Upon hearing the word “sapphire”, most people imagine a stone that is deep blue in color. But have you also heard that there is black sapphire? Many people don’t know that such a stone actually exists.
Sapphire is the popular name for one of the varieties of the mineral corundum.
Because of the presence of other chemical elements within its structure, sapphire exists in all possible colors except red – this variety of corundum is called ruby.
The most sought-after color of sapphire is blue, but green, pink and yellow stones are also popular.
What Is Black Sapphire?
Black sapphire is a nearly opaque stone whose color is so dark that it appears to absorb all light that enters the gemstone.
Sometimes, this stone also looks very dark blue or gray.
Black sapphires come mainly from Australia and are mined in large quantities. This variety of sapphire is very cheap and is considered low grade.
An Alternative to Onyx?
Because of its color, black sapphire is often confused with onyx. Indeed, this stone can successfully act as an onyx substitute.
Although both stones look very similar, onyx is actually softer, while sapphire is one of the hardest gemstones (9 out of 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness).
Because of this similarity, you may consider getting a black sapphire for your ring or pendant if you want a stone that has the color of onyx but is much harder.
Is Black Sapphire the Same as Black Star Sapphire?
Black star sapphire has a similar sounding name but is actually a different stone. It is a variety of the so-called “star sapphires” – stones that due to their unique crystal structures reflect light in the shape of a star.
Black star sapphire is mostly mined in Thailand, West Africa and India.
This stone’s black color is a result of iron and titanium traces present in the mineral. There are also black star sapphire varieties that exhibit pink and purple hues.
Unlike black sapphire, black star sapphire is a very expensive gemstone and can cost thousands of dollars. It is prized by gem lovers because of its beauty and rarity.
Should You Buy Black Sapphire?
When considering black sapphire, you should keep in mind that it is deemed a low-quality stone. The good thing about it is that it’s cheap.
If you are looking for a black and opaque gemstone, this is not a bad choice because sapphire is extremely hard.
Whether you will decide to give black sapphire a chance comes down to your personal preferences; just be aware of what this stone is really worth before making a purchase decision.
Where to Buy Gemstone Jewelry?
If you are looking to buy jewelry with emeralds, sapphires or rubies, we highly recommend James Allen (click here to read our review), where you can select a loose gemstone before having it set into a piece of jewelry.
For jewelry with other gemstones, we recommend Blue Nile.