Gemstones are a common element in jewelry. They come in various shapes, colors, and sizes, with the end goal in their use being to elevate the piece and make it look more stylish, beautiful🌟, or even to make it look more expensive. The versatility of gemstones and their use in jewelry gives the wearer plenty of options to express their personal preferences and style.
While gemstones come in a variety of colors, it’s important to point out that black gemstones are something of a "statement". Black is a color that, when used in jewelry, conveys special meanings and symbolism.
Some people even believe that black is a magical color, lending certain special powers to the piece. This is particularly fitting—because black gemstones look slick and eye-catching. Shining black gemstones look like glittering stars—their color associated with witchcraft and the occult making them look almost magical!
As such, black precious stones are the perfect choice for anyone looking to make a bold and confident fashion statement.
👉🏻This article will focus on the meanings, histories, and features of black gemstones. It shall analyze the cuts, shapes, variants, sources, and prices of popular black gemstones. Finally, it shall highlight a few tips and tricks to help you match black gemstones with your jewelry and outfits.
Why do people love black gemstones?
This is an interesting question, isn’t it? Different people appreciate black gemstones for different reasons. For instance, some people believe that black gemstones have certain essences about them, making them ideal representations of their birth months or for magical protection.
However, perhaps the most common reason why people wear black jewelry is because of its symbolism. There are different black gemstone meanings and a whole litany of symbolism tied up in this gorgeous dark gem!
Black represents power, sophistication, and elegance, all at once. This is what makes a lot of people adorn themselves with black gemstones.
10 Best black gemstones
When it comes to semiprecious stones, there are some black gemstone names that you should familiarise yourself with; so when it comes to purchasing a piece of jewelry featuring this type of stone—you know what to look out for.
Here is a list of the top 10 best black gemstones in the world:
- Black diamond
- Black sapphire
- Black onyx
- black pearl
- black jade
- black jet
- black spinel
- black garnet
- black tourmaline
You can, of course, get artificial black gemstones—made from materials such as colored glass, resin, or even black plastic; but these just will not compare to the real thing.😿
Let’s take a more detailed look at each of the items on the black gemstones list above in more detail, so you can make a better decision about the type of stone you’d like to feature in your jewelry.
Black diamonds were once compared to sealing wax and considered worthless. These days, however, they are extremely valuable, often featuring as accent notes in high-end fashion designs.
Their black color is due to the impurities found inside them. Natural black diamonds are very rare and can only be found in a few regions around the world. This has further driven up their price. However, there are synthetic and treated versions of black diamonds that are more affordable and common in the market.
Generally, black diamonds come with a variety of hues. To get the perfect black diamond, you need to pick one with even saturation and color distribution. They are never graded in terms of clarity.
Natural black diamonds cost around $1300 per carat.💰 This means that a simple black diamond ring could cost between $2500 and $3000. However, higher quality ones could cost as much as $10,000 to $30,000 depending on the number of carats.
While they are mostly known for their blue color, sapphires also come in black. Black sapphires mostly come from Australia, where they are abundant. This is one of the reasons why they are quite affordable.
Their value lies in their durability and beauty. The best cuts for black sapphire are round, oval, and cushion, and these cuts are often featured in jewelry such as rings, earrings, and pendants. Black sapphires will usually have a uniform color with slight variations in terms of hue and depth.
A carat of Black Sapphire costs $20 to $60.
Onyx is a gemstone with a wide color range, from clear to almost every color imaginable.
Traditionally, black onyx has been used in jewelry and healing stones for millennia. With a smooth, almost matte finish—black onyx is a chic looking stone with a deep and solid appearance.😎 Black onyx is not shiny in the way that some other black gemstones are—ultimately it has more of a "silky" luster rather than an adamantine (sparkly) one. This means black onyx is shiny, but not sparkling (unlike a diamond).
Naturally-occurring solid black onyx is extremely rare. Most of what is available today has been dyed to achieve the desired color and saturation.
