It is mentioned in the Bible and the mythology of ancient Greece. Its most prized color is black but it is filled with white magic. It never changes its stripes but it can skillfully conceal them. It is all about onyx. Get to know the beauty of this mineral as well as its healing and metaphysical properties with KenKenGems.

Onyx The History and Meaning

Onyx is an ancient stone and its history begins at the dawn of civilizations. Archaeologists have found vessels, figurines, and statues made of this mineral on the territory of Ancient Egypt and Babylon. These findings date back to the 5th-4th millennia BC. Among the peoples of the ancient world, onyx had a reputation as a sacred gemstone. It served as the material for sacrificial vessels and bowls for the preparation and storage of medicines. The Bible mentions onyx as one of the stones that adorned the throne of King Solomon. The walls of his temple were also embellished with this mineral.

The stone has significance for the ancient civilizations of South and North America as well. Aztecs utilized black onyx in sacred rituals and ceremonies. Ancient Indians revered black onyx as a stone of good luck and well-being.

The word onyx is of ancient Greek origin. It means a nail or hoof. One of the legends explains this peculiar name. The god of love Eros, when he was a child, used to play with his bow and arrows. One day, he accidentally shot an arrow towards his sleeping mother, Aphrodite. The arrow grazed her nails and the severed pieces fell to the ground. The goddess forgave little Eros for his mischief and the pieces of her nails turned into beautiful onyx stones.

Onyx stone for necklace

Mataphysical Properties and Chemical Properties of Onyx

Onyx is an ornamental stone that is a chalcedony type of quartz. In terms of chemical composition, onyx is silicon dioxide. A distinctive feature of this mineral is its striped texture created by parallel layers containing various admixtures.

The stone has medium hardness. According to the Mohs scale, it corresponds to 6.5-7.0 out of 10. Onyx is opaque, occasionally translucent, with a pronounced glass luster.

Onyx colors

Onyx offers a wide variety of colors. Dominant colors are beige, white, yellow, green, brown, black, and even pink, and they are complete with stripes of either contrasting or more saturated hues. Gems with homogenous colors exist as well. To be exact, they are also striped but these streaks are hard to discern with a naked eye.

The most valuable variety of the mineral features a black color. Alternatively, black onyx is called Arabic. While being predominantly black, it showcases stripes and splashes of white. Sometimes these stripes are very thick and easy to distinguish and sometimes they are barely there.

Black color onyx

Green onyx is a combination of microfine crystals of quartz and chalcedony. The layers or bands of this gem range from bright emerald to light green. Along with that, the mineral may contain veins of a different color. The thinner these veins are, the more valuable a gem is. Occasionally, the mineral calcite is also referred to as green onyx, although it has a different chemical composition, it is more widespread, and slightly softer than genuine onyx.

Green color Onyx

White is another highly valued type of stone. White onyx offers a milky or pinkish background accommodating patterns of dainty veins and crack-like patterns.

White color onyx

Translucent orange-red and brown onyxes are called sardonyxes. These are a very common variety of chalcedony.

orange-red and brown onyx is called sardonyx

Besides these colors, onyx can occur as brown, pink, blue, yellow, and beige, without clearly distinguishable bands. These varieties are more common but, simultaneously, less popular for jewelry-making.

Besides natural onyx, you can come across artificial stones. These are common chalcedony or plane agates treated to emulate the statement onyx look. Genuine onyxes can also be treated. Dying is a popular method to obtain black gems. Heating and nitric acid treatments are used to lighten hues or change unwanted colors.

Natural color onyx

The Value of Onyx

Onyx is a semiprecious and fairly affordable stone. The most valuable are black and white varieties of the stone because they are less common in nature. Brightly colored and vibrant onyxes are sought-after as well. Their price depends on the color, its saturation, and the intricacy of a pattern. If a natural pattern displays stripes and bands that vary in thickness and tint, its value is going to be higher.

Onyx Healing Properties

Onyx has been used since the dawn of millennia to treat various diseases. The gem ground into powder was an effective solution for dental hygiene. It was also applied to weeping wounds to facilitate and accelerate healing. Water infused with crushed onyx helped fight obesity. Red onyxes were endowed with the power to affect the heart. Inserted into pendants, they were supposed to treat cardiovascular diseases. Along with that, onyx earrings were considered a remedy to improve hearing and vision.

Modern lithotherapy counts on onyx to affect the nervous system. The mineral helps combat insomnia, relieves stress, and dispels depression. To benefit from these properties, you need to take the stone in your hands, focus your gaze on it, and give yourself a command to relax. After a few such sessions, you should significantly improve your well-being.

Apart from that, onyx is able to normalize the functioning of the digestive system. In persons prone to obesity, the stone lowers the threshold of satiety. On the contrary, if a person is weakened by an illness, the mineral improves appetite.

The Value of Onyx

Magic Properties of Onyx

Onyx is a powerful amulet capable of protecting its wearer from accidents, losses, and death itself. The stone is especially beneficial to people whose walk of life is associated with risk or danger.

Black onyx is an excellent talisman for business people. If you have such a stone, you will be able to vigorously move forward and skillfully overcome obstacles. Onyx helps activate the spirit of entrepreneurship and brings financial wisdom. Besides that, the stone facilitates negation and deal conclusion.

Since time immemorial, onyx has been considered a stone of eloquence. It aids a speaker to choose the right words and convey their meaning to the audience. With a little help from the mineral, you can enhance your charm and win over the listeners. For this reason, the gem is much-loved by lecturers, politicians, preachers, and lawyers. A person seeking to command respect can also bank on the stone.

Onyx properties

Onyx for Sale Courtesy of KenKenGems

Black, white, green, gray, and other varieties of semi-precious onyx await you in the KenKenGems catalog. Cut en cabochon and faceted, these stones proudly display their lustrous appearance and signature stripes (although, with some specimens, you should look very closely to discern them). We offer onyx as individual stones, sets, strands, and pendants set in silver and gold. If you enjoy crafting jewelry, our onyx supply is just what you need.

Onyx for sale

Onyx for sale