coal: [OE] In Old English, col meant ‘glowing ember’. It came from a prehistoric Germanic *kolam (source also of German kohle and Dutch kool), which may be related to Irish Gaelic gual ‘coal’. By the 12th century at the latest it was also being used for ‘charcoal’ (the word charcoal is based on it), but it was not until the mid 13th century that the modern application to the black solid fossil fuel appears.
It seems quite likely that the word’s underlying etymological meaning is ‘glow’. Derived from coal are collier , which originally meant ‘charcoal-burner’, colliery , and possibly collie , on the basis of its dark colour. => charcoal, collier
Old English col "charcoal, live coal," from Proto-Germanic *kula(n) (cognates: Old Frisian kole, Middle Dutch cole, Dutch kool, Old High German chol, German Kohle, Old Norse kol), from PIE root *g(e)u-lo- "live coal" (cognates: Irish gual "coal").
Meaning "mineral consisting of fossilized carbon" is from mid-13c. First mentioned (370 B.C.E.) by Theophrastus in his treatise "On Stones" under the name lithos anthrakos (see anthrax). Traditionally good luck, coal was given as a New Year's gift in England, said to guarantee a warm hearth for the coming year. The phrase drag (or rake) over the coals was a reference to the treatment meted out to heretics by Christians. To carry coals "do dirty work," also "submit to insult" is from 1520s. To carry coals to Newcastle (c. 1600) Anglicizes Greek glauk eis Athenas "owls to Athens."