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Demystifying the Dark Allure of Onyx
Have you ever wondered about the mystical and beautiful onyx stone? This gemstone has been revered for its unique properties and meanings for centuries. If you're interested in learning more about Onyx, then you've come to the right place.
Let us explore all there is to know about onyx, including its properties, meanings, and interesting facts. So, let's dive in and discover the fascinating world of Onyx.
What is Onyx Stone?
Onyx is a variety of mineral chalcedony, characterized by black and white bands or alternating shades of light and darker colored bands, and is often used for decorative purposes. While onyx and agate are both classified as chalcedony, the primary distinction lies in their banding patterns. Onyx exhibits parallel bands, whereas agate showcases curved bands.
Onyx is a microcrystalline mineral, meaning that its crystals are too small to be seen with the naked eye. It is a popular material for a wide range of decorative objects, including gemstones, fireplace surrounds, household furniture, and ornaments. However, It's common for people to be uncertain about the proper usage of the name Onyx.
What is Black Onyx?
Black onyx is a type of gemstone that is often dyed and can be made from black agate or black chalcedony. Throughout history, natural black onyx has been extremely rare, and most of the black onyx found in the market has been treated with various methods to achieve its black color.
In fact, in ancient times, Pliny the Elder spoke at length about techniques used to change the color of one gemstone to make it look like another. Therefore, it is important to be aware that not all black onyx is natural. In fact, the majority of Black Onyx in the market are enhanced or treated, so it is essential to buy from a reputable dealer to ensure the authenticity of the stone.
History Of Onyx Crystal
Throughout history, onyx has been utilized for a variety of purposes, including hardstone carving, jewelry, pottery, and even as a base for art deco sculptures. It has been used in Egypt as early as the Second Dynasty to make bowls and other pottery items and appears in the art of Minoan Crete.
Onyx was also known to the Ancient Greeks and Romans, with the first-century naturalist Pliny the Elder. Onyx has made a significant impact in the field of architecture and design, particularly in notable works such as Villa Tugendhat by Mies van der Rohe and the Hôtel de la Païva in Paris, where its yellow onyx decor has gained recognition.
Meanings & Benefits of Onyx Gemstone
One of the valuable features of this gemstone is its ability to promote inner strength and balance during challenging times. Onyx is believed to provide strength and support in difficult and stressful situations, promoting vigor, stamina, and determination. During challenging or stressful times, it can aid individuals in discovering inner strength and achieving balance.
Onyx holds onto memories, allowing for exploration of past lives, and is particularly comforting for those dealing with grief. This stone boosts self-confidence, eases fear associated with phobias, and balances yin and yang energies.
Onyx can support the release of negative emotions and past traumas, fostering self-control and discipline in the process. It is also believed to have protective qualities, with ancient warriors carrying it for courage and protection from harm.
Physical Properties of Onyx
COLORS: Black, white (banded). Varieties may show red, brown, yellow, and blue layers. Solid black onyx may also occur, though most such specimens are dyed.
CRYSTALLOGRAPHY: Hexagonal (trigonal), microcrystalline
ENHANCEMENT: Dyeing, heating (common)
NAME: From the Greek word for “fingernail” or “claw.”
CHEMICAL COMPOSITION: SiO2
OCCURRENCE: This can occur in a wide variety of mineral environments.
HARDNESS: 7 On the Moh scale
REFRACTIVE INDEX: 1.544-1.553
SPECIFIC GRAVITY: 2.651
MINERAL GROUP: Chalcedony
Is Onyx an Agate?
Onyx and Agate are both varieties of chalcedony, a type of microcrystalline quartz. Agate is characterized by its banded appearance, featuring multiple layers or bands of different colors within the chalcedony structure. Onyx, on the other hand, displays parallel bands in contrasting colors, most commonly black and white, within its chalcedony composition.
Although they share similarities as Chalcedony variations, Onyx and Agate possess distinct visual characteristics that set them apart from each other.
Is it Safe to Wear Onyx Gemstones?
Gem wearers can rest assured that onyx is safe to wear, as long as it is properly cut and polished, and handled with care. Despite the folklore surrounding onyxes, there is no evidence to suggest that wearing them poses any health risk.
However, gem cutters should be cautious when working with onyxes, as the silicious mineral dust from quartz may cause silicosis and silicotuberculosis. It is recommended that gem cutters use dust masks and have proper ventilation in their workspaces to minimize any potential health risks.
