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 mineral, like marble, granite or quartzite. It is part of the quartz mineral group and is a layered stone. Some of its layers may contrast. 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.
Another type of onyx is the carnelian onyx that is composed of red and white layers.
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 Onyx Imitations
Since agate is similar in terms of physical properties, a lot of stones sold as onyx are in fact dyed agate gems.Black Friday Deal: Click here to get up to 50% OFF engagement ring settings from James Allen.
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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.
Most onyx is dyed to make its color uniform. It is also heat treated to bring out its color intensity. These two enhancements do not lower its value.
All onyx jewelry is relatively inexpensive. The metal it is set in will cost more than the actual onyx stone itself.
Settings for Onyx
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.
Black onyx can be set in silver, white gold and yellow gold. Each metal accentuates this mineral stone beautifully.
Sardonyx, which is brown and white layered onyx, looks prettiest in antiqued silver. Carnelian onyx is usually set in more rustic-looking silver and is unusually striking against black or tan fabric.
Complete sets of a ring, earrings, a bracelet and pendant accentuate any color of onyx beautifully.
Shopping Tip: Check the Gemstone’s 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.
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.
Locations Where Onyx Can Be Found
Onyx is only found in three places: Mexico, Arizona and Algeria. In Mexico, onyx is mined in Chihuahua, Puebla and Oaxaca.
Arizona onyx mines are in Prescott, Mayer and Ash Fork. Algeria has one onyx mine, and it is located in Ain Tekbalet.
The word ‘onyx’ is a Greek word that means a claw nail or a human fingernail. The legend is that while Venus slept, Cupid clipped her fingernails and left the cuttings scattered on the ground around her.
Since Venus was a goddess, she would never succumb to death because none of her body could die. So the gods turned the nail clippings into the stone which later became known as onyx.
Onyx is considered the mystical birthstone of December. It is also the stone for the Leo Zodiac sign.
Onyx is supposed to be given on the seventh and tenth wedding anniversaries.
Mystics and holistic healers believe that Onyx increases regeneration, intuition, instincts and happiness. It is supposed to increase sexual desire and aid in changing bad habits.
More Mystical Uses of Onyx
In the Middle East, Onyx is used as a worry stone that people rub between fingers. It is thought to help overcome the roller coaster of conflicting emotions.
Some people believe Onyx helps a person recover from a past relationship or an unrequited love.
It is also supposed to help you to take charge of your fate, guard against negativity; it aids in disagreements and removes excess energy.
Onyx is associated with the planet Saturn.
Black onyx is supposed to increase stamina, help in childbirth, control temper, and strengthen the heart, capillaries, nails, eyes, hair, skin, nerves and kidneys.
In India, Hindus use onyx to ward off the “evil eye.” Some believe that wearing onyx sharpens the wits and absorbs and blunts emotional intensity.
It is used by people who claim to have psychic powers and is able to protect the user from harmful spells.
Some people in drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers carry around onyx stones for strength and self-control.
Where to Buy Onyx Jewelry?
Check out the vast selection of onyx jewelry at Amazon.