Black Tourmaline Vs. Onyx: What Is The Main Difference?

Last Updated on July 6, 2022

Many people tend to confuse onyx and black tourmaline because they look similar. They are used in making jewelry and have roots in many ancient uses.

However, they have certain distinctions in colors, and they have different healing powers.

So, if you want to understand the difference between black tourmaline and onyx, you are in the right place. Here is your complete guide.

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Black Tourmaline Vs. Onyx: What Are The Main Differences?

There are a few main differences that exist between these two powerful stones. These include:

1. Color

While both stones look black, there are some color distinctions that make each stone unique. For example, onyx is known for its intense black color.

However, there are certain stones that include noticeable white bands across the surface.

Of course, that is not the case with black tourmaline. For example, the stone is completely black, and there are no additional colors inside it.

When you polish the stone, you can notice some grey or brown veins that show up on the surface.

You will notice these color distinctions when you examine the stones closely. That is why be sure to notice the colors before you decide to purchase black tourmaline or onyx.

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2. Healing Properties

Many gemstones and crystals are said to have healing properties that you can benefit from. Even black tourmaline and onyx have such properties.

Of course, each of them has unique properties and will enhance your life in different ways.

Black onyx is said to enhance your focus and your determination and passion for chasing after your dreams and goals. It also surrounds you with an aura of protection that will help you remain balanced, grounded, and protected.

The stone works to absorb all the negative energies around you so that you can make decisions that serve you well. On the other hand, black tourmaline is said to protect you in multiple ways.

That is because the stone forms a protective shield around you that helps you to gain a sense of calmness, self-control, and tranquility. You will always remain safe whenever you have this stone with you.

3. Mineral Composition

Another important difference between black tourmaline and onyx is their mineral composition. Black onyx is from the silicate family and is made of silicone. It also has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale.

On the other hand, black tourmaline has a significant chemical composition. That is because the stone belongs to various silicates, such as alkalis, magnesium, iron, and more. You will find black tourmaline in a raw state in the form of sticks.

Besides that, the stone has a hardness level between 7 and 7.5 on the Mohs scale. It will also have cracks sometimes as the stone is rough.

4. Raw Black Tourmaline And Onyx

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Both the stones come in raw and polished forms. When you look at raw black tourmaline, it has long striated shapes that will cover the surface. You can feel these lines on every part of the stone when you touch the surface.

Raw black onyx has a normal appearance of rock because there is no visible pattern like black tourmaline. However, it will have an uneven façade and a glossy finish. That is why raw black onyx will feel much smoother than raw black tourmaline.

5. Polished Black Tourmaline And Onyx

Polished black tourmaline also has different characteristics than polished black onyx. For example, the polished black tourmaline will have an exterior that looks polished and silky.

However, you will still notice some white veins, fissures, holes, and more that will be there on the surface. That is why when you take a closer look, you will find that even the polished black tourmaline is not completely smooth.

There will be some cracks on its exterior that will be noticeable. On the other hand, a polished black onyx is smooth and reflective.

When you look at this polished stone, it will not show any cracks, veins, or scratches that a black tourmaline showcases. That is why the appearance will be smooth as compared to the black tourmaline.

However, there might be a few polished black onyx stones that have some imperfections. Such imperfections will be incredibly subtle, and you will not notice them unless you take a microscope or other such device.

These differences make the polished black onyx look much smoother and silkier when you compare it to black tourmaline. You can decide which one you would want for the purpose you want to use this stone.

Jackie Palmer is a Houston-based coin journalist and fashion enthusiast. She joined Jewels Advisor’s content team after years of experience as a content strategist, managing blogs and social channels for local stores. Jackie mostly collects and studies US coins produced during the 20th century and over the years, published hundreds of articles for multiple coin publications.