Grey gemstones represents the balance in the universe. It's the calming force between black and white, enhanced by the silvery light of the moon.
They're not the most popular colored gemstones, but have definitely carved out their place among colored stones.
In this article, you'll learn:
What gray gemstones are
Where to buy them
And the different types of gray gemstones when it comes to fine jewelry!
What Are Grey Gemstones?
Grey isn't a popular gemstone color. Many grey gemstones are affordable. Higher quality stones tend to cost more, but not all. A grey diamond is still a diamond, but this color is cheaper than most other diamonds. Grey sapphires and grey spinels can be more expensive too.
The color gray is associated with the silvery light of the moon. Grey gemstones are said to have a hold of negative thoughts as well as helping create new beginnings.
Majority of grey stone jewelry isn't suitable for facetable pieces or isn't in high demands. More affordable grey gemstones also tend to have worse wearability for daily wear. But that doesn't mean you can't wear those gemstones on occasion.
What's the Best Metal for a Grey Gemstone?
You should never let anyone convince what to like, and that includes your ring metal. You should wear what you love and reflects your personality and style.
According to color science, there are some colors that are said to look better with skin tones. They use the same concept for makeup. Grey is a cool toned color. Cool colors look better on people with blue veins.
Grey gemstones are said to look best against other cool colored metals. The most popular are white gold, platinum, and sterling silver. If looking for a grey gemstone engagement ring, I don't recommend the upkeep of sterling silver.
Like I said though, choose what you like. I think some stones look great in yellow gold, while others look better in white or rose. Many black gemstones look striking in yellow gold. You just don't want the yellow to overpower your grey stone.
13 Most Popular Gray Gemstones
1. Grey Moonstone
Moonstone is known as a blue or white stone, but it has different shades. Gray moonstone isn't the most sought after variety, but its smooth texture and milky gray color leaves something to be desired.
Gray moonstone should be worn sparingly and with care. It has poor wearability due to its soft chemical structure. Despite this, every gemstone has their place in a jewelry collection. If you choose gray moonstone jewelry, don't expect this stone to sparkle.
Grey moonstone can be faceted, but is most attractive when carved en cabochon.
Moonstone closely relates to the dispelling of negative energy like all gray gemstones. It also shared the same feminine energy and silvery reflection of the moon. Moonstone has been associated with fertility and femininity since ancient times.
Read also: Moonstone vs. Opal
2. Grey Tourmaline
Tourmaline is one of the popular and affordable colored gemstones. In most colors, that is. High quality pink and Imperial tourmaline go for higher prices.
Gray tourmaline is one of the rarer colors too. Despite its rarity, it isn't in high demand. The demand for gemstone can heavily contribute its cost. You can find grey tourmaline stones between $30-50 per carat.
Tourmaline's gray shades won't be pure gray. Expect to see other hues, depending on your light source. Some may have light secondary shades of green, blue, or purple hues.
This gem has a good resistance to daily wear against dust and scratching. It rates a 7 on the mineral scale of hardness. The mohs scale assesses the daily resistance to scratching, but not the durability of the stone.
Most faceted gemstones have fall under levels of gemstone cleavage. It determines the resistance of the gemstone regarding accidental impacts. Impacts like hitting it against a surface, or dropping it from a decent height.
Tourmaline has a higher chance of being damaged on accident if worn daily. Its gemstone cleavage is considered perfect. That means the chances of it splitting along one impact is raised as opposed to other gems.
3. Gray Diamonds
Don't confuse fancy gray diamonds with salt and pepper diamonds. Salt and pepper diamonds are colorless diamonds many visible inclusions. Often times they're sold for way more than they're worth in the diamond industry.
The crystal structure is a gray color, caused by hydrogen in its formation. They can have high clarity with few inclusions, or low clarity with more. Gray diamonds are a fun choice for someone looking for an alternative to a traditional diamond engagement ring.
They're not the most popular shades of colored diamonds, but they are different. A gray diamond costs close to the same as a good quality colorless diamond. You can obtain a light or dark grey diamond.
Other colors like pink, blue, and green diamonds are more expensive. Black, brown, gray, white, and yellow diamonds tend to be more affordable. Like a grey diamond, brown diamonds are often marketed for more than they're worth.
Most people go towards black diamonds when choosing a more striking and dramatic appearance. Gray diamonds are a great way to stand out.
Diamonds have the best resistance to scratching and are the hardest mineral on the Mohs scale. They have perfect cleavage, just like tourmaline. A protective ring setting will decrease the chances of accidental damage over the years. But just because your chances are increased, doesn't mean it will happen. Keep that in mind.
4. Grey Agate
Unpopularity is a common theme of gray gemstones. People rarely request gray colored stones. It's especially true for gray agate. Agate is a variety of the mega mineral species, chalcedony. The main difference between the two stones is recognizability.
Agate is known as a translucent material with bands throughout its form. There's many varieties of agate, but gray agate is one of the least popular. Most agates are affordable in large sizes, but they're not facetable. Often times these stones are used as display specimens or home decor.
They have no gemstone cleavage, so the durability for these stones. Despite this, most people look for a transparent stone as an engagement ring. You'll find gray agate crafted into bohemian style jewelry. Your local rock or crystal shop may carry this gray stone. You'll also find it online at places like Etsy.
If you're buying simple pieces of grey agate, it's extremely affordable. Carved pieces or ones with attractive patterns command higher prices.
5. Grey Chalcedony
Chalcedony is a form of quartz with a microcrystalline structure. Gemstone jewelry with this kind of structure tend to be more durable. Grey chalcedony isn't transparent. Instead, it's translucent.
