Onyx is a type of Chalcedony that occurs naturally with tiny banded parallel layers. The mineral was first reported in 77 A.D. by Gaius Plinius Secundus (Pliny the Elder) and named after the Greek word “claw” or “fingernail” because of its similar resemblance.
Onyx is a gemstone found in various regions of the world including Yemen, Uruguay, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Latin America, the UK, and various states in the US.
Onyx is a hard stone that has been used for thousands of years and has a long history with many different civilizations. Ancient Egyptians revered onyx and the material was used to make everyday items like bowls. The Ancient Roman and Greek societies used Onyx for jewelry, amulets, and carving materials.
Both historically and today onyx has been used to produce beads as well as cabochons. Today onyx is frequently faceted, but historically the mineral was a favorite choice for intaglio carving. Onyx does not as hard as other gemstones like corundum, but it has a score of 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Onyx is favored by jewelry lovers and designers due to its durability and toughness.
This stone helps to change bad habits and is a great grounding stone. It inspires objective thinking and spirituality while helping one be in control of emotions and passions. Onyx helps eliminate negative thinking and stress and is good for meditation and positive dreams.
As far as jewelry design is concerned, one can expect to look for onyx in bracelets, rings, necklaces, earrings, and virtually any type of jewelry.