Marble & Onyx
ONYX STONES IN DETAILS
Onyx is often mixed with marbles, but it is a quite different rock type. It is a sedimentary rock, found as stalactites and stalagmites in the cave interiors. The term onyx is said to have been derived from the Greek word ‘onux’, which means fingernail or claw. Onyx is a member of chalcedony (quartz) family. It is made up of repetitive units of silica or silicon dioxide, SiO2.
Geologists identify slabs of onyx as banded calcite. It also goes by various names such as onyx marble, Mexican onyx, or Egyptian alabaster. This banded calcite is a close cousin of travertine. Travertine is formed in the same manner as onyx. The main difference between travertine and onyx is that travertine has a porous, lace-like texture while onyx is smooth and non-porous. Apart from that, the two stones are similar.
FORMATION AND TYPES
Found in various regions of the world including the United Kingdom, India, Australia, Germany, Canada and in various states of the United States, onyx is born on the surface, unlike marble or granite. Onyx forms in calcite dissolved spring or groundwater. It is actually a type of layered agate that is black with bands of white. Solid black onyx gemstones are made from the black bands on larger stones. It can be classified as a type of chalcedony quartz or cryptocrystalline. In its pure state, it is formed as white or transparent, but the addition of minerals forms a tinted pattern. For example, Iron Oxide is responsible for its warm honey color.
Chalcedonyx, also known as banded onyx, is commonly white onyx with translucent or banded opaque layers. It appears as white with black, brown, cream or gray streaks. Niccolo onyx appears to be blue or gray in color.
The colors of the stone vary from white to different colors especially red, green and white. Commonly, onyx contains bands of black, white or a combination of both while the others are dyed. The dyed onyxes are not considered as real.
PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL USES
Onyx is an ancient gemstone, having been used in jewelry. The stone is usually cut into cabochons and beads, where it is mostly used in rings, earrings, bracelets etc. It is also used to make carvings, figurines, and small statues. Although still used as a minor gemstone these days, the significance and value of Onyx have dwindled in comparison to the ancient times.
Onyx is believed to have spiritual and mystical uses. It is known to help release negativity and protect the wearer from bad influences. When suffering the loss of a loved one, onyx will bring inner strength. It helps one to cope with loss and move forward in a healthy way. Onyx boosts the immune system, enhance vitality and help to recover from an illness rather rapidly. It is also believed to enhance cell regeneration, reduce edema and improve digestive tract health. One can achieve healthy teeth, bones, and tissues simply by wearing or carrying it with them.
Apart from physical healing, onyx also comes handy in spiritual ailments. It acts as a grounding stone for chakra meditation. Meditation with onyx is wonderful for connecting with higher powers during deep meditation as one feels the sense of tranquility. It is also excellent for clearing the mind to facilitate a strong connection for clear guidance. Onyx crystals come in great help for Feng-shui and Vaastu practitioners. One can simply get benefits either by placing the crystal as a decorative piece or wearing it on a ring. Reiki sessions with onyx give excellent results.
The Black Onyx gemstone is said to help a person to get over previous relationships, it helps one to stop dwelling on the past and be mindful in the present. It provides great relief for grief-stricken people and soothes the pain. This beautiful gemstone is also great for establishing business and helping entrepreneurs take benevolent decisions regarding their business. Black onyx is also known for warding off stress, depression, and anxiety. It is also believed to bring financial gains and successes. Black Onyx is claimed to be beneficial for bringing peace and contentment. It strengthens wearer’s intuition. In some cultures, it is widely believed that this gemstone helps keep evil entities at a bay from a person and his family. It is also believed that this gemstone can heal eye disorders, teeth problems, epilepsy, feet trouble, bone issues, etc.
White onyx is extracted mainly from the caves in Mexico, Turkey, and Iran. It is mostly used for a smooth finish on furniture, floorings, kitchen countertops, vanity tops, fireplaces, Jacuzzis and bar tops at high-end restaurants. It is also used as a backsplash, vanity, or as accent tiles. This white gemstone is believed to have the same effects as well as the black ones but it is mostly used in balancing the third eye or the crown chakra. It helps to stimulate the crown chakra by allowing an increase in one's psychic senses, inner vision, and insight. The energy of the white onyx helps one to be centered and focused, increasing one’s capacity to retain information and strengthening one’s memory. It is also used to keep stability in relationships and finding an ideal partner. It resolves misunderstandings and thus brings balance and harmony in one's life.
Green onyx boosts confidence and courage. It balances the heart chakra. Like black onyx, it is thought to bring luck and eases tension. One who wears the green onyx gains sharp memory. It also increases stamina and alleviates fear. It has been acclaimed that the green onyx maintains healthy blood pressure and treats ulcers.
Many healers believe that yellow onyx opens the root chakra. Healers also use the stone to address ailments in the eyes and ears.
USES IN THE ANCIENT TIMES
Onyx has a long history of use for carving and jewelry. People in Egypt used to make bowls and other pottery items. The German sculptor Ferdinand Preiss used Brazilian green onyx for the base on the majority of his sculptures. In Austria, green onyx was also used for trays and pin dishes. The Hôtel de la Païva in Paris is noted for its yellow onyx décor, and the new Mariinsky Theatre Second Stage in St.Petersburg uses yellow onyx in the lobby.
There are myriads of uses of this miraculous stone whether used for physical, spiritual and materialistic purposes. The use of onyx dates back to very early civilizations. People have long appreciated it, respected it and even feared it for all of its mysterious powers so it should be handled with care.