Onyx itself is fairly durable and tough. Once highly valuable, it is now a minor gemstone—but black onyx costs more than other onyx colors. On its own, black onyx can have a value of between $1 and $500 per carat, depending on the setting of the stone. For example, a silver setting will be cheaper than a white or yellow gold one.
When lava cools and hardens rapidly, it minimizes the formation of crystal structures, resulting in obsidian rock.🌋 Also known as Volcanic Glass, it is smooth with a very high luster. Since prehistoric times, it has been used to make basic tools, jewelry, and mirrors.
Obsidian is stylish and can be used to create trendy pieces. It suits all sorts of jewelry styles, from small, delicate pieces to large statement items. However, despite its tough nature, obsidian can be easily scratched and is also prone to breakage if treated roughly. With appropriate care, though, it can last a long time.
One carat of Black Obsidian costs between $3 and $50.
This naturally rare gemstone requires very specific conditions for it to be formed. This makes the black pearl one of the most expensive types of pearls.
Black pearls are famous for their shimmering glow. They can be found in varying degrees of black, from solid to light-gray. They are rather delicate and, therefore, not ideal for everyday wear.
One of the most valuable types of Black Pearls is Tahitian Pearls, which ranges from soft grey to midnight deep ink. These pearls can cost up to $30,000.
The term "jade" is almost a synonym for green. The higher the levels of iron in the jade, the darker its color is. When it has a lot of iron, it can become almost completely black with a few hints of green.
The history of jade is tied closely with eastern dynasties in China and Japan. Black jade comes in 2 types: jadeite and nephrite. The former is more valuable and of higher quality, while the latter is less expensive and more common.
The soft nature of Jade ranks it sixth on the Mohs scale. However, it is still a very tough gemstone, thanks to its durability and compact composition.
Black jet is an organic gemstone made of fossilized wood. It is sometimes known as black amber because it is highly flammable and warm to the touch.
In the Victorian era, black jets were popularly used as morning jewels. However, their popularity has slightly declined over the years, mostly because they are relatively soft and rather easily damaged. This means they are not suitable for daily wear.
Black jet comes in a solid, smooth, and lustrous color. One carat of Black Jet could cost between $4 and $20.
Black spinel is a rare and not-so-well-known gemstone. It comes in a wide range of colors, but black is the rarest type.🥇
Black spinel is highly reflective with a very high luster. For a higher level of brilliance, unique cuts like the cushion, marquise, pear, square, and oval are recommended.
Generally, Black Spinel has very good levels of clarity. One carat of Black Spinel costs between $200 and $500.
Garnet is famous for its redness, almost like the ruby. Black garnet is, therefore, quite rare. It is lustrous and tough, giving it excellent wearability. The fact that it is highly resistant to breaking also means that it goes well with all types of jewelry.
Black spinel is an affordable quality gemstone. It is ranked at position 8 on the Mohs Scale, meaning you can wear it every day if you want to.
A carat of Black Garnet costs between $30 and $80.
This is one of the most common black gemstones today.👍🏻 Tourmaline comes in several different colors. However, black tourmaline is the most abundant of all.
Black tourmaline is affordable and easily available. It is smooth to the touch and a little glassy in luster. At position 7 on the Mohs Scale, it has excellent wearability. Its toughness and resistance to breakage make it perfect for all types of jewelry.
One carat of Black Tourmaline costs between $300 and $500.
Other black gemstones that will impress you
- Black zircon: it is highly brilliant and often used as a substitute for diamonds. Its black hues come from inclusions of iron oxide. This makes black zircon highly brittle and prone to breakage. It is, however, very rare and difficult to find.
- Black quartz: quartz is available in a variety of colors and hues. Black quartz is one of the rarer ones, but it is still quite common. It is available in a range of black to grey hues, with various inclusions.
- Black opal: Opals are quite common and one of the world’s most popular gemstones. Black opals are not technically black. However, they are given the name because they exhibit some dark body tones that make them stand out in beautiful contrasts. Black opal is extremely beautiful and can be quite expensive.