It's often confused with gray agate. They're almost the same stone. The main difference between the two is the colors. A piece of translucent banded gray chalcedony is grey agate. If the grey chalcedony is solid gray colored and translucent, it's called grey chalcedony.
All varieties of this grey gemstone are highly affordable and most often found as carved pieces or cabochons. In jewelry, you'll find it as large costume pieces or bohemian styled jewelry.
6. Grey Labradorite
Labradorite is a highly affordable gemstone most recognizable for its blue or purple varieties. It also comes in gray. Grey labradorite is one of the more popular grey gemstones due to its unique labradorescence. Labradorite with a white base is called rainbow moonstone.
A gray labradorite exhibiting color flashes at different angles are the most desired look. Fortunately, all labradorite is known for its color flashes. Like agate, you don't see this gray stone faceted much, but rather as a display piece.
Labradorite is highly popular among those interested or practicing crystal healing. It's often carved into large cabochons as palm stones or other carvings. It's believe to have metaphysical properties.
Read also: Rainbow Moonstone vs. Moonstone
7. Gray Spinel
A lot of people forget about spinel today. In ancient civilizations, it was regarded as one of most popular gemstones. However, gray spinel wasn't one of them. Red spinel was commonly confused with rubies. There are a few famous red spinels that have been misnamed as rubies since early in history.
Gray spinel is more affordable because of its low demand. Most often people are looking for bright colors of spinel, or the colorless variety. Colorless spinel a gem used as a diamond simulant. However, it's even less popular as white topaz and white sapphire became the better choice.
Read also: White Topaz vs Diamond
The grey stone has its perks though. Grey spinel is not only crystal clear, but it's singly refractive. Diamonds are too. When a light enters the stone, it refracts back out. This gives them their sparkle. However, they can cost a few thousand dollars for high quality gems.
8. Gray Sapphire
Sapphire is a familiar gemstone species to most people. Even if you're not an expert in gemstones, you probably know sapphire. You might only know it as a blue stone. Well, surprise. Like many other gemstones, sapphires come in a almost every color.
Not shockingly, gray sapphire is a little more difficult to find. Its popularity as a gemstone isn't high. But if you're looking for a gray gemstone engagement ring, gray sapphires are one of the better options.
Sapphires of every color have excellent hardness. They are the second hardest natural mineral in the world. The only gemstone that falls between them and diamonds is moissanite. However, moissanite is most popular as a durable colorless diamond alternative. They don't have cleavage either.
Read also: Best Places to Buy Moissanite
9. Gray Fluorite
Fluorite is another gemstone used mostly in crystal healing practices. It is known as a gemstone with a strong energy. It is absorbs negative energy and provides balance to both the mind and body.
You will see it carved into various shapes. Rainbow fluorite is common in tower shapes. Collectors love this gemstone as a display piece, especially with its prominent cubic formation.
A lot of people don't know fluorite comes in gray shades. Aside from crystals and specimen pieces, you won't see many gray fluorite engagement rings or bridal sets. It has a low hardness and can splinter.
10. Grey Pearls
They are best known as nature's gemstone of the sea. Although a strand of pearls has always been a classic staple in jewelry, they're not the best gemstones for rings. Pearls have a natural and soft exterior. They're most desired in round shapes, which stick out more in rings.
Grey pearls aren't a natural colored pearl. Many freshwater pearls can be dyed to all sorts of different colors. You can obtain a light grey or dark grey pearl. The only untreated gray pearls are Tahitian pearls.
Read also: Natural vs Cultured Pearls
11. Tahitian Pearls
Not all Tahitian pearls fall under the category of gray gemstones. Pearls have a distinct appearance with overtones and undertones. They may look more blue than gray, greenish gray, or colored similar to an oil spill. A tahitian pearl can have dark gray undertone. It can also have blue or green undertones.
They are the most valued type of saltwater pearls. Virtually all pearls are cultured today. Cultured Tahitian pearls are less expensive, but can still cost a thousands depending on quality and how many in the piece.
Read also: Freshwater vs Saltwater Pearls
12. Mother of Pearl
Mother of pearl is one of the components that produces a pearl inside a mollusk. Different types of pearls come from different types of mollusks. Mother of pearl is made up of nacre, the an ingredient needed for a mollusk to produce a pearl.
An irritant has to be introduced to an oyster for it to produce nacre. Mother of pearl is an iridescent brittle form of calcium carbonate. Like pearls, it's very delicate.
13. Tourmalinated Quartz
Tourmalinated quartz is a piece of white quartz with black tourmaline inclusions throughout it. The base color is a chalky light gray. It contrasts well against the striking inclusions.
Black tourmaline is a favorite for crystal healing practice. It focuses heavily on dispelling, rappelling, and neutralizing negative emotions.
This gray gemstone isn't used much in jewelry, but more for collectors and metaphysical purposes.
Where to Buy Grey Gemstones?
Finding every one of these grey gemstones can be a feat. As you've learned, most people aren't looking for grey stones. As more people shift to buying gemstones online, the interest seems to be growing.
I recommend checking out Leibish and Co. if you're looking a high quality grey diamond. Leibish is one of the most popular places online for colored diamonds. They have a good selection of certified gray diamonds and a reputation you can trust.
James Allen's grey diamonds are a great option too, especially if you're on a budget. Their engagement ring settings have a larger and more affordable selection than Leibish.
Brilliant Earth allows you to search for a grey gemstone based on its color. They carry grey spinel and grey sapphire currently. Brilliant Earth prides themselves on their ethical platform of diamond and gemstone sourcing.
Blue Nile carries a nice selection of cultured Tahitian pearls. For all other grey stones, I recommend checking out Etsy. Just make sure to read entire listings.