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The Onyx Gemstone

By Frank

Highly experienced diamond polisher who loves to share his knowledge with you. Continues to stun his colleagues with interesting - or simply bizarre - facts about diamonds and gems.

December 15, 2020

Onyx is a versatile gemstone with a striking appearance. The onyx is best known for its black color. There are several other variants that we will tell you all about. It is an important protection stone and there are some fascinating workings that this gemstone is said to carry. We will tell you all about it.

Onyx stands for:

  • Power
  • Lets negative influences disappear
  • Control
  • Grief counseling
  • Perseverance
  • Positive influence on skin, hair, and nails

Origin & History

The word onyx is derived from the Greek language and means “fingernail.” This name was probably given by the similarity with the white layers and edges that fingers have and can also be found in the stone. In addition, the gemstone is said to have a beneficial effect on skin, hair and nails.

The onyx dates back to ancient times. Back then it was used as an ornamental stone. Ultimately, this gemstone was used for jewelry.


Left: black onyx with white edges. Right: black onyx with brown edges.

Characteristics of the onyx

Onyx belongs to the chalcedony family and usually has white and black edges. The stone is translucent with a matte to satin gloss.

In addition, onyx is related to agate. There are several variants of it. Usually, the gemstone has a black color and white edges. Sometimes the edges are also brown instead of white. The rarest and most sought-after variant is the deep black variety.

Some additional features of the stone:

  • Hardness: 7
  • Gloss: matte tot satin gloss
  • Transparency: translucent, opaque


Onyx is an important protection stone and has a number of healing effects. The stone supports you in stressful situations, making it also a pleasant stone during bereavement. It makes negative thoughts disappear and focuses on positive influences. In addition, the gemstone helps in achieving your goals and thus ensures perseverance, self-discipline and control. Furthermore, it is the perfect stone for people who get distracted easily because it improves one’s focus and concentration.


As mentioned earlier, onyx has a positive effect on nails, skin and hair. Small wounds heal faster and the skin is more protected. In addition, it improves the functioning of the kidneys and bladder as well as against bloating.

There are many more positive effects. For example, this gemstone works against infections and improves the nervous system and hearing. Therefore, it offers something for everyone.

witte en zwarte onyx

Left: white onyx in bracelet, source: Pinterest. Left: rare deep black onyx.

onyx sieraden

Left: red onyx in ring, source: Pinterest. Right: green onyx in medallion, source: Pinterest.

Types of onyx

The most common form of onyx is black stones with white layers and bands. It also sometimes occurs with brown edges. The most sought-after type is completely black, but it is quite rare. Furthermore, the gemstone comes in many colors, such as green, red and white.

Finding Places

Onyx comes in several varieties, but in general, they are not rare. Its main sites are Italy, Mexico, the United States, Russia, Brazil, South Africa.

onyx armband

Beaded bracelet with onyx.

Onyx jewelry

Onyx is very popular because of its healing effect in jewelry. It is also a popular gemstone for men because of its black color. In addition, the gemstone is also popular in mourning jewelry.

Onyx & Zodiac signs

Onyx is the alternative birthstone of Leo. Besides this gemstone, Leo also owns olivine or peridot as a birthstone! The main characteristics of people born between July 23 and August 23 are trustworthy, honest and courageous.

Learn more about colored gemstones and diamonds

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