Onyx is a black and white banded variety of Chalcedony, a cryptocrystalline form of Quartz with dense, fibrous layers and a hardness of 7. It is also defined as a black and white banded Agate, also a variety of Chalcedony. They differ only in that Onyx’s alternating layers are parallel to one another while Agate’s layers are curved and more chaotic.
While many think of Onyx as a solid black stone, the term refers to the Chalcedony banded black and white. A variant form in which white layers of Onyx alternate with Sard (a reddish-brown Chalcedony) is called Sardonyx. Both have been known and utilized for over 4,000 years for hardstone carving, stone inlay, and jewelry, treasured most for their use in intaglio seals and cameo engraved gems where the white bands are carved away to make the image contrast with the dark background. In some specimens black Onyx may be layered with Sard, and in many cases material may be a combination of all three. [www.mindat.org][en.wikipedia.org][Fernie, 314][www.gemselect.com]
References to Onyx and other closely related stones are found in many ancient cultures and their texts, including the Bible, at times with conflicting definitions and an overlap in terminology.
Onyx gives strength. It promotes vigor, steadfastness and stamina. Imparts self-confidence, helping you to be at ease in your surroundings. Onyx treats disorders of the bones, bone marrow and blood. It is beneficial for teeth and the feet.
Onyx and Sardonyx are reputed to improve function of the nerves and enhance the sensory organs, especially those associated with the ear. They are believed to sharpen hearing, assist in problems or diseases of the inner ear, and aid in treatments for tinnitus. [Megemont, 138][Gienger, 63, 77][Hall En, 204]
Both Onyx and Sardonyx are credited with strengthening the immune system, providing stamina and vitality to the body, and preventing relapses after illnesses. They are thought to improve cell regeneration and the regulation of fluids, and to aid in the absorption of nutrients and elimination of wastes. [Gienger, 77][Simmons, 288][Eason, 199][Hall, 257][Hall En, 204]
Onyx is considered beneficial for the teeth and bones, and supports disorders relating to bone marrow and soft tissue structures. Onyx is particularly invigorating for the feet, and supports their connection to the Root Chakra. This may be helpful for those who suffer from weak legs, or have difficulty grounding excess energies. [Melody, 452][Hall, 207][Hall En, 219][Ahsian, 289][Eason, 199]