Onyx is a type of chalcedony formed in parallel bands. These bands can be just about any color except purple or blue, but the most well-known forms of onyx have bands of black and/or white.
Sardonyx is a type of onyx formed of bands of various shades of red (sard) and white.
Most black onyx on the market today is artificially colored. Pliny the Elder described a method for coloring agate and other colors of onyx to pass as black onyx.
In some cases, it is banded calcite, polished to a shine and sold as onyx.
History and Folklore
Onyx is a Latin word derived from the Greek ὄνυξ, meaning “claw” or “fingernail”.
One story states that Cupid trimmed Venus‘s fingernails with an arrowhead and the Fates turned them to stone so that no part of Her divine body should decay.
Throughout history, Onyx has been carved for jewelry and housewares. The Romans were quite fond of carved cameos, parallel layers of black and white create a striking contrast between the carved subject and the background. The Egyptians used onyx for bowls and housewares.
Onyx is a birthstone for the month of December and the star stone for Capricorn or Leo or Gemini. Onyx is an appropriate gift for the 7th or 10th wedding anniversary.
Healing and Magickal Uses for Onyx
Onyx can improve physical strength and energy and help one recuperate after a long illness or other stressful situation.
Onyx can also help with conditions affecting bones, teeth, bone marrow, blood, and feet.
Onyx can be used to improve focus, discipline, self-confidence, and attention to detail necessary to bring a complicated and arduous task to completion.
Onyx can help recover from extreme stress and grief.
This is a wonderful stone to hold onto during grounding meditations. It can help with protection rituals and help balance extreme emotions.
Also good for breaking bad habits and addictions and establishing new habits.