Onyx is a type of chalcedony, which is a mineral in the quartz family.

It is characterized by its parallel bands of different colors, typically black and white, although it can occur in other colors.

The bands are often very regular and sharply defined, giving onyx a distinctive appearance.

The brown toned material from Pakistan and Mexico is not an Onyx – it is a Calcium carbonate mineral and this can easily be tested by dripping a drop of vinegar onto it and observing closely for bubbling.

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Information about Onyx

Onyx is a type of banded Chalcedony, similar to Agate.

It is most often used for carvings and decorative items, as it is relatively cheap. It appears in a wide range of colours, but there are very commonly black and white stripes.

There are a lot of variants of Onyx, but some better known ones include Sardonyx and Black banded Onyx; Sardonyx contains Sard, and is a gorgeous striped red colours. The black banded variety has, as the name suggests, black bands.

This stone is often faked – one of the most common is Mexican banded calcite, which is often carved into cheap candle holders and decorative objects. It is typically a light brown banded stone.

The stone was mentioned in the Bible, and was carved and polished by several ancient civilisations, including the Greeks and the Romans.

It is found worldwide, distributed across each continent.

Spirituality and Crystal Healing with Onyx

This stone and its variant, Sardonyx, have had a few superstitions attributed to them over the years. Ancient Roman soldiers carried Sardonyx amulets featuring an image of Mars, the God of War – this was supposed to bring them courage in battle.

It was used by English midwives, who believed it eased the pains of childbirth when placed between the breasts of the mother.

It is thought to be helpful for releasing negative emotions like sorrow or grief, and is thought to be a relaxing stone too.