Home Knowledges Black Tourmaline vs. Black Onyx: What’s the Differences?

Black Tourmaline vs. Black Onyx: What’s the Differences?

by Madonna

In the realm of gemstones, the allure of black stones is undeniable. Their deep, enigmatic hues have captivated humans for centuries, making them popular choices for both jewelry and spiritual practices. Two such black gemstones that often find themselves in the spotlight are Black Tourmaline and Black Onyx. While they share a similar aesthetic, these stones are distinct in their composition, properties, and historical significance. In this article, we unravel the differences between Black Tourmaline and Black Onyx, shedding light on their unique attributes.

Composition and Formation of Black Tourmaline

Black tourmaline, also known as schorl, is a mineral belonging to the tourmaline group. It is composed of complex aluminum borosilicate compounds with additional elements like iron, magnesium, and other trace minerals. The deep black color of black tourmaline is often due to high concentrations of iron.


Formation occurs through hydrothermal processes, where hot fluids carrying minerals infiltrate cracks and voids in existing rocks. As these fluids cool and solidify, they deposit the minerals, including black tourmaline, forming elongated prismatic crystals. It can be found in a variety of geological settings, including igneous and metamorphic rocks.


Black tourmaline is renowned for its electrical properties; it’s pyroelectric, meaning it can generate an electric charge when heated or cooled, and piezoelectric, producing a charge when pressure is applied. Due to its unique structure and properties, black tourmaline is often used in metaphysical practices and is believed to possess protective and grounding energies, shielding against negative influences.


Metaphysical and Spiritual Properties of Black Tourmaline

Black tourmaline is revered for its potent metaphysical properties. It’s prized as a powerful protective stone that forms a shield against negative energies and psychic attacks. This gem is believed to promote grounding, connecting individuals to the Earth’s stabilizing energy. It’s thought to cleanse and purify the aura, aiding in dispelling negative thought patterns and anxieties. Black tourmaline’s presence is associated with emotional stability, enhancing self-confidence and deflecting feelings of fear. It’s considered a key tool for empaths, as it helps in maintaining energetic boundaries. Overall, black tourmaline is embraced for its ability to create a sense of security and spiritual empowerment.

What Is Onyx?

Onyx is a cryptocrystalline variety of quartz, characterized by its smooth and glossy appearance. It typically consists of alternating layers of black and white bands, although it can also come in other colors. These bands are often parallel and create an eye-catching contrast. Onyx is commonly used in jewelry and ornamental carvings due to its elegant and sleek appearance. It holds significance in various cultures and is believed to have protective and grounding properties. Onyx is associated with the root chakra and is often used for fostering inner strength, focus, and emotional balance.

The historical and cultural significance of black agate

Black agate, a type of chalcedony, holds historical and cultural importance across civilizations. In ancient times, it was used for amulets and engraved seals for protection and power. In Islamic culture, it’s believed that the Prophet Muhammad wore a black agate ring for its spiritual benefits. Native American tribes valued black agate for its connection to the Earth and its ability to ground energies. In modern practices, it’s considered a stone of strength and stability, helping to dispel negativity and enhance inner strength. Its deep black color and historical symbolism continue to make it a cherished gemstone with enduring significance.

Distinguishing Between Black Tourmaline and Black Onyx

Although both black tourmaline and black agate are black, they also have certain differences. The following are the differences between black tourmaline and black agate:

1. Physical Appearance

While both Black Tourmaline and Black Onyx share a black color, they can be differentiated by their physical characteristics. Black Tourmaline is often found in prismatic or columnar formations, with a distinctive striated surface. Black Onyx, on the other hand, has a smooth and uniform appearance. Its polished surface often showcases a glossy luster.

2. Composition and Mineral Family

Black Tourmaline belongs to the Tourmaline mineral family, which encompasses a variety of colors. Black Onyx is a type of chalcedony, a form of microcrystalline quartz. The differing mineral compositions contribute to variations in their metaphysical properties.

3. Energetic Attributes

While both stones offer protective energies, their specific attributes differ. Black Tourmaline is renowned for its electromagnetic protection and aura-cleansing abilities. Black Onyx, on the other hand, emphasizes emotional balance, inner strength, and grounding.

See Also: Shungite VS Black Tourmaline: Are they the same?

Metaphysical and Spiritual Properties of Black Tourmaline

Black tourmaline is highly regarded in metaphysical and spiritual practices for its powerful protective and grounding properties. Here are some of its key attributes:

1. Protection:

Black tourmaline is often used as a protective talisman against negative energies, psychic attacks, and electromagnetic radiation. It’s believed to create a shield that repels and absorbs harmful energies, promoting a sense of safety and security.

2. Grounding and Balance:

This gemstone is associated with the root chakra, helping to establish a strong connection to the Earth and promoting feelings of stability and grounding. It’s thought to bring a sense of balance during times of stress or anxiety.

3. Energetic Cleansing:

Black tourmaline is believed to purify and cleanse the energy field, helping to remove stagnant or negative energies that may be affecting one’s emotional or spiritual well-being.

4. Emotional Stability:

It’s said to have a calming influence on the mind and emotions, reducing feelings of fear, anxiety, and worry. By creating a sense of stability, it can enhance emotional resilience.

5. Spiritual Growth:

Black tourmaline’s grounding qualities can aid in meditation and spiritual practices by helping individuals stay centered and focused. It’s believed to facilitate a deeper connection to higher states of consciousness.

While many people find value in the metaphysical properties of black tourmaline, these beliefs are based on spiritual and holistic traditions rather than scientific evidence. If you’re drawn to black tourmaline’s qualities, incorporating it into your spiritual practices or daily life can provide a sense of comfort and empowerment.

See Also: The Energetic Associations: Black Tourmaline & The Root Chakra

Black Onyx and Black Tourmaline: Which to Choose?

Choosing between Black Onyx and Black Tourmaline depends on your specific needs and intentions:

Choose Black Onyx if:

  • You’re looking for a stone that promotes emotional balance, inner strength, and self-confidence.
  • You want a stylish and versatile gemstone for jewelry or ornamental purposes.
  • You’re drawn to the grounding and protective qualities of black stones, but also want a stone that enhances your inner resilience.
  • You resonate with the idea of absorbing and transforming negative energies.

Choose Black Tourmaline if:

  • You’re seeking a potent protective stone that shields against negative energies, psychic attacks, and electromagnetic radiation.
  • You’re looking for a stone that enhances grounding and provides a strong connection to the Earth’s energy.
  • You’re interested in energy work, meditation, or spiritual practices that involve shielding and clearing your energy field.
  • You want a stone that’s commonly used by empaths and energy healers for maintaining energetic boundaries.

Ultimately, the choice comes down to your intentions and what you’re drawn to. If possible, you could consider both stones. You might wear Black Onyx for its emotional stability and self-assuredness benefits and use Black Tourmaline for protection during meditation or energy work. Trust your intuition and research to make a choice that resonates with you on a personal level.

See Also: How Much Black Tourmaline Do I Need: A Comprehensive Guide

In Conclusion

While Black Tourmaline and Black Onyx both exude an air of mystery with their deep black hues, their distinct properties and origins set them apart. Black Tourmaline’s emphasis on energetic protection and purification contrasts with Black Onyx’s focus on emotional strength and grounding. Whether you’re drawn to the shielding qualities of Black Tourmaline or the empowering attributes of Black Onyx, both stones serve as timeless reminders of the unique ways gemstones contribute to our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.


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