Black Gemstones Buying Guide: How To Actually Find the One

Have you fallen in love with a black gem and want to find out more about availability and unique features as well as which stones would be your best purchase? Here is a comprehensive Black Gemstones Buying Guide to help you learn more.

Mystical Properties

Black gemstones are valued for not just their beauty and uniqueness, but also to some, for their mystical properties, such as their use as a birthstone-

  • January- Black Garnet
  • April- Black Diamond, Black Quartz, or Black Sapphire
  • May- Black Onyx
  • June- Black Pearl
  • July- Black Onyx
  • August- Black Spinel
  • September- Black Sapphire
  • October- Black Tourmaline and Black Opal
  • December- Black Zircon

Black gemstones can also be known for their spiritual properties. Obsidian, Black Jet, and Black Onyx are known for their grounding and protection properties, as well as negative energy absorption. Or you may just want to wear a black gemstone as a fashion statement or everyday piece. The black color is considered a neutral color and would be easily incorporated into an outfit.

Most Popular

The most popular black gems are: 

  • Black Diamond
  • Black Sapphire
  • Black Zircon
  • Black Jet
  • Black Garnet
  • Black Jade
  • Black Onyx
  • Black Opal
  • Black Pearl
  • Black Diopside
  • Black Tourmaline
  • Black Scapolite
  • Black Quartz
  • Black Spinel
  • Black Jasper
  • Obsidian
  • Tahitian Pearl
  • Nuummite

Just as in other gemstones; rarity, color, and size will determine the price range of each particular gemstone. Most of these gemstones will not be readily available in jewelry stores near you, but there will be many options available to you online.

There are questions you will want to consider as you choose what gemstone to .

  • Do you want a popular stone?purchase
  • What is your purchasing budget?
  • Is durability a concern?
  • Is brilliance important?

Black gemstones are often opaque and block light traveling through them; they are often cut to show brilliance through facets, where they gleam and shine, instead of the sparkle that most light gemstones display. Black gemstones are usually cut to show off their luster, and depending on the gem, can reflect light brilliantly.

Many black gemstones are known for the inclusions in the stone, which in the instance of a black diamond, is the reason why the gem is so colored. Black Diamonds are never graded for their clarity, instead, they are best chosen for their saturation and color distribution. However, Smokey Quartz varies in gradation from translucent to completely opaque.

Black Star and Cat’s Eye Stones

Black Gemstones Buying Guide

Star gemstones include needle-like inclusions that reflect light and create their star-like effect. Black Diopside, also known as the Indian Black Star, or the Black Star of India has a four-pointed cross or star. The Black Sapphire has between 6 to 12 points on the star. 

Other gems create a cat’s eye effect that causes a solid band of light which is caused by parallel mineral fibers. However, diopside, Scapolite, Quartz, and Tourmaline can produce the cat’s eye effect, however are not the true cat’s eye stone- Chrysoberyl. 

The quality of the Cat’s Eye gemstone can be determined by a strong solid band of light that is silvery-white in color with few inclusions. These are mostly shaped into a cabochon shape to show the brilliance of the optical phenomena inside the stone, the star, or the cat’s eye.

Black Gemstones in Jewelry

Black gems are more popular today than in the past. Historically, Black Gems were associated with mourning and death. Queen Victoria wore a crown adorned with Black Jet for Prince Albert’s funeral. 

It’s now more popular to pair them with rose gold or white metals to create a modern-looking setting. They are popular in rings, necklaces, pendants, and earrings, and are also common in men’s jewelry as well, in cufflinks, rings, and watches, due to the masculine appeal of the black color. The color also pairs well with unisex items.

Tips for Finding a Quality Stone

Coloration

Color should be considered when thinking about gemstones as well. Some stones such as Diopside, Sapphires, and Obsidian can be gray or even brown toned in the Black Gemstone category. Star and Cat’s Eye stones can also reflect this coloring, and as such are not completely black and often reflect light from the center of the stone. 

Black Opal is a black background stone with reflective rainbow-colored inclusions. Black Jade is a Jade with higher levels of iron, creating a darker color, but also has secondary hints of green. Many stones’ values are based on the more solid saturation of the gem.