Uses of Onyx Crystal
The applications for onyx include its use as a decorative element in architecture, as well as in jewelry and other ornamental objects. In architecture, onyx is often used as a decorative element due to its beautiful, translucent appearance when backlit. It is commonly used for countertops, backsplashes, and wall panels. In jewelry, onyx is a popular gemstone due to its durability and versatility.
It is often used in rings, necklaces, and bracelets, and can be cut into various shapes and sizes. Onyx is also used in other ornamental objects such as vases, bowls, and figurines. Its hardness and toughness make it ideal for items that will be handled frequently and may be subject to wear and tear.
Proper Care of Onyx Gemstone
To prevent damage, onyx should be cleaned with a soft cloth and mild soap and water. Harsh chemicals and ultrasonic cleaners should be avoided. It is also important to avoid exposing onyx to extreme temperatures and direct sunlight, as this can cause discoloration and cracking.
Where To Buy Onyx Online?
There are plenty of places to buy this gem online. From specialty online shops to online giants like Amazon.
Our recommendation is to browse Amazon first to get a sense of prices, variety, and quality. Then do a detailed comparison online. Another site we have found is TinyRituals, which only sells high-quality gemstones and crystals (Grade AA or better).
Other Variations of Onyx
Black Onyx is a rare type of Chalcedony, characterized by its rough texture, jet-black color, and spiritual healing abilities. Most available stones are heat-treated and polished.
Sardonyx is a type of chalcedony that’s composed of Onyx & Sard. A highly prized gemstone renowned for its unique color, banding pattern, and durability, making it a favored choice in jewelry and decorative items throughout history.
White Onyx is a marble-like stone with calcite, that promotes calmness, clarity, and focus, aiding in thought control, patience, and meditation, while protecting and nurturing personal growth toward achieving goals.
Yellow Onyx is a variety of onyx known for its predominantly yellow color, resulting from the presence of iron oxide or other impurities. It is prized for its vibrant and warm tones and is used in various applications, including jewelry, decorative items, and architectural projects.
Red Onyx is a variety of onyx that exhibits a reddish hue due to the presence of iron oxide minerals or other impurities. It is characterized by parallel bands of red color and is utilized in jewelry and decorative items for its attractive appearance.
Pink Onyx is a variety of onyx known for its pink coloration, mostly heat treated, ranging from soft pastel pinks to deeper shades. It is prized for its delicate and feminine appearance and is utilized in jewelry, decorative items, and architectural projects.
Brown Onyx is a type of onyx characterized by bands or layers of brown color, ranging from light tan to deep chocolate tones. It is appreciated for its warm and earthy appearance, making it suitable for sculptures, decorative objects, and architectural purposes where a natural and rich aesthetic is desired.
Rainbow Onyx is a variety of onyx featuring bands or layers of vibrant colors resembling the rainbow spectrum. Its multi-hued appearance, ranging from red to violet, makes it a popular choice for ornaments and decorative purposes, infusing a lively and dynamic element into various designs.
One interesting aspect of Onyx is its association as a zodiac birthstone for the month of Leo. Leo is considered to be a fire sign, and as such, onyx is believed to enhance the natural traits of people born under this sign. These traits include creativity, passion, and leadership abilities.
Onyx is also believed to provide protection and grounding to Leos, helping them to stay focused and achieve their goals. On top of that, onyx is said to bring balance and harmony to the lives of those born under the sign of Leo, helping them to overcome challenges and find inner peace.
In a nutshell, Onyx stone holds a captivating allure that has fascinated people throughout history. It is a banded variety of agate, showcasing alternating black and white bands or shades of light and dark bands. However, the correct use of the name Onyx can sometimes be confusing
Metaphysically, onyx is believed to possess remarkable properties. By facilitating the release of negative emotions and past traumas, onyx promotes self-control and discipline. It is also associated with protective energies, courage, and grounding.
From architecture to jewelry and ornamental objects, onyx is widely appreciated for its versatility. Whether it is black, green, sardonyx, white, or blue onyx, this gemstone offers a captivating range of variations.
Who should not wear Onyx Stone?
If you find it challenging to face and let go of negative emotions, Onyx Stone may not be the best choice for you.
Is Onyx good or bad luck?
Onyx is widely believed to bring positive energy, protection, and grounding, making it a stone associated with good luck rather than bad luck.
Is Onyx an expensive stone?
Onyx is generally an affordable gemstone. The various colors of onyx have different price ranges, but overall, they are considered moderately priced. Black onyx is a popular choice and often treated, which makes it less expensive than natural black onyx stones.
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