Onyx has become more affordable than ever, making it a popular choice for jewelry. Even the simplest pieces can give the impression of sophistication and style. If you are considering purchasing onyx jewelry, there are some things you should know ahead of time.
Onyx is a variety of chalcedony, which consists of quartz and moganite, and it is mainly found in India, Madagascar and Brazil. In the U.S., it can be found in California.
The stone is usually black, but some varieties are brown with white or reddish lines – these stones are also known as sardonyx.
Onyx has a hardness of 7 out of 10 on the Mohs scale, so it is a relatively durable stone, but it can still scratch or chip.
Onyx Colors: Not Only Black
Onyx comes mainly in three colors (or color combinations): black, black and white, and grey and white.
There are also other varieties, such as green or red onyx, but black is the most popular color of this stone.
It is worth noting that most onyx on the market has been artificially colored or heat treated to improve its appearance.
Beware of Imitations
Since agate is similar in terms of physical properties, a lot of stones sold as onyx are in fact dyed agate gems.
There are also a lot of black stones made of a softer material that are sold as onyx, so this is something to watch out for when shopping.
Check the Surface
The best onyx gemstones should have a well-polished and reflective surface and should appear slightly transparent.
The gemstone should not have any cracks or scratches on its surface, and the setting around the onyx should be clean and well-made.
Pay Attention to the Setting
When it comes to onyx jewelry, the price is often more dependent on the design of the piece and not on the gemstone itself, which is relatively inexpensive.
Of course, larger pieces of onyx cost more, but the value still depends mainly on the setting and design.
There are jewelry stores that will use various lighting to make their gemstones look better.
If a store is too dark, for example, it may be difficult to see scratches, low quality settings or other flaws when looking at onyx jewelry.
Ask to see the jewelry under different kinds of light and also in well-lit conditions.
Don’t Forget to Compare Offers
When shopping for onyx, check out several different places, as it may turn out that there are other stores offering realistic and reasonable prices for the same type of jewelry.
Once you decide to make a purchase at a certain store, make sure you get a return policy in writing before the sale is finalized.
Where to Buy Onyx Jewelry?
If you are looking to buy onyx jewelry, we recommend that you check out the vast selection of onyx pieces available at Amazon as well as Ross-Simons and Reeds Jewelers.