Onyx is a stone that I'm using a lot in the work I'm doing and is a very popular stone. The onyx is black in colour with a fine texture. Onyx is a banded variety of Chalcedony and the bands in the most common specimens vary from white to all shades of tan and brown. The layers within this stone range from translucent to opaque.
Onyx is derived from the Greek work Onux which means nail or claw. There are a few stories about this stone and the legend is one day whilst Venus was sleeping, Eros/Cupid cut her fingernails and left the clippings scattered on the ground. As no heavenly part of the body can die, the Gods turned them into stone which became known as Onyx. The Romans also wore Sardonyx talismans engraved with heroes such as Hercules (God of War). Sardonyx is a variety of onyx that is reddish brown with white and lighter reds. Onyx was more valuable in ancient times then it is today.
Onyx has a 6.5 scale on the Mohrs* scale of hardness and is a commonly used for carving. The main sources of Onyx are from India or South Africa but it can be found in other countries such as Italy, Mexico, USA, Russia and Brazil.
Black onyx is believed to be one of the most powerful of the protection stones. The onyx generally does this by absorbing and transforming negative energy. It is also known to sharpen the wits of the wearer, bringing spirtiualisation - the onyx is associated with many metaphysical properties.
Some of the physical properties onyx is associated with is that it can also be used as a heart, kidney, nerve, capillary, hair and eye strengthener. It has been said that this stone can eliminate apathy, stress and neurological disorders.
Onyx is the birth stone for February, but is also known as the mystical stone for December and a lucky charm under the astrological sign of Leo. Onyx is recognised as the tenth wedding anniversary gemstone and is the first root chakra grounding stone.
*The Mohrs Scale of Hardness measures a substances hardness or how resistant it is to being scratched. The scale ranges from 1 to 10. For example a diamonds hardness equals 10 on the scale and will scratch a garnet (hardness equates to 6.5-7.5) however a garnet can not scratch a diamond as a diamond is harder.