The Black Onyx Stone

The black onyx stone is found in different regions around the world. Some of the places you can find it is in Argentina, Brazil, and Canada. It is found in Australia, China, the Czech Republic, as well as Uruguay, and Yemen. This gemstone is also found in Latin America, Madagascar, Pakistan, and the United States.

It is said the onyx helps to release negative emotions such as grief and sorrow, that it can end relationships that are bothersome or unhappy when worn by the person experiencing these things. It also defends the person from negativity directed to them. There are protective energies in these black stones because there is no light within them. A black onyx stone will fortify your self-confidence, sharpen your senses, encourage a healthy ego, all of which can make you a more responsible person.

The Composition Of The Black Onyx

There is a variety of the oxide mineral chalcedony substances banded together that create the black onyx stone. It and agate are both have layered chalcedony that differs in how the bands are formed with the agate having curved bands and onyx having parallel bands. The bands range in color including blue, purple, white, and most another color. Black onyx stone commonly contains bands of black and white.

The Word onyx derives from Latin and Greek with the Latin version spelled the same and the Greek version spelled ὄνυξ which means “claw”. Because the stone may have a flesh tone color that many say it resembles a fingernail.

The bands of the onyx stone are formed of alternating colors of chalcedony. It consists of fine intergrowths of moganite, quartz, and silica. Where the agate stone has chaotic banding, the onyx has parallel bands. The sardonyx variety has varied colors of red bands instead of black. And while it is beautiful a beautiful stone, it is the black onyx that is most common and popular.

The History Of The Black Onyx

Between 9 and 12 AD, a Roman cameo, the Gemma Augustea produced and carved a two-layered onyx gem. Being a hard stone, it was carved or cut into beads and then used for jewelry.  Because there are contrasting images with the bands and the ground, the stone has been used for intaglio. While much of the black onyx is a natural material, there is man-made black onyx as well with stained agate.

During the Second Dynasty in Egypt, the black onyx was used to create bowls and pottery items. In Minoan Crete, sardonyx was used in the art, especially at Knossos from archaeological recoveries. The green onyx found in Brazil was often used with art deco sculpture as bases during the 20s and 30s.

It was Ferdinand Preiss, a German sculptor, that Brazilian green onyx with many of his chryselephantine sculptures base. In Austria, the green onyx stone would be used to make pin dishes and trays and would have animals and figurines made of bronze attached.

Onyx is cited in the Bible several times as is the white layered sardonyx. The Ancient Greeks and Romans used onyx with the ancient Romans using it to create amulets they carried in battle. Those amulets would have the god of war engraved upon them as a symbol fo courage.

The onyx was worn in Renaissance Europe as a symbol of elegance and the Persians believed that sardonyx cured epilepsy. English midwives’ tradition was to lay the stone upon a mother giving birth to ease the pain of childbirth.

In “Naturalis Historia”, Pliny the Elder, a first-century naturalist, described both types of the onyx stone and offered assorted artificial treatment techniques. Mies van der Rohe used slabs of onyx that was retrieved from the Atlas Mountains, in Villa Tugendhat at Brno. It was used to create an interior wall that would be shimmering semi-translucent.

 

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