The name Onyx comes from the Greek word meaning claw, or fingernail. This divine crystal resembles the human nail, thus the name.
Beautiful yet mysterious Onyx contains a might and energy which glows within it. Its colours can vary from a powerful bright red, to a deep and profound black. Alongside Agate, this light-eating crystal is a variety of layered chalcedony.
Onyx is formed in chalcedony bands and, with its broad array of colours, it is cryptocrystalline. Cryptocrystalline is a rock texture which is made of minute crystals. These rocks are differentiated from other crystallines by the white lines on the mineral itself. This is only possible in the presence of silicates and a mineral called moganite.
Onyx is found in large quantities in several mining points in the world including China, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Canada, the UK and several states in the USA. Photo on the right side shows RubyCharm ring made of Onyx called Fountain of Eternal Youth.
Onyx is formed in vesicles of lava. Vesicular texture is volcanic rock texture with many holes and voids, found in igneous and glassy rocks. These holes in the lava are made by a volcanic eruption. As the process of cooling begins, the gas within the lava itself starts evaporating, forming voids and holes in the magma. When the lava solidifies, what remains is a solid magmatic vesicular rock. Within these holes, the glorious Onyx is made. Because of this origin, we can say that Onyx holds the soul of fire. (this photo was made by National Geographic photographer Carsten Peter - Molten lava explodes like fireworks over Mount Etna. In 2002, a large eruption sent up a column of ash that could be seen as far away as Libya.)
Throughout history, many great samples of Onyx were mined and cut into beautiful pieces of jewellery and other items. For example, the Egyptians used Onyx in making bowls and pottery items during the second dynasty. Onyx was also known to be used by the Ancient Greeks and the Romans. One of the greatest pieces of Onyx ever cut was the “Gemma Augestea”, a Roman cameo shaped into two layers of Onyx. It’s believed to have been made in 9-12 AD. Photo on the right shows Gemma Augustea - Self-photographed, October 2013 (James Steakley)
Onyx — dark and light devouring like the notorious Black Hole, a cosmic mystery — carries its own mysteries yet to be revealed to humans and only known to the one whom crafted it. If you listen carefully, it will reveal a mystery to you too.
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