Described as a variety of agate, theonyx is popular all over the world. Renowned for its distinct band-like appearance, higher quality specimens of this stone are often used injewelry in precious stone.
L'onyx is a stone that appears in various cultures and is considered one of the most popular gemstones in the world.
The name "Onyx" derives from the Greek word "onux", which means "nail". The name of the stone would be linked to a Greek legend. According to this legend, Eros cut Aphrodite's fingernails while she slept and the gods turned the clippings into stone.
Onyx usually has a black base and a white top, but specimens of other colors can also be found, such as brown and red. Among the most common varieties of this gemstone are sardony onyx, which has a white top layer and brown base, and carnelian onyx, which has a red base and white top layer.
While black onyx is the most famous variety, sard onyx and cornelian onyx are actually more common. In this article, we explore this gemstone in more detail.
How to identify onyx
Even to the untrained eye, onyx can be identified quite easily. With its characteristic black and white bands, this stone is rarely confused with other gemstones. In general, onyx gemstones have a black base and a white top layer, but coloring can vary depending on the type of onyx. For example, Sardinian onyx has a brown base, and carnelian onyx has a red base. Some specimens may appear as a single color. In this case, the gem is more difficult to identify and can be confused with other similar stones.
As mentioned earlier, onyx is a form of agate, which means the stone is related to all other varieties of quartz. When the stone is one color, it can become difficult to distinguish from black jade, tourmaline, and black diamond. For trained professionals, however, identification is simple, as onyx is much softer and less lustrous than other similar-looking stones. The gemstone can also be confused with jet; however, jet is much softer than onyx which measures 7 on the Mohs scale.
The different colors and types of onyx
Onyx is constructed from strips of chalcedony; usually these are black and white, with bands of alternating colors. Occasionally specimens may be brown or red, rather than black. For example, a variant of onyx called Sardonyx has brown bands instead of black.
While black onyx is the best known variety, it is actually less common than red or brown banded onyx. As with most gemstones, onyx often undergoes artificial treatments to enhance the coloration of specimens. Various dyes are used to enhance the black color of black onyx and the brown color of sardonyx. It is surprising to find that most of the black onyx sold today on the market are artificially colored.
The name black onyx is sometimes incorrectly used to refer to similar-looking materials. For example, Banded Calcite is often mistakenly called Black Onyx. As calcite is readily available, the material is much cheaper; therefore, stores can cut, polish, and sell the stone for less than real onyx.
Where do you find onyx?
Unlike many gemstones, onyx deposits are found in various locations around the world. Notable sources include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, India, Botswana, Madagascar, Mexico, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Uruguay, and the United States.
Healing properties of onyx
Like most gemstones, onyx has many benefits when used for crystal healing. The stone is believed to strengthen the immune system and bring strength and vitality to the human body. For this reason, onyx is ideal for people who often suffer from periods of illness. The gemstone is also believed to prevent relapses after illness, helping the body fight off germs before the effects are felt. In addition, onyx improves cell regeneration and the absorption of liquids and nutrients, beneficial qualities in times of illness.
Onyx would also improve the functioning of nerves and sensory organs. Particularly beneficial for the ear, the gemstone can sharpen hearing and help fight diseases of the inner ear. Also, the stone is believed to be beneficial for teeth and bones. Relieving the symptoms of bone marrow and soft tissue disorders, the stone is ideal for those who suffer from chronic health conditions. When used in crystal healing, onyx is believed to work best with the root chakra. In this light, this stone can be beneficial for people who suffer from weak legs, knees or ankles.
Emotionally, onyx stabilizes the emotional body. Thought to bring strength in difficult times, this stone can be helpful to those who suffer from mental and physical stress. By helping to calm the nerves, onyx can be helpful to those who suffer from anxiety. By restoring rational thinking, the gemstone can help eliminate feelings of worry and fear. Also, onyx is considered beneficial for self-confidence. Often seen as a gift for making wise decisions, the stone improves focus, self-confidence and assertiveness.
Gem-quality onyx is popular around the world. Today, high-quality specimens come from various places around the world, including Australia, Brazil, and India. Popular for its unique appearance, gem-quality onyx is often used in gemstone jewelry. Whether you hope to use the stone for its benefits in crystal healing or are looking for a beautiful addition to your jewelry collection, buy a good quality piece of onyx to reap the rewards.