Geology/History

The word Onyx is Latin & derives from the Greek ὄνυξ, meaning "claw" or "fingernail". As its flesh tone colour is said to resemble a fingernail. Onyx has an ancient history of human utilisation for both practical & religious/spiritual purpose. Egyptians as early as the Second Dynasty made Onyx bowls & other carved items. Sardonyx appears in the art of Minoan Crete, notably from the archaeological recoveries at Knossos. Biblical texts also state the use of Onyx. Traditionally, Ancient Romans entered battle carrying amulets of Sardonyx engraved with Mars, the god of war. This was believed to bestow courage & protection in battle. During the Renaissance period in Europe, wearing sardonyx was believed to bestow eloquence. Persian’s believed it helped with epilepsy & English midwives believed laying a stone between the mother’s breasts would ease childbirth.

Onyx belongs to the Quartz group & is a banded variety of cryptocrystalline Chalcedony. Commonly found with white & black bands, colours range from white to almost every colour. It mostly consists of microscopic intergrown silica in the form of Quartz & Moganite. Often confused with Agate, both are varieties of layered chalcedony that are separately categorised by the formation of their banding: Agate has curved/chaotic banding & Onyx has parallel bands.

Sardonyx is a variant that has sard-red/brown/yellow coloured bands interspersed with white onyx. When Sardonyx is more red than brown, it is classified as Carnelian. Black onyx is most sort after as it is less common than the coloured variety, it is primarily used for ornate jewellery & intricate carvings.

Many artificial treatments have been used since ancient times to produce blacks, reds & yellows. The ancient Roman’s used treatments for producing black & other colours of Onyx. This consisted of soaking or boiling chalcedony in sugar solutions, then treating with sulfuric or hydrochloric acid to carbonize sugars absorbed into the stone. These techniques along with other dyeing treatments are still used today. Other ways to change the colour of Onyx is heating & treating with nitric acid to lighten or remove colours.


Metaphysical Properties

The warrior stone of destiny & protection, Onyx strengthens & fortifies releasing fear, worry & stress. It grounds, releases & deflects unwanted or negative energies. Guiding one to the light through darkness & times of unease or turmoil it also reduces confusion & regenerates lost focus.

Onyx ignites stomach & kundalini fire with immense power & driving force. This releases one’s inner strength & stimulates creativity through the freedom of self-expression. Onyx teaches mastery of one’s innate abilities. When to be still & when to move. It imparts a deep knowing by connecting intuition with the conscience mind & promotes an optimistic disposition. 

A transformational stone that helps to shed layers of old energy. Onyx teaches the cycles of life, showing what must be removed for the new to birth & grow. Removes disjointed & conflicted thought patterns, which aids in eradicating destructive behaviors/habits. Highlights synchronicities to show interconnectedness & truth, it reveals different perceptions & all sides of the story.

Onyx grounds & anchors the self in the moment, this makes it a powerful tool of magic. Connected to the three fates & harbors infinite possibility. Onyx shows how to look within, bringing clarity & understanding of wholeness with oneness.

 

 Crystal Healing

Pain reduction, stress, anxiety, panic attacks, heart function, balancing endocrine system, emotional trauma, assists in illness recovery. 

Mineralogy

Group: Quartz - Oxide mineral

Crystal System: Trigonal, fibrous aggregates

Composition: SiO2

Form/Habit:Fibrous aggregates

Hardness: 6.5–7

Cleavage: None

Fracture: Uneven, conchoidal

Lustre: Vitreous, silky

Streak: White

Specific Gravity: 2.58–2.64

Transparency: Translucent

R.I: 1.530 to 1.540

Colour: All other than purple & pink

Fluorescence: Blue-White

Pleochroism: Absent