Grading of Black Gems

As a buyer, you should know that black gemstones are graded differently than light and clear stones. Clarity is replaced with saturation. Consistent, solid color is more highly valued than a mottled color, and overall the color should be consistent throughout the entire stone. 

Color in itself is important, as the gem should be the desired color, not a lighter shade. Inclusions should be few and small, and the stone should be free of chips and cracks. The opacity of the stone should be consistent with the expectation of the stone, however, most black gems are not translucent. 

Quality

Black Gemstones Buying Guide Qwartz

Quality is also important when deciding on your gem. Natural gems that luster without chemicals or treatment are the most valuable, and will be the most costly. A natural gem is of high quality without adding chemicals or radiation treatment in order to bring out the coloration of a stone.

You should know the difference between a lab-created stone and a natural, untreated stone. A natural stone is a stone that has been shaped and polished without chemical treatments to enhance the coloring of the stone. Treatments should be disclosed by the jeweler and can range from coatings to radiation treatments. 

Not all treatments are long-lasting or permanent and can be affected by oils, hand-washing, or simply time. You can also purchase lab-created stones, which will be less valuable but more perfect in appearance. Lab-created gems are also known for their sustainability and environmentally friendly sourcing.  Your jeweler should provide you with documentation of any treatments of your gemstones before you leave the store.

Durability

You’ll want to decide if the piece of jewelry will be worn as an everyday piece or for special occasions, and durability is an important consideration when deciding on your stone. Sapphires, Garnets, Diamonds are some of the hardest gemstones, where Black Jet, Black Pearls, and Obsidian are more delicate and better for occasional wear.

Keep in mind the inherent properties of the gemstone you chose and be aware that some gems scratch or chip easily if banged or knocked. Pearls are often coated to protect them and can be easily damaged with body oils, cosmetics, and even perfume.

Shapes of Gemstones

Black Gemstones Buying Guide all the gemstones

Black stones are often cut into cabochons or are faceted to maximize the luster. Cabs or cabochons are shaped and polished to bring out the stone’s natural shine, Star and Cat’s Eye stones are the best examples of this. Cabs can also be polished and sculpted with a design carved into the stone. 

Often, less-quality semi-precious stones are cut into cabochons if they have consistent coloring but are otherwise flawed. Black gemstones can also be cut into any popular gemstone shape, with facets that show off the glimmer and shine of the stone.

These shapes include round, cushion, oval, pear, emerald, square, brilliant, princess, baguette, octagon, or marquise. The beauty of opaque stones shows in the sparkle of the facets of these cuts, and in the luster of the stone itself.

Create your own piece

To create your own piece, find a jeweler that offers loose gemstones, you can mix and match them with settings to create your own unique personalized ring. However, you may also prefer to buy a finished jewelry item depending on the need and use expected out of your jewelry piece.

Other dark stones to consider for engagement and wedding rings

Typically an engagement stone is a diamond, but perhaps you are of a unique mind and want to consider other alternatives. 

Moissanite

Second in hardness only to diamonds, these lab-created gems sparkle with a rainbow effect instead of the white light of diamond sparkle. Their value is far less than diamonds and as such is more value for the cost compared to a stone the same size as a diamond.

Moissanite is readily distinguishable in larger sizing than diamonds to the trained eye and can have a yellow or grey hue compared to a diamond. Moissanite is lab-created and does not offer the ethical or environmental issues that diamond mining has.

Sapphire

Until the 20th century, sapphires were more popular than a diamond in engagement rings. Sapphires come in a variety of hues, including peach, pink, teal, yellow, white, and the most popular blue. The hardness of sapphires makes them a great choice for everyday wear.

Aquamarine

This pale blue gem has exceptional clarity and will sparkle beautifully in your engagement setting.

Morganite

This blush-colored gem varies from peach to pink in hue, they are valued for their sparkle and brilliance.

Emerald

Throughout history, emeralds have been sought for jewelry. Emeralds are known for being the gem of royalty.

Ruby

The bright red gemstone is an eye-catching beauty. They have been sought after for centuries in jewelry and are exquisite in vintage and antique settings.

Amethyst

The varied purple tones of this gem are reminiscent of royalty. The lightest lavender stone paired with diamond side stones would be a beautiful ring setting.

