Let's talk about Onyx, baby.
Onyx is a gemstone formed in the vesicles of lava or volcanic rock.
Most commonly seen in its black form, this special gem actually comes in practically every colour, for real. At Zart we’ve used black and green onyx in our designs, but there’s lavender, pinks, pale blues, honey, tangerine and more! Truly she’s giving us versatility.
While onyx is technically a type of marble, it’s praised for it’s use in design and fashion over traditional marble because of its range of colors, interesting textures, and it’s unique lack of opacity.
Onyx is a variety of quartz called Chalcedony, which comes from Calcedon; the ancient port of the Sea of Marmara in Asia Minor, or Anatolia. This is alarge peninsula in Western Asia, and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. Which at one point was the most active trading point for ornamental materials in the world. Now onyx is typically mined in Uruguay, Brazil, Peru, Madagascar, India, Afghanistan, US Baja California, and Mexico.
The name comes from the Ancient Greek word for fingernails. Story goes that one day while Venus was taking a nap along the Indus River, her son, Cupid used his arrow to clip her fingernails, and left them scattered on the ground (rude). Since they were pieces of a divine body, the gods then turned the heavenly clippings into beautiful stones, and that’s how we were blessed with onyx.
Mystically, Onyx is said to provide the wearer with strength and stabilisation, especially in times of uncertainty.
In Ancient Greece the army would carve the head of Hercules into small coins of onyx, and they would wear them to battle.
In ancient Indian and Persian folklore, onyx is a protector from evil. It’s believed that it absorbs negative energy, and the more negative energy the gem absorbs, the darker it gets.
Cleopatra was a huge fan of the protective properties of onyx. Specifically black onyx. It’s said if there was any potential danger approaching, her onyx jewellery would vibrate, sensing the negative energy.
Onyx is also used in practices of past life regressive therapy, and mediumship because it holds messages from the dead, and past lives.
Aren’t we lucky that such a useful gem can be so fabulous?
Whether you’re wearing it for protection or fashion, onyx’s range of colors and textures make it a staple stone for any jewellery collection.