Onyx Stone

What is Onyx

Onyx is a banded variety of chalcedony which also includes carnelian, agate, bloodstone, etc . The colors of its bands range from white to almost every color (save some shades, such as purple or blue). Commonly, specimens of onyx contain bands of black and/or white. The name comes from the Greek word onyx which means nail of a finger or claw. Legend says that one day while Venus was sleeping Eros/Cupid cut her fingernails and left the clippings scattered on the ground. Because no part of a heavenly body can die, the gods turned them into stone which later became known as onyx. Onyx is an extremely variable stone with heavy veining. No two pieces of onyx are ever exactly alike, and one slab might contain dozens of colours.
Onyx is formed from carbonate minerals that are dissolved when dolomite sediments or limestone have contact with hot water. Heat from volcanic activity helps the onyx to form.onyx refers to layered stones and usually this material is cut from agates or other chalcedonies with even parallel layers, mostly with a lighter layer above a darker one.Onyx may be a multilayered black and white stone, usually with a black base and a white upper layer. But it may also be brown and white, as in sardonyx; or red and white as in carnelian onyx. Originally, almost all colors of chalcedony from white to dark brown and black were called onyx (SiO2 with impurities). Today when we think of onyx we often preface the word with black to distinguish it from other varieties of onyx that come in white, reddish brown, brown and banded. A variety of onyx that is reddish brown with white and lighter reddish bands is known as sardonyx. Other names have been used over time for this material, such as "Mexican Onyx" and "onyx-marble".
This natural stone has gorgeous, translucence, and different colors. The colors of onyx are soft and sumptuous, almost delicate look. The light shades of golden honey, mint greens, and whirl browns will give you erotic feel. There are various bands or lines of complementary color running all thorough the stone contributing to its exclusive color characteristics. Onyx is an image feast for the eyes.
Onyx is available in different sizes and shapes. It is a hard stone, which is moderately resistant to damage and measures 7.0 on Moh's hardness scale.Onyx slabs are not as large as granite slabs are, because the material is much more fragile and unlikely to be extracted in such a large block. The slabs almost always have a fiberglass material on the back to hold the stone together. Natural lines are very common in Onyx and don’t represent cracks, as many people can state. Similar to marble, onyx could be completed with a polished surface. This is a silken and reflective base finish that deepens the color and contrasts within the stone. It could also be completed to a honed surface finish that is a dull like low sheen finish. It's not reflective and glossy like a polished finish.

Uses of Onyx

Onyx is formed from quartz, and is the most common type of mineral in the world, accounting for 12 percent of the Earth's crust. Onyx was used in Egypt as early as the Second Dynasty to make bowls and other pottery items. Use of sardonyx appears in the art of Minoan Crete, notably from the archaeological recoveries at Knossos. Onyx is also mentioned in the Bible at various points, such as in Genesis "and the gold of that land is good.
Black Onyx is often used as a backdrop in jewelry. It is also used as cabochons and as a building material. It has a long history of use for hardstone carving and jewellery, where it is usually cut as a cabochon or into beads. It has also been used for intaglio and hardstone cameo engraved gems, where the bands make the image contrast with the ground. Some onyx is natural but much of the material in commerce is produced by the staining of agate.
Backlighting an Onyx or Precious Stone slab creates a dramatic effect in the room. Use light panels or LED sheets that provide uniform lighting with no hot or cold spots. You may also manipulate the colors of the onyx slab by using different colours of light. Onyx and Precious Stone are perfect for vanity tops, walls or floor features, island front panel, bar tops, splashbacks, etc. For kitchen bench tops, however, require special care, as they tend to absorb liquids quickly and scratch easily. Onyx could also used for novelty items such as vases, urns, wine goblets, lamps and bowls. It really works wonderful
Onyx marble has excellent uses. Onyx marble is used most often as a fireplace surround; bar top, or as a small island as it transmits light. It is also used as cabochons and for building material.

Physical Properties of Onyx



Diaphaneity (Transparency):

Translucent, Opaque


Vitreous when polished


Black and white


often produced by dying agates



Hardness (Mohs):

6½ - 7



Density (measured):

2.6 - 2.65 g/cm3


varies with amount and type of impurities


Chemical Properties of Onyx



Simplified for copy/paste:


Essential elements:

O, Si

All elements listed in formula:

O, Si