What Is Black Sapphire? A Guide to Its Beauty and Strength


black sapphire ring

Sapphire is a popular gemstone and a valuable variety of the mineral corundum. Corundum is a crystalline form of aluminum oxide with bits of other elements that create a wide array of colors. You've definitely heard of blue sapphire, but you may be wondering, "what is black sapphire?"

Though blue sapphire is most famous, black sapphire has been gaining popularity for its unique beauty. It presents the same striking look as other black gemstones with the bonus of being very durable. Read on to learn more about black sapphires and why they are a great choice for jewelry.

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Sapphire Colors

Sapphire is very hard and comes in many colors besides blue. Sapphires occur naturally in blue, pink, yellow, orange, purple, black, and colorless variations. You will not find any red sapphires since red corundum produces rubies.

Fancy sapphires are any gem-quality sapphires that are not blue or colorless. There are also natural multicolored stones known as Parti sapphires. The different colors are the result of varying levels of trace minerals.

Blue sapphire is, without a doubt, the most sought after, ranging from light blue to dark blue. The darker the color, the more valuable the gemstone.

Black Sapphire: What Is It?

Black sapphire is an aluminum oxide mineral that usually forms in crystals. These stones appear to absorb any light that hits them. They range from translucent to opaque but don't reflect much light in either case. The color ranges from blue-black to gray.

Black sapphire is exceptionally durable. Like other sapphires, it scores a 9 on the Moh's hardness scale.

Black sapphire is often confused with onyx because of its dark color. Though it is harder than onyx, it serves as a great look-alike. If anything, the hardness of black sapphire makes it the perfect stone for everyday wear.

Why Aren't Black Sapphires Considered Valuable?

Close up of a gold bracelet with black sapphires on a white background.

Professionals consider blacks sapphires low-grade, low-quality gemstones. They are considered low-grade because they are abundant and mined in large quantities. All of this contributes to its low price.

That said, black sapphires are beautiful stones with many desirable metaphysical properties. At their price point, they are a great option for black jewelry.

Black Sapphire Uses And Properties

Black sapphire has more to offer than surface beauty and crystalline rigidity; it is also coveted for its healing properties. Black sapphire is believed to: 

  • Keep you calm in chaotic environments and around stressful people.
  • Shield against bullying and angry projections from others. 
  • Deflect negativity.
  • Help those with stressful careers.
  • Provide excellent intuition that helps you deal with complex matters with compassion and wisdom.

How to Assess Black Sapphire Jewelry

Black sapphire comes in translucent to opaque varieties and can appear solid black. They seem to absorb most of the light that falls on them, meaning they do not reflect much light. Endowed with an even tone and saturation, they have a unique appearance that makes them perfect for your jewelry.

They can be faceted in elaborate shapes that offer depth and improve the stone’s luster. Jewelers often cut black sapphire en cabochon, meaning they get shaped and polished into a smooth, generally convex shape with a flat base. 

One of the most significant considerations is the price. Black sapphire is very budget-friendly, so you should be wary when a stone seems overpriced. Often, the setting can bump prices up by a large margin, as the stone itself is not expensive.

Is Black Sapphire the Same as Black Star Sapphire?

Black star sapphire on a black background.

Contrary to popular belief, black star sapphire is not the same as black sapphire. Black star sapphire has the same healing properties as black sapphire, but they are physically different. They are formed when corundum is overgrown with fibrous inclusions of hematite or ilmenite. These inclusions reflect light in an effect known as asterism.

You can distinguish a synthetic variant from a natural one by analyzing the reflected star from both of them. The one with a near-perfect star is synthetic. Because of its rarity and beauty, black star sapphire is costly and coveted by collectors. This is a stark contrast to the inexpensive, widely available black sapphire.

Why Should I Buy Black Sapphire?

Some of the significant attributes that make black sapphire worth the price include:

  • They are relatively cheap and can fit into any budget.
  • They are very tough and durable.
  • They are scratch-resistant, making them an excellent choice for everyday wear.
  • They are a beautiful alternative to onyx and other solid black gemstones.

These gemstones are cost-effective and long-lasting, so you get a lot of value for money. If you're looking to add black gemstone jewelry to your wardrobe, black sapphires are a fantastic choice.

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