Onyx is one of the multitude of semi precious gemstones and although mostly thought of as predominantly black stone, actually comes a variety of colours, although when we mention of Onyx, most people will be thinking of the deep inky black velvety variety.
Onyx is a variety of Chalcedony and typical colours can be black, grey, white, blue, brown, yellow, red and green. Some Onyx also displays white bands or ribbons against a black or brown background and again, this variety is known as Sardonyx.
Onyx is associated with the star signs of Gemini and Leo, although this is not the official birthstone.
Onyx is often given for a 7th Wedding Anniversary. I often wonder if this is to do with the phenomenon of the ‘7 year itch’ as Onyx is thought to increase regeneration, happiness, intuition and instincts. It is also said to decrease sexual desire and to aid in changing bad habits. LOL!
On the other hand it is said to also promote vigour, steadfastness and stamina, so to sides to the coin so to speak.
Onyx is quite a hard and sturdy gemstone, measuring 7 on the moh scale and has a ‘trigonal’ crystalline structure. It can be carved and polished into beautiful shapes and makes wonderful cabochons, which is often how it is used rather than facetted, although this is not unheard of.
This semi-precious gemstone can be found in a wide variety of locations around the world and is mined in Brazil, India, California and Uruguay.
Onyx was very popular with the ancient Greeks and Romans. The name comes from the Greek word onux, meaning fingernail. The story is that one day “Cupid cut the divine fingernails of Venus with an arrowhead while she was sleeping. He left the clippings scattered on the sand and the fates turned them into stone so that no part of the heavenly body would ever perish.”
True, black isn't normally the colour we associate with fingernails, not unless you are a seven year old boy of course. But in Greek times, almost all colours of chalcedony from white to dark brown and black were called Onyx. Today when we think of Onyx we often preface the word with black to distinguish it from other varieties of Onyx. Later, the Romans narrowed the term "onyx" to refer to black and dark brown colours only.
For those that believe in physical or healing properties of stones, onyx is thought to be a strength-giving stone, good for athletes or people under extreme mental and emotional stress. Onyx banishes grief, enhances self-control and stimulates the power of wise decision-making. It encourages happiness and good fortune.
Onyx has been worn at times of mourning for this reason and if you do believe in stone properties it might be useful those undertaking exams or driving lessons.
“Onyx gives strength. Imparts self-confidence, helping you to be at ease in your surroundings.”
It is believed to bring balance and strength to mind and body. Onyx is thought to help ground and focus your attention. A strengthening stone that can help you approach a lesson or task with greater self-confidence.
With physical healing it is used to treat disorders of the bones, bone marrow and blood. It is beneficial for teeth and the feet! Top to tail then!
It is thought to be particularly helpful with skin ailments, healing infected wounds as well as fungal infections, inflammation and even sunburn. As we approach the warmer weather, I checked to see what the ‘instructions’ were for sunburn an it said:
‘Pat the affected skin with onyx water several times during the day and cover with an onyx water compress at night’
Onyx water is water that has had an onyx stone sitting within it.
I am not personally guaranteeing these properties of Onyx, I just adore this gemstone for its deep rich texture and I am not the only one, on Folksy there were some prepared to provide items in this very precious stone.
If you would like a closer look at the wonderful items featured, please click on the pictures to be transported to their locations in their particular Folksy shops. Thank you.
Thank you to Natalie of NOfkants Curios for this interesting post.!