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So many stones look alike that a little bit of help may be needed to identify exactly what you’re dealing with.

Astrophyllite skull c. Judy Hall

Astrophyllite skull c. Judy Hall

Smoky Quartz

Images: www.exquisitecrystals.com

Really dark black Smoky Quartz has often been artificially irradiated but it is possible to obtain in a dark form that is natural. Potent Morion Quartz has been naturally irradiated to its dark depths. Always check with the supplier.

Shungite

Images c. Jeni Campbell

Very dense, coal-like, carbon stone. When ‘ordinary grade’ Shungite is raw, it powders and breaks easily, leaving a difficult to remove ‘greasy’ black dust. No matter how much it is polished or tumbled, ‘ordinary grade’ Shungite always leaves that faint black mark when rubbed. High grade Elite Shungite is shiny and silvery, often with golden pyrite inclusions.  Elite Shungite does not tumble as it is too brittle.

Black Tourmaline

c. www.exquisitecrystals.com

Dense, shiny, striated and typically hexagonal – although the sides may not be of even width. May include mica. When tumbled, the stone feels ‘heavy.’

Black Obsidian

Black Obsidian c. Jeni Campbell

c. Jeni Campbell

Translucent when held to the light, Obsidian is non-crystalline and very, very sharp when flaked.

Apache Tear

A gentler version of Black Obsidian, Apache Tears have been water-tumbled and are therefore less sharp or angular.

Master Shamanite

Master Shamanite c. Michael Illas

c. Michael Illas

Master Shamanite is a dense black, carbon-rich Calcite, shiny in places. Formed in masses rather than single crystals, it is only found in the mountains of Colerado.

Black Kyanite

Black Kyanite

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A ribbed ‘fan’ of crystal black Kyanite may have a faintly luminous, almost metallic sheen to it.

Cradle of Humankind (Life)

The Cradle comes from the cave where the first pro-humans were found. It is a dullish greyish-black rock rather than a crystal but when polished exhibits colours.

Wind Fossil Agate

c. Jeni Campbell

c. Jeni Campbell

Imitating a wind-scoured rock, Wind Fossil Agate has whorls and bands, cracks filled with white. (It is also available in a blue form.)

Freedom Stone

c. Michael Illas Crystal Companion

c. Michael Illas Crystal Companion

A limestone rock from the quarry where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, Freedom Stone is a dull grey rock with little to distinguish it from other rocks except its meaningful source.

Black Moonstone

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Translucent, iridescent and shimmering, Black Moonstone looks and feels like a typical Moonstone but the colour is black.

Black Phantom Lemurian

Black Phantom Lemurian

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A Black Phantom Lemurian is the usual striated clear Lemurian Quartz with an added extra: internal black phantoms or strands.

Black Quartz (Tourmalinated Quartz)

Black Quartz (Tourmalinated Quartz)

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Black Quartz is created by the inclusion of Tourmaline within the crystals. In its less dense form, the Tourmaline creates Tourmalinated Quartz.

c. Michael Illas Crystal Companion

c. Michael Illas Crystal Companion

 

Nuummite

When tumbled or polished grainy Nuummite shows flashes of deep orange and yellowish-white, often in straight lines.

Astrophyllite

Images c. Michael Illas, Crystal Companion

When tumbled or polished, Astrophyllite displays organised colour flashes that burst out in a fan from a central point. It resembles the night sky.

Chrysanthemum Stone

Chrysanthemum Stone c. Michael Illas

c. Michael Illas

Dense black or greyish stone with distinctive white chrysanthemum-like flower markings.

Jet

Jet

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Jet is a type of lignite, a precursor to coal, and is of organic origin, being created from decaying wood under extreme pressure. When polished or tumbled it has a hard, shiny finish. When raw, it is duller and somewhat coal-like in appearance and may carry the imprint of wood.

Psilolamene

Psilolamene

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Dense, shiny when tumbled and carrying lines or whorls in whitish-grey, Psilolomene may also exhibit a metallic lustre.

Specularite

Specularite

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The night sky in miniature! Speckled with tiny flecks of white, deep black Specularite resembles the milky way seen on a clear night.

Black Opal

Black Opals have carbon and iron oxide trace elements, causing the unusual darkness of the stone. Because of their dark body tone, the rainbow colours in a Black Opal stand out much better than lighter forms. These scintillating colours make Black Opal very valuable as a gemstone. But for healing purposes the all-black or very lightly opalised stones work equally well.

Black Onyx

Onyx is a banded stone that needs to be cut cross-wise to show the intricate pattern of the banding, but some Black Onyx tumbles and palmstones are cut purely from the black portion of the stone. The stone is dense and highly shiny when polished.

Goethite

Images http://rruff.info

Goethite often has a distinctly metallic tinge to its striations. It may appear as thin lines or masses within other crystals. It can also take on a botryoidal form that resembles Hematite but is blacker.

Goethite