Name: Onyx
Color(s): Onyx is a form can come in almost any color.
Mineral Information: Microcrystalline quartz, chalcedony group
Chemical Make-up: SiO2
Hardness: 6.5-7
Where they are found: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Germany,India, Madagascar, the UK, and various states in the US
About Stone: The pure black form is the most famous, especially for beads. The most common form has the appearance of parallel lines running through the stone in alternating bands. Sardonyx is a banded variety of onyx with shades of red and brown. Much of what is sold as onyx is actually agate that has been stained.
The name “onyx” comes from the Greek for “fingernail,” referring to the translucence of the white-colored layer of the multi-layered stone. According to myth, Cupid trimmed the nails of the sleeping Venus. The Fates turned those clippings into stone to prevent even a part of Venus from dying.
The Romans were expert at glyptography (the carving of layered stones to reveal different colors) and crafted beautiful seals from onyx (white layer over black base) and sardonyx (white layer over reddish-brown base). The patterns were cut in negative relief. Engravings with a negative picture are called intaglios and those with raised image are cameos. In the Middle East, onyx was associated with sorcerers.
Zodiac Association: Capricorn
Metaphysical Properties: An excellent stone for releasing negative emotions such as sorrow and grief, and therefore brings good fortune and helps in recognizing personal strength. Helps in relaxation, and in facing various challenges in life, especially if one suffers from a lack of life energy and exhaustion. It increases strength, endurance, perseverance, and explosivity.