What is Onyx

Onyx is originally a Latin word which means nail. Onyx is primarily a cryptocrystalline which is used in jewellery as semi precious stone. Why is the word has its meaning associated with fingernail? The story as per legend goes that one day frisky Cupid cut the divine fingernails of Venus with an arrowhead while she was sleeping. He left the clippings scattered on the sand and the fates turned them into stone so that no part of the heavenly body would ever perish.

It is primarily composed of silica, quartz and moganite. Onyx is primarily associated with black color while with the same chemical composition but coming in different color the stone is given a different name, though the greenish white color still is called Onyx. The reddish one is referred to as sardonyx. In some of the countries even Calcite, a softer material which is much readily available, is also referred to as Onyx. Even changing the colors of onyx using dying and heating techniques is there which has been used for a long time. These dying techniques have been used for a long time and are still prevalent. The natural onyx comes in layers while the stones range from translucent to opaque for sardonyx. The stones vary in color, too. They may be white or gray and bands ranging from red to brown. These are found primarily in Indian subcontinent and South Americas.

The stone has been associated with marriage by some. It is considered by some as anniversary gemstone for the 7th year of marriage while Black Onyx is considered as the anniversary gemstone for the 10th year of marriage.

These tend to scratch quite easily so if you have two onyx then its best to avoid letting them touch each other as there is certainty that both will easily get scratched. This property of getting scratched and its rarity at one time actually made it costlier than gold. The other reason of it being costly was that is was supposed to hold some medicinal properties. It was believed and in some parts it is still believed that wearing of Onyx makes heart, kidney, nerve, capillary, hair, eye and nails stronger. It is also supposed to give peaceful sleep when worn at night thus reducing stress and neurological disorders. It is even supposed to give advancement in spirituality by making the person bring his emotions under control.

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