A Comprehensive Guide to Black Gemstones: 21 Types, Qualities, and Prices

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Are you looking for the right black gemstone for your jewelry?

This article will cover 21 different types of black gemstones, including their unique characteristics and prices.

After reading this article, you’ll know which black gem is the right one for you!

Let’s start!

Table of Contents

What are the types of black gemstones:

Black gemstones come in a wide variety of forms. We will focus on the most popular and common gemstones in the jewelry and fashion market. Here is a list of 21 types of black gemstones that you may sometimes come across in your search for the perfect piece:

  1. Black diamond
  2. Grey Diamond
  3. Black Sapphire
  4. Black Jet
  5. Black Garnet
  6. Black Tourmaline
  7. Black Spinel
  8. Black Zircon
  9. Obsidian
  10. Black Onyx
  11. Black Pearl
  12. Black Jade
  13. Black Opal
  14. Bizzard Stone
  15. Tahitian Pearl
  16. Serendibite
  17. Cats Eye Scapolite
  18. Black Star Diopside
  19. Black Rutile Quartz
  20. Black Jasper
  21. Hematite

Black diamond

There was a time when black diamonds were compared to sealing wax. They were deemed worthless. However, currently, they are considered valuable and are often featured as accent notes in high-end fashion designs.

These diamonds get the black color as a result of the impurities in them. Moreover, just like other types of diamonds, they are made of carbon. It’s important to understand that the black hue saturation of minor inclusions set within the stone. Therefore, unlike other gemstones whose color composition dates back to crystallization, the color of black diamond is usually inclusions that are mostly graphite.

Black diamond is among the most complex varieties of a diamond. It has lesser brilliance compared to other colored forms of a diamond. Yet keep in mind, different shapes reflect different amounts of light. If you are interested in a shiny black diamond, I suggest looking for round, pear, or oval diamonds. In terms of color grades, you can find only one grade for black diamonds, fancy black. That being said, they are valued based on inclusions and never on clarity.

  • The Mohs Hardness scale of black diamond scale level is 10
  • The price per carat ranges between $1500 to $4000

Distinct features

Pros

  • Black diamond is unique

 

Cons

  • It doesn’t shimmer like normal diamonds
  • It is relatively expensive, compared to other black gemstones
black diamonds on james allen

Grey diamond

Recently, the popularity of grey diamonds has grown by a milestone. There are two categories of grey diamonds. There are the salt and pepper grey diamonds and the included fancy grey diamonds.

The natural fancy grey diamonds are scarce and have high clarity. The colors may vary according to the concentration of hydrogen in them. Just like traditional diamonds, high clarity is sort after in most cases.

Salt & pepper diamonds are formed deep within the earth’s surface under extreme pressure and heat. The name salt and pepper diamond refer to diamonds with a high presence of salt, white inclusions, and pepper, thus flecking all the black inclusions.

  • The Mohs scale for grey diamond scale is 10
  • The price per carat ranges between $5000 to $40,000 for fancy grey.
  • For salt and pepper diamonds, the price per carat starts from $150-$1,500

Distinct features

Pros

  • Grey diamond is stunning

 

Cons

  • It is one of the rarest diamonds
gray diamonds james allen

Black sapphire

Contrary to other forms of gemstones, this one is formed from a type of mineral known as corundum. It is formed deep into the earth’s surface and acquires its color from the impurities set while it is being formed.
This type of black gemstone is readily available and is not expensive as compared to others. You can therefore find it in most markets at an affordable price.

  • Its Mohs hardness scale is 9
  • The price per carat ranges between $25 to $60

Distinct features

  • It ranges from being transparent and translucent
  • Very tough
  • It shows asterism

 

Pros

  • It is suitable for any type of jewelry
  • It is long-lasting
 

Cons

  • It is not seen as luxurious

Black jet

This is a type of diamond made of fossilized wood. Some people refer to it as black amber because it has a warm touch and is highly flammable.
During the Victorian era, black jets were popularly used as morning jewels. Their popularity has reduced recently because of the soft nature that results in them being easily damaged. This means they cannot be worn daily.

