This unique form of chalcedony is best known for its black and white banded coloring, but can come in many different hues spanning the color spectrum. Black onyx is particularly striking, with its deep ebony color making for interesting accent pieces for modern jewelry.
Onyx first appeared as Egyptian bowls and pottery, and is even mentioned in the opening book of Genesis in the Old Testament of the Bible (as well as later on in Revelation). The name onyx is derived from the Greek word onux, meaning fingernail. Roman mythology tells of Cupid cutting off part of Venus’ fingernail with an arrow during her sleep, and the Fates transforming it into stone to prevent even a small part of the goddess from perishing.
With a toughness and durability making it suitable for carvings, rings, or center pieces for jewelry, onyx is a versatile gemstone with a long and illustrious history.