- Black diopside: it is very rare, and known to exhibit distinct chatoyancy. It is mainly a collector’s gemstone, often with greenish tints.
- Black scapolite: it is not known much, but is durable and excellent for use in jewelry. It is available in varieties of black to brown with purplish tints, making it a great option to pair with cool-toned jewelry, such as items featuring silver metals and purple gemstones.
How are black gemstones used in jewelry?
Today, black gemstones are more common than ever. In jewelry, they are used for making rings, necklaces, pendants, and earrings—as they provide a stylish accent to each individual piece. Also, black gemstones are quite common in men’s jewelry🤵🏻—such as cufflinks and watches, due to the masculine and somewhat unisex appeal of black as a color choice.
Black is also regarded as a fairly "neutral" color—which means that it pairs perfectly with different types of precious metal—from gold to silver, and even rose gold. The more common pairing, however, seems to be with lighter metals such as white gold, platinum, and silver all being popular choices.
The combination of silver hues with black gemstones is a distinctly modern look, while warmer tones are often used to create a vintage or "classic" aesthetic. 🤹🏻♀️For example, a pair of gold art-deco style earrings set with black jade would evoke a classic 1920s feel, while a copper bracelet with black pearl might be considered a vintage style accent.
How to choose outfits when wearing black gemstone jewelry
As we’ve already mentioned—black goes well with almost anything. So it stands to reason that this also applies to jewelry.
When in doubt, you cannot go wrong by pairing black and white. They always match effortlessly with each other. For example, a white lace dress would be the perfect outfit to accent a small black sapphire ring.
Yellow can also be paired with black to create a striking and interesting contrast. This is why a short, yellow dress looks even more eye-catching when you also have a black pearl bracelet on.
For men, a black watch or ring will look very elegant with a maroon-themed outfit or something in beige. As long as the clothes are not too close to black, the gemstone accents will shine through. So, go for slightly bright outfits to make your jewelry stand out.
🎅🏻Some quick tips for styling an outfit with black gemstone jewelry:
- Opt for lighter colored clothes. This will make your black gemstone jewelry stand out and not become lost among the overall dark hues of your outfit
- Go for monochrome colors, this will help to keep things looking chic. Too many colors or patterns can distract from the jewelry
- Remember—contrast is key. Dark accents in the jewelry pair perfectly with lighter clothing.
- Make sure the value of the jewelry matches the value of the outfit. There’s not much point in wearing a $3,000 black diamond pendant with a $30 outfit!
Style inspiration: outfits with black gemstone jewelry
Now that we’ve outlined some quick tips for wearing black gemstone jewelry, let’s take a look at some style suggestions.👇🏻
For an effortless daytime look—pair black pearl studs with a slogan tee, a lightweight cardigan, and a pair of light denim jeans. The contrast of simple black with a light casual outfit will give this everyday look a bit of edge, and help to keep everything looking "put together".
If you want a casual look that appears high-fashion, consider purchasing a black gemstone jewelry set; rather than a single piece. A matching necklace, ring, and earrings all featuring the same black gemstone setting and design can help to elevate even the most basic of everyday outfits. Silver tones will give the set a more modern aesthetic, while yellow gold will give it a more classic look—so be sure to pair the correct metal with your outfits accordingly.
And finally, if you’re dressing for a formal occasion, try looking for a piece of statement jewelry that features black gemstones as the focal point. A silver chain choker with a large black sapphire pendant in the center, for example, or a large black tourmaline ring will pair effortlessly with most evening gowns.
At the end of the day, it is important to always have a plan when going out to purchase your black gemstones. Why do you want to buy a certain stone and not the other? Think about the durability, wearability, brilliance, rarity vs popularity, and above all else, your budget.
As you can see, a high budget will no doubt get you the best of the best. However, there are still several great options for a modest budget. As long as you keep all these tips and tricks in mind, choosing your next piece of black gemstone jewelry and pairing it perfectly with your outfit of choice should be a breeze.🤩