutile quartz can be carved or cut into beads.

The most important source of this gemstone in India, but another essential source is Brazil. With a hardness rating of 7 Mohs, the stone can be applied to any jewelry design.



Serendibite is a fairly new precious stone that may occur as a black, blue, or green gemstone. The incredibly rare green serendibite occurring in Sri Lanka was the only known variety of this stone before 2005. The black variety of serendibite appeared first in Burma, which is currently the main source of these gemstones. Black serendibite also makes very extraordinary pieces of jewelry.



Cassiterite is the most common and primary source of tin. The stone is abundant in mineral form, but the gem-quality transparent stone is extremely rare. Cassiterite is, therefore, regarded as a collector’s stone since it is very rare. Most deposits will occur as black to brownish substances, but other brighter colors may also appear depending on the impurities present.

The stone has excellent dispersion and fire and also exhibits an outstandingly high refractive index. Its deposits can easily be confused with idocrase, quartz, sphene, and diamond. Some of the important sources of this gemstone include China, Indonesia, Australia, Malaysia, Somalia, Namibia, the Congo, Thailand, Russia, Spain, England, Nigeria, Peru, Bolivia, Mexico, and the USA.


Black Agate

Agate occurs in a wide range of colors, including black. Onyx is a family member of the agate family of gemstones. However, onyx is the agate deposits bearing parallel white and black banding. Agates can be said to be translucent, and it is also a chalcedony gemstone. Black Agate sources include Uruguay and Brazil, with other sources being China, Brazil, Namibia, and Madagascar.


Black Moonstone

The common moonstone gemstones are the white variety, but the black type is also available. Black moonstones come from feldspars just like the white counterparts alongside andesine, oligoclase, and sunstone. These black stones are not completely black but can occur as grey deposits. The June birthstone can be used to make outstanding pieces of jewelry since they are tough enough.

Moonstones will occur as transparent to a translucent material, with the most transparent ones being more valuable. Moonstones can be mined in Sri Lanka, Australia, Myanmar, Brazil, Europe, Mexico, the US, and Madagascar.


Black Fluorite

These gemstones are also known as fluorspars. They are fluorescent stones that occur in diverse colors, including green, black, yellow, and red. However, black fluorite is not common to many, and you cannot easily come across it in the market. The gemstones are rather soft, meaning they are not perfect for jewelry use. They can make stunning pieces of earrings and pendants, but you have to be careful as they can easily get scratched.

Fluorite occurs in various parts of the world, such as Austria, Argentina, China, Namibia, Morocco, Germany, England, France, and Spain.

Final Thoughts

Black gemstones are not just used for mourning ceremonies. They can be ideal to complement your looks and bring out the sense of fashion in you when rocked as jewelry.

Emoche ✦ The Crystal Authority