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Article: Onyx


Definition and Composition of Onyx

  • Onyx is a type of mineral and a form of chalcedony.
  • It belongs to the quartz family and is composed of fine-grained silica minerals.
  • Onyx is often used as a gemstone.

Appearance and Formation of Onyx

  • Onyx comes in various colors, including black, white, brown, and green.
  • It has a smooth and glossy texture.
  • The colors of onyx can be naturally occurring or enhanced through treatments.
  • Onyx often exhibits bands or layers of different colors.
  • Onyx is formed in the cavities of lava flows or volcanic rocks through the deposition of silica-rich fluids.
  • The slow and gradual process of crystallization results in the formation of onyx.
  • The unique banding patterns in onyx are a result of alternating precipitation of different minerals.

Uses of Onyx

  • Onyx is widely used in jewelry-making and is carved into beads, cabochons, and cameos.
  • It is used to create decorative objects and sculptures.
  • Onyx is utilized in the construction industry for countertops, wall cladding, and flooring.
  • It is also employed in the manufacturing of luxury items such as watches and pens.

Geographic Occurrence and Historical Use of Onyx

  • Onyx is found in various regions including Greece, Yemen, Uruguay, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Latin America, the UK, and various states in the US.
  • Onyx has a long history of use in hardstone carving, jewelry, intaglio, and cameo engraved gems.
  • Some onyx is natural, but much of it in commerce is stained agate.
  • Onyx was used in Egypt as early as the Second Dynasty and in Minoan Crete.
  • Brazilian green onyx was used for art deco sculptures, and green onyx trays and pin dishes were produced in Austria.
  • Onyx is mentioned multiple times in the Bible and was known to the Ancient Greeks and Romans.

Symbolism and Beliefs about Onyx

  • Onyx has been associated with protection and strength.
  • It is believed to have grounding properties.
  • In ancient times, onyx was used in amulets to ward off negative energy.
  • Onyx is considered a stone of self-control and discipline.
  • It is believed to enhance mental focus and concentration.

Onyx Data Sources

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