  • Black jet has a Mohs rating that ranges between 2.5 to 4
  • The price of a carat of a black jet diamond ranges between $ to $20

Distinct features

  • It can absorb a lot of light
  • It is incredibly soft
  • It’s an organic gemstone

 

Pros

  • It is readily available
 

Cons

  • It is very soft and gets damaged with ease

Black Garnet

Often, garnet gets confused with ruby. However, there are a few black varieties of garnet specified as melanite and andradite. Black melanite is the more popular of the two and is commonly found in stores that deal with jewelry. Be keen not to confuse black garnet with black tourmaline, primarily because of their similar colors. It is worth noting that garnets have a slightly higher luster as compared to tourmaline.

  • Black garnet has a Mohs rating that ranges between 6.5 to 7.5
  • A carat of black garnet goes for around $30 to $80

Distinct features

  • Black garnet is hard
  • It has medium brilliance
 

Pros

  • It is affordable
 

Cons

  • It is a rare type of gemstone

Black Tourmaline

This type of diamond is available in large quantities in mining sites all over the world. The availability of this type of diamond makes it affordable. It sometimes has a dark blue undertone, smooth to touch, lustrous, and glossy. The term tourmalinated quartz is used when needles of black tourmaline are traced within quartz.

Black tourmaline comes in a variety of sizes and shapes. This makes it ideal for an individual looking to buy a large ‘statement piece of jewelry. It is pretty versatile and can be faceted in different cuts and turned into a cabochon. It is durable and will fit in all types of everyday jewelry. It is beautiful and will fit into different uses.

  • The Mohs Hardness scale of black tourmaline is 7.75
  • The price per carat for black tourmaline is about $100

Distinct features

Pros
  • It’s good on any type of jewelry
 

Cons

  • It’s not very popular

Black Spinel

Black spinel gemstone is very rare and not well known. It comes in a wide range of colors, but the rarest of them all is the black one. It is highly reflective with very high luster. To achieve a higher level of brilliance, I recommend picking cuts such as oval, square, pear, or marquise.

  • It has a hardness of 8 Mohs
  • The price per carat ranges between $200 and $500

Distinct features

  • It is extremely hard
  • It exhibits asterism
 

Pros

  • It does well for all kinds of jewelry
  • It is reasonably affordable
 

Cons

  • It’s not a popular gemstone

Black Zircon

It is often confused with cubic zirconia that is an artificial stone that is low priced. However, zircon is a real gemstone that belongs to the group of nesosilicates. Its chemical name is zirconium silicate. The surprising thing about it is that it looks similar to a diamond with its brilliant flashes and fire. It is mainly used as a diamond stimulant and does excellently being a low-priced substitute. It is available in a variety of colors which include black, green, yellow, and red. One thing about zircon is that it is a rare gem.

  • Black Zircon has a Mohs scale of 6 to 7.5
  • The price per carat ranges between $50-$400

Distinct features

  • It has great brilliance
  • It is a brittle gem
 

Pros

  • It is affordable
 

Cons

  • It is rare

Obsidian

Though it has a shiny black surface, this stone is not automatically crystalline. It can be formed as a result of various materials subjected to volcanic activity. It is one of the oldest gemstones that was discovered during ancient times. People used obsidian to make essential tools like jewelry, cutting materials, or mirrors in the medieval era.

Obsidian is often cut en cabochon, but there are faceted pieces that still look similar. This stone may look tough, but it’s soft. It can be scratched with ease if it gets exposed to blows or rough wear. However, it is a lovely gemstone that adds style to a person’s wardrobe, fitting in almost every kind of jewelry.

  • Obsidian has a Mohs scale of 5.5
  • The price per carat ranges from $30-$50

Distinct features

  • It is relatively soft
  • It is a volcanic aggregate
  • Its appearance is glassy luster
 

Pros

  • Obsidian gemstones are affordable
  • It is a unique gem
 

Cons

  • It is susceptible to scratches and fractures

Black Onyx

Onyx is a gemstone that comes with a wide array of colors. You can get one with a transparent color or the other with almost unimaginable colors. Back in the day, black onyx was valued as a healing stone as well as valuable jewelry. It has a smooth, almost matte finish giving it a solid appearance. You need to note that, unlike other black gemstones, black onyx is not that shiny. It has more of a silky luster rather than a sparkling look.

Black onyx occurs naturally but is extremely rare. The type you will find today has been dyed to achieve the desired saturation and color. Black Onyx is pretty tough and durable. It was once a precious gemstone, but black onyx still valued more than the other colors. Solid black onyx has a vitreous luster that makes it less shiny.

