When you think of a dramatic black gemstone, your mind immediately goes to onyx. The onyx is a favorite gem, but if you want to really make a bold statement; consider the black sapphire. Not all sapphires come in the traditional rich blue. In fact, sapphires can be pink, violet, yellow, green, white, or black in color.
One important difference between an onyx and a sapphire is the hardness. Sapphires of any color are among the hardest gemstones, coming in at 9 out of 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. This makes a black sapphire a great choice over onyx for a ring or pendant.
Sapphires have a long history of association with many cultures and beliefs. The black sapphire is no different. In the Hindu culture of Bali, black is associated with the God of Vishnu, deity of springs and protection. Black sapphires are believed to represent protection and intuition. Some believe they can cool tense situations, dispel anxiety, and enhance courage. It has also been suggested to wear a black sapphire if you want to deflect negativity, sorrow, and shock. Manat, the Arabian goddess of destiny, time, and death, wore this dramatic gem, as did Cybele, the Roman Earth mother and goddess of wild animals.
From a strictly geological standpoint, you’ll only find black sapphires in Australia and Vietnam. After being under the Earth’s surface for many thousands of years, the stone picks up its color from impurities present while it was being formed. It’s a variety of the mineral corundum. Its name comes from the Greek word "sappherios" which means precious stone.
Designers and customers alike are rediscovering this profound jewel. Here are some of our favorite pieces featuring black sapphire from John Hardy’s collection:
Black Sapphire Drop Earrings
Black Sapphire Dragon Bracelet
Black Sapphire Bamboo Pendant
Black Sapphire Loop and Hook Ring