When it comes to gemstones, the sparkle and clarity of a white diamond will forever have universal appeal.
While rubies, emeralds and sapphires are deemed lesser, they still bring an air of regal sophistication as many crowns and tiaras are embellished with the colourful jewels.
Which leaves many of the other precious stones on the sidelines, even though they too carry a hefty price tag.
At the bottom of the list of the most desired, you’re most likely going to find black gems.
South African jewellery designer Kristin Weixelbaumer however, sings the praises of the dark mysterious stones.
“Black is unambiguous and specific,” says the founder of jewellery brand Black Betty.
“It’s dramatic, powerful and, in jewellery, shows that the wearer is confident of themselves. Black gems draw people in because they’re unusual and have a depth that few other stones can replicate – making the pieces that they enhance as much about a statement as they are about a question – a mystery”.
She continues by saying that the colour black is associated with elegance, mystery and power.
It speaks to depth, focus and certainty and it’s the powerful, enveloping counterpoint to the reflective light of white, absorbing all other colours.
Black gemstones are prized for their contrast to the sparkle of a clear diamond, the deepest red ruby or mesmerising green of an emerald – yet they bear all these traits too.
There’s a shimmer to a black stone drawing in the eye with a hint at mystery, rather than a flash of brilliance. Spiritually, many people have a deep belief in the power of gemstones to heal, protect, calm and enrich.
In jewellery, black gems offer a deep counterpoint to the warmth of gold or the pristine shimmer of platinum or silver.
Weixelbaumer recommends adding at least one black gem-lead piece to your collection for the benefits it delivers of stylishness and well-being.
The Black Spinel
This stone is associated with healing and inspiration, protecting the wearer against negativity by repelling it. It improves communication by dispelling anger and resentment and aids in the release of stress, increasing in the body both persistence and endurance.
It’s a stone to be worn with confidence – particularly when taking on one of life’s new challenges. One of Weixelbaumers’ personal favourites is the Black Betty Tri Spinel Marquise necklace in yellow gold.
The Black Onyx
A powerful protection stone, Black Onyx absorbs and transforms negative energy, leaving the wearer with only the positive. Because of this, it’s perfect for helping those in the process of throwing off the limiting shackles of past attachments and seeking comfort and peace of mind.
There’s a theory that Black Onyx draws in all manner of energies from the universe and transforms and channels them into a power that only sparks wellbeing.
The Black Diamond
When you imagine a diamond, you imagine clarity, purity and iridescent sparkle from a stone forged at the centre of the earth over millions of years. Its creation story also speaks to a measure of invincibility – there’s no material on earth tougher than the most glamorous of stones.
The Black Diamond possesses all of these qualities, despite it bearing a depth of darkness rather than a heart of light. The gem is said to enhance inner strength and justice, guiding the wearer in standing strong and holding their convictions.
The Black Sapphire
Associated with the Divine Truth and regarded as a stone of the mind, the Black Sapphire is as powerful as its more famous blue cousin. While the latter is associated with helping to relieve depression and ease anxiety, the Black Sapphire adds a grounding influence, allowing the wearer to embrace the intuition it also affords.
“Black stones are all about the gravity they carry – and inspire in the wearer,” says Weixelbaumer. “They’re a striking element across our collection, adding a dash of elegance and an intimation of mystery”.