  • Black Onyx has a 7-Mohs hardness
  • The cost of one carat of onyx ranges between $2-$20

Distinct features

  • It features banded streaks
  • It is relatively durable
  • Vitreous luster
 

Pros

  • It comes at a fair price
 

Cons

  • Most of the black onyx gemstones available in the market are dyed

Black Pearl

Black pearl is a naturally rare gemstone that requires some specific conditions met while during its formation. That is why black pearl is considered one of the most expensive types of pearls. They are incredibly famous for the shimmering glow they offer. They come in varying degrees of black, from light-gray to solid. They are a little bit soft, which makes them not ideal for everyday wear. Tahitian pearls are among the most valuable of black pearls. They range from midnight deep pink to a soft grey.

  • Black pearl has 5-Mohs of hardness
  • The price of one carat of black pearl can cost from $300 to $3,000

Distinct features

  • Black Pearl is an organic gemstone
  • It is pretty soft
  • It is extremely rare
 

Pros

  • Each piece of the black pearl is unique in its way
 

Cons

  • It scratches and breaks with ease

Black Jade

You need to know that the higher the levels of iron in the jade, the darker the color of a black jade gemstone. If it has a lot of iron, it may become black entirely with only a few hints of green. Jade is used as a synonym of green for this gemstone. Black jade comes in two versions. There is the nephrite and the jadeite. Firstly, jadeite is more valuable and is of higher quality than nephrite. Secondly, black jade is soft but is still considered a hard gemstone. It is durable and will resist scratching and fractures.

  • Black jade has 6-Mohs of hardness
  • One carat of black jade goes for about $3,000,000

Distinct features

  • It is available in two versions (the nephrite and the jadeite)
 

Pros

  • Black jade is durable
  • Black jade is one of the most unique gemstones in the world
 

Cons

  • It’s rare and expensive

Black Opal

If you are looking for a more expensive gemstone than a diamond, black opal is the answer. It is formed through the process whereby water picks up the content of silicon as it runs over the earth’s surface and deposits into cracks. This process continues and repeats for many years resulting in the formation of opal. Most black opals come from Australia. It is worth noting that though opals commonly come in white, the black ones are the rarest, resulting in their high prices. Black opal is a soft stone and will get damaged if worn daily. It is a beautiful piece of gemstone, and that’s why you will find it in different jewelry such as earrings and rings.

  • Black opal has a hardness scale of about 6.5
  • One carat of black opal goes for around $9,500

Distinct features

  • It will blend with any type of gemstone
  • Its formation process is unique
 

Pros

  • It is a beautiful piece of gemstone
 

Cons

  • It is expensive and rare

Bizzard Stone

Blizzard stone is a complex mineral comprised of multiple minerals such as BioLite, Magnetite, serpentine, and many more. It is quite a durable piece of gemstone that gels well with any kind of jewelry.

  • It has a Mohs rating of 7
  • The price per carat for blizzard stone is around $15

Distinct features

  • Each of its pieces is unique
 

Pros

  • It blends well with any kind of jewelry
 

Cons

  • It is rare
Bizzard gemstone

Tahitian Pearl

The Tahitian pearl, commonly known as the black pearl, is an organic gem formed from the black lip oyster. They get their name from the native islands of French Polynesia around Tahiti, where they are cultivated. Unlike other common types of pearls, the Tahitian pearls typically have a naturally dark body color. Currently, they are among the most sort after pearls in the world. They come in a variety of colors, making them easy to gel well with any kind of jewelry

  • Tahitian pearl has 5-Mohs of hardness
  • The price of one carat of Tahitian pearl can cost from $300 to $3,000

Distinct features

  • The Tahitian pearl is an organic gemstone
  • It is pretty soft
  • It is extremely rare
 

Pros

  • Each piece of the Tahitian pearl is unique in its way
 

Cons

  • It scratches and breaks with ease

Serendibite

Green serendibite was discovered in Sri Lanka in 1902 and was named Serendib, an old Arab name for Sri Lanka. Serendibite is one of the rarest and precious gemstones that was discovered not so long ago. It comes in either black, dark blue, light yellow, or dark green. Cut stones of black serendibite are generally small and quite rare. If you happen to get one for yourself, then you must be fortunate.

