What is that cool black stone? |
Chalcedony quartz is the mineral name, but the common name for the lustrous black gemstone is onyx. Silicon dioxide deposits occur inside the gas pockets of lava and when it dries, a rock containing the chalcedony is formed. Like amethyst, which is also quartz, the black multi-layered chalcedony fills the cavity of the igneous rock.
The most common jewelry stones are called black onyx. This variety often contains white bands of silica that run parallel throughout the stone. This gives it great texture. There are other varieties that range from brown to reddish-brown with varying band colors. There are also stones that are more gray than black. However, the black gemstone is still the most common and the most popular.
The texture and layers of the chalcedony plus its medium hardness make it a great specimen for carving. Cameos and figures are all commonly created from this gemstone.
Where do they come from?
The stones found in black onyx jewelry likely come from Brazil. However, there are also deposits in India, Madagascar and in the United States, California and Arizona. There are other mines all over the world, but the most significant is probably Brazil.
Significance of the black gemstone
Black onyx is not an official birthstone for any month. It does hold special significance for people born under the Zodiac sign Leo. This encompasses the latter part of July through most of August. It is also the mystical birthstone for December.
Another special occasion awarded to this bold gem is the 7th and 10th wedding anniversary. Because it crosses gender lines in appeal, an onyx ring is a great gift for a man on these special days.
History and Mythology
In Greek, the name "onyx" means "nail" or "claw." The reason can be found in Greek mythology. Eros, the impish Cupid and son of Venus, decided it would be fun to cut his mother’s beautiful fingernails. So while she slept, he crept up and chopped them off with the tip of his arrow. He then proceeded to spread the bits of nail around the ground. The gods turned these bits into stone because no part of a god should ever die. These bits of stone became known as onyx.
It is believed that the stone absorbs negative energy to protect the wearer from its effects. It is also supposed to heighten intuition, improve mood and act as a catalyst to change bad habits. Physically, it is supposed to aid in the proper function of the body’s major systems like the nervous and cardiovascular systems.
What could be a downside of its mystical properties is its propensity to stifle passion and emotion. This can be good at times to avoid fights, but it can also temper sexual desire.
How to care for gemstone jewelry
This stone ranks a 6.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness making it somewhat delicate. Never place black onyx rings in an ultrasonic cleaner because chipping and scratching can easily occur. Also avoid extreme temperature changes to prevent splitting.
Soaking jewelry pieces in warm water with a gentle soap should be enough to clean them. Gently scrub the setting with a soft toothbrush if there is residue under the stone.
Black onyx jewelry looks great in silver or gold and by itself or as a complement to a colored gemstone. This bold dark stone appeals to men and women alike.
A Black Onyx Ring is a great gift for a man on the 7th and 10th wedding anniversaries. It also holds significance for those born under the Zodiac sign Leo, and is the mystical birthstone for December. Choose from more unique and beautiful pieces of gemstones and jewelry at www.gemaffair.com
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