Onyx characteristics
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Onyx characteristics

Onyx, history and healing properties

Earrings with onyx

Its name comes from the Greek "onyx" that means "claw" or "nail". It may refer to the flesh color onyx that can look like a nail.

Onyx is from the chalcedony family and is mainly composed of silica. It is made of color lines that are generally white and/or black, but you can find it in almost any color (except purple and blue).

These lines are quite regular and the idea of carving them came quickly because of this. It is possible to work it and to play on the different color layers for cameos.

Sardonyx is a variety of onyx which colors are in red hues.

We know how to modify its color since the Antiquity thanks to several treatments, and more particularly to have black, red or yellow color. A lot of the current black onyx on the market is artificially colored.

History, legends and beliefs about onyx

In Egypt, you could find carved onyx bowls since the second dynasty.

In the Minoan period in Crete, the sardonyx use can mainly be found in the Cnossos Palace.

Onyx was also used a lot by Romans. Pline the Ancient describes two varieties of this stone and several techniques to change its color. A Roman legend with a Greek origin explains the origin of its name. According to a tale, one day, while Venus was asleep, her son Cupid used one of his arrows to cut her nails. These parts of the immortal goddess could not disappear. Therefore, they were transformed into onyx.

In the Bible, onyx is one of the Aaron’s clothe and one of the doors of celestial Jerusalem in the book of Revelations would be made of onyx.

history and healing properties of onyx

Ring with onyx

In the Arabian world, onyx is called "El Jaza" or "sadness".

Persians and Indians would consider that onyx would protect them from the evil eye and could relieve the pains of the woman who was giving birth by putting the stone on her belly. Onyx was also meant to reduce sexual impulses.

In China, onyx was considered as bad luck. It was mined by slaves. Nobody would touch it because they would fear the evil eye or that they would lose their energy.

Onyx was therefore only meant to be sold and exported to unconscious people and far from the Chinese boarders.

It is in England, during the Victorian period that onyx became quite fashionable and more especially the black onyx. This is how the word of onyx came as a reference to the black color stone. In order to respect the mourning, as Queen Victoria’s mourning during 40 years, colors were forbidden and people started to use the black onyx in jewelry.

Mines: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, the USA, Iran, Italy, Switzerland, Russia and India.

Healing properties of onyx

  • Onyx would balance the body and would settle the different body functions
  • It would strengthen feet and the bone marrow
  • It would be used in the treatment of epilepsy and hypochondria.
  • Onyx would be efficient against arthritis, the bad liver functioning and kidneys
  • It would control high cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • It is the stone of the strength.

/!\ Please note that all healing properties listed are collected from various sources. This information is offered as a service and not meant to treat medical conditions.

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