Any stone can be an engagement ring stone, modern couples are embracing their individuality and have a huge variety to choose from. Practicality should be an important decision when determining what stone to use to make the best choice. Don’t forget that this ring will potentially become a sentimental heirloom piece, and that should be considered as well when beauty and aesthetics are also a deciding factor. 

Recommendations of Black Stone Jewelry We Love

Gem Stone King Black Sapphire and White Diamond 3 Stone Engagement Ring

Black Sapphire

This oval black sapphire, diamond, and sterling silver ring are loved by customers who enjoy wearing a ring casually and for special occasions, and love the beauty and sparkle that the ring produces. It’s a simplistic-looking ring with beautiful detailing. However, the large stone may infringe on adding a wedding band.

Gem Stone King 925 Sterling Silver
$85.35
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09/23/2021 08:39 am GMT

Overstock Black Tourmaline Sterling Silver Solitaire Ring

925 black tourmaline

This ring is stunning and is topped with an Australian Black Tourmaline, famous for its deep black hues. It’s an all-occasion ring that is sure to stand out on your hand. However, Tourmaline can have flaws and scratches that mar the reflective traits of the surface of the stone.  

Gem Stone King 10k Yellow Gold Black Onyx and White Diamond Engagement Ring

This beautiful black onyx ring is exquisitely delicate and fine. The stone and diamond setting creates a simple, classy ring that fits well on small hands. The gold setting is a little more unique for a black gem and the detailing of diamonds adds a sparkling touch. Onyx is a delicate stone and could potentially not wear as well as a harder stone for everyday wear. 

Gem Stone King 10K Yellow Gold
$296.35
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09/23/2021 08:44 am GMT

Houston Diamond District 2.9 T.w. 14K White Gold Black Diamond Engagement Ring

14k White Gold Classic Side

You will have the most unique engagement ring with this beautiful black diamond ring. The set comes in multiple color choices to choose from for you to create your own unique ring. Although you are paying for a diamond, observers may confuse the diamond with a less expensive stone.

2.9 Carat t.w 14K White Gold
$1,580.00
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09/23/2021 08:29 am GMT

FAQs

Question: What is the most popular black gemstone?

Answer: In Greek mythology, Cupid, the god of love, In Greek mythology, Cupid, the god of love, shot an arrow and chopped off a fingernail from his Venus, his mother. As her nail fell from Mount Olympus into the sacred Indus river, they metamorphosed into Onyx as Onyx was believed to be divine. In ancient Greek, Onyx means the nail of a finger or claw. 

Inexpensive settings of Black Onyx are set in silver and it is also often paired with white gold. 

Question: Why choose a black engagement stone?

Answer: A black gemstone ring would be certainly uncommon. Black is often associated with death, grief, and plague, but its unique look also symbolizes strength, self-control, and resilience. So black is a choice for anyone looking for a one-of-a-kind bridal set. Onyx is a popular engagement stone and is considered a safeguard against negativity and when worn in a relationship, can help reduce conflict between a couple.

Question: Should I buy lab-created gemstones?

Answer: Lab-created stones are much less expensive which could be the better choice for your budget. This is in comparison to purchasing a lesser quality stone, lab-created offers you a choice of a near-flawless stone.

Question: What does wearing a black gemstone mean?

Answer: Black gemstones are thought to be grounding and protective.  In color theory, black is the combination of all colors, and black gemstones can be supportive of cooperation and social skills such as communication and adaptability. Black gemstones are believed to help reduce fear and support economic success.

Question: What does a black diamond wedding ring mean?

Answer: The black diamond got its name because of its one-of-a-kind dark color, black diamonds are filled with inclusions of carbon giving the diamond a black hue. Black diamond engagement rings however signify passion, power, strength, and authority. This symbolism stands for good intentions for a proposal. 

Question: What does a black stone ring represent?

Answer: Black diamonds are a great choice for a woman who wants to stand apart and strong in her own conviction, as they represent inner strength and justice.

Conclusion

Finding and purchasing your perfect black gemstone is all about your individual choice. Knowing your stone’s unique features and potential issues is just as important as finding the perfect setting to display the stone. Metaphysical properties and physical properties are unique to your stone and are important to remember. 

Its color, durability, luster, shape, availability, and cost are all important factors in choosing the best stone for you. Ultimately, your choices will be uniquely you and should always reflect your personality and style.

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