Onyx is an agate - a banded form of chalcedony quartz. The bands come in a variety of colours and originally all were known as onyx. Today onyx is usually only used to describe black and very dark stones with white bands. Stones with red bands are called sardonyx.
The Romans loved using onyx to create lavish interiors. They particularly liked to carve it into seals and cameos. In ancient India, people used it to help them concentrate, or bring calm when going through a stressful event. Some also believe it can be used to bring unwanted passion under control!
Some believe onyx can help people going through challenges in life, especially those caused by lack of energy. Healers believe the stone can help you to break a bad habit, or to become more productive.
The word onyx is thought to come from the Greek ‘onyx’, meaning nail or claw. According to classical Greek legend, while Venus was sleeping, Eros cut her fingernails and left the clippings scattered on the ground. As no part of a heavenly body should die, the gods turned the clippings into onyx.
||Colour||Black, green, Brown, Red|
|Sources||Brazil, Canada, Germany, Madagascar, the UK, the US and Uruguay|