Facts About Onyx
by Madhubanti Rudra
The myth that onyx originated from the body part of Venus, known for alluring beauty, justifies the stone’s fine texture and lustrous black colour. Originally onyx is chalcedony quartz, which falls in the microcrystalline category. It is formed in the gas cavities of lava.
Facts About Onyx
The Greek mythological literature is full of fascinating tales which even in
this age of computer attracts the young and old alike. It is just mind boggling
to revel through the pages of such legends and folklores, depicting the antics
of cupids and demons, the accomplishments of the handsome Gods and goddesses
and so on. One such interesting story explains the appearance of Onyx on this
earth. This story is associated with the Greek icon, Venus. The legend goes like
this- one day Venus was asleep when a mischievous cupid cut her fingernails and
flew away leaving the finger clips scattered on the ground. Latter by the
design of the god, these fingernails were transformed into stone that came to
be known to the world as onyx. The name draws its origin from the word, onyx
which in Greek language means fingernails. In latter course of history,
this stone became famous in the hands of Romans, who crafted beautiful seals out of onyx.
The patterns were cut into negative
reliefs which were famously called
intaglios. The myth that for this gemstone originated from the body part of Venus, known for
alluring beauty, justifies the stone's fine texture and lustrous black
Originally onyx is chalcedony quartz, which falls in the microcrystalline
category. It is formed in the gas cavities of lava.
This gemstone is basically a multilayered stone like agates and depending on the different
onyx can be divided into a few separate categories. Generally, when the stone
has a black base and a white upper layer, it is called Onyx. Some onyx displays
white and lighter reddish bands or ribbons of silicon di-oxide against a brown
background, this variety is known as Sardonyx. When the onyx has a red base, it
is known as Cornelian-onyx.
The black onyx, the most popular among all the varieties of onyx actually is
grey chalcedony. The rich black
color is the result of profuse chemical
treatment. In order to bring out the black, the grey stone is saturated with a
solution of cobalt chlorate and chlorammonium. Immersion of the stone for a
prolonged period in a sugar solution and then heating in sulphuric acid to
carbonize the sugar also leave the stone with a brilliant black
has a moderate hardness ranking 6.5 - 7 on the mhos scale. Its texture makes it
ideal for carving and is choice for material lapidary artists.
Although onyx is found worldwide, the most important place of its mining is
Brazil. Brazil supplies the best multi-colored untreated chalcedony. In
addition to that it also occurs in India, California, U.S.A, Uruguay and
Madagascar. Gray chalcedony is found in India and China. If international
trends are something to go by, the emphasis on spiritual or mystical aspects of
the gemstones have become the latest rage across the globe. The belief is
getting increasing strong that chemical structure of the stones have the power
to attract different energetic vibration, which can positively affect the mind
and body of the wearer. This
stone is believed to have many such mystic powers.
These beliefs about the mystic power of onyx vary from country to country. In
Middle East, it is associated with the lives and ways of the sorcerers. In
India it is believed to calm the ardors of love. The Romans associated it with
courage and it is thought to be useful when one is defending him or herself
against unfair criticism. In many countries black signifies regeneration and
new beginning. So onyx is often prescribed as a healing agent for old emotional
wounds and moving ahead by forgetting the past experiences of bad relationship.
It is believed to fill the wearer with a gift of eloquence in the time of
expressing his or her love for the new romantic interest in life.
This is also
believed to cure bad habits of the individuals. For absent minded people onyx
prove to be very helpful in increasing the concentration level and calming down
the mind in the chaotic situations of life. It is also regarded as a helpful
tool for growing fingernails hair and skin. Onyx is mystical birth stone for
the month of December. It is also the birth stone for the zodiac sign of Leo.
It is the alternate birth stone for February and anniversary gemstone for 16th
The colored gemstones are in high demand in the international fashion circuit.
The colorful jewelries made with multi-colored gemstones have become the
hot favorite of the season. Amidst the cluster of bright-colored gems, onyx
stands out with its black beauty. Black being one of the basic
this stone is
hugely used along with light
colored gems to bring out the contrasting effect.
The richness of the black in onyx is best displayed when teamed with dollops of
pearl. Apart from that, necklaces made with onyx beads, or onyx rings
surrounded by dazzling diamonds, or simple drops of onyx in earrings are common
to make rounds in the leading
jewelry stores across the globe. In addition to
its beauty, it is the affordable price of the stone, that made it popular among
the jewelry lovers around the world.