  • The Mohs hardness scale for serendibite is 6.5
  • The carat price for serendibite ranges from $1400 to 1.8 million dollars

Distinct features

  • It comes in a variety of colors
  • The cut stones are scarce
 

Pros

  • Quite valuable
 

Cons

  • It is rare

Cats Eye Scapolite

This is chatoyant of the scapolite variety. This phenomenon of optical nature can be seen when exposed to light resembles a cat’s eye. This rare phenomenon is only known to occur in a few types of gemstones. Black cat’s eye scapolite is extremely rare. It is soft and therefore not ideal for everyday use. It will be good when put in brooches, pendants, pins, and earrings.

  • The Mohs hardness scale for cat’s eye Scapolite is 5.5
  • The carat price for this gemstone is $300

Distinct features

  • Forms a reflection that resembles a cat’s eye
 

Pros

  • It can be used in a variety of jewelry
 

Cons

  • It will scratch with ease

Black Star Diopside

Black star diopside gemstones have a unique feature that is the reflection they provide. It reflects a four-rayed star image, unlike others with six or twelve rayed stars. It is also known as black star India because it was first discovered in this beautiful country. It is usually curved into a cabochon, and this gives it its unique look.

  • Mohs hardness scale for Black Star Diopside is 5.5
  • The price per carat of black star diopside is just about ten dollars

Distinct features

  • Its reflection forms a four-rayed star image
  • It’s curved into a cabochon giving it a unique appearance
 

Pros

  • It’s unique
 

Cons

  • It can scratch and fracture with ease
Black Star Diopside​ gemstone

Black Rutile Quartz

Black Rutile quartz gemstones are mainly from Asian countries and specifically India. This is another type of gemstone commonly used for therapeutic purposes, along with other crystals. To be specific, it is the brightest among the black gemstones out there. They are unique and affordable and are usually cut as cabochons. They may also be curved into some large ornament spheres or cut into beads. Likewise, faceted pieces are also common. They go well with any jewelry.

  • Mohs hardness scale for black rutile quartz is 7
  • The price per carat of black rutile Quartz is $17

Distinct features

Pros
  • It combines well with all types of jewelry
  • It is durable
 

Cons

  • It’s rare
Black Rutile Quartz​ gemstone

Black Jasper

This is one of the gemstone varieties of quartz available today. Jasper is multicolored, flamed, spotted, and striped gemstone appearance. It can form in any color. The most common jasper pattern are banding, flaming, spots, streaks, orbital rings, marbling, and veining. At most times, it is opaque in clarity, even in extremely thin slices. It exhibits a fine dull to vitreous luster.
The gems of black jasper are commonly cut in cabochon and given shallow domes. Jasper stones are available in large sizes and will suit any type of jewelry.

  • The Mohs hardness scale for black jasper gemstone is 6.5
  • The price per carat of black jasper is $3

Distinct features

  • It is multicolored
  • Commonly cut in cabochon
 

Pros

  • Can be used on any type of jewelry
  • It’s durable
 

Cons

  • It’s rare
Black Jasper​ gemstone

Black Moonstone

This gemstone is commonly thought to be white but is also available in black, one of the rarest varieties. The black semi-precious stones are essentially all black but can come with grey tones, white and beige. The black moonstone is part of the minerals referred to as feldspars together with andesine, oligoclase, and sunstone.

  • The Mohs hardness scale for this gemstone is 6
  • The carat price for this gemstone can vary from a few dollars to a thousand dollars, depending on quality.

Distinct features

  • It is one of the rarest variety of moonstone gemstones
 

Pros

  • Durable
 

Cons

  • The Mohs hardness scale for this gemstone is 6 rare

Hematite

Hematite is an ore of iron with a similar structure to sapphire or ruby. It comes in a wide array of colors that range from black, silver, grey, or red. One thing that is unique about hematite is that it is harder than iron. Most of the time, it is curved but rarely faceted. For jewelry purposes, it is made into cabochons, beads, and cameos.

Hematite-gemstone

Conclusion

So which black gemstone do you choose? There are options for everyone, starting from $3 and going up to $3,000,000

If you need help finding the best black diamond, contact me here

Did I miss anything? Do you have any questions? Let me know in the comments below!

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