Birthstone: Alternative birthstone for July, Black Onyx is also seen as a stone for the Zodiac sign 'Leo'.
Meaning: Black Onyx is thought to provide strength, protection and grounding.
What is Black Onyx?
Onyx is a semiprecious variety of agate, and is found naturally in a black and white striped formation. Onyx is formed, like other chalcedonies, from deposits of silica from silica-rich waters percolating through cracks in other rocks. Although natural pure black onyx does exist, it is extremely rare and so the Black Onyx stones you see are normally produced by heating and and polishing the stone.
Where does Black Onyx come from?
Most Onyx is found in India and South America, however it can be found across the world. Black Onyx was popular in the ancient Greek and Roman times as it's hardness (6.5-7 Mohs) meant it was a popular choice for carving ornaments.
What is the meaning of Black Onyx?
Black Onyx was often used as an amulet as it was believed to have properties of strength and protection as well as absorbing negative energy. In antiquity, black onyx was worn by soldiers during battle to harbor protection and success. It is also said to have grounding properties, by connecting the mind and body to the soil.
How to care for Black Onyx
Onyx needs to be cared for to stay in top condition. Because the stone is sensitive to chemicals and naturally fragile, it should not come in contact with strong perfumes or chemicals, should be kept away from direct sunlight and heat, and should not be hit or knocked against hard surfaces. Onyx is rated 6.5-7 on the Mohs hardness scale and so it is easily scratched, it is important to care for it during storage as well. Keep it in a separate pouch away from other jewellery to avoid scratching. To clean your onyx, wipe the stone with a soft cotton cloth to remove surface oil and dirt. A damp cloth can be used for a deeper clean before buffing with a soft cloth. Ensure the stone is dry before storing. A small drop of olive oil can be used to give the stone a glossy look. Ultrasonic and steam cleaners are not appropriate for onyx and are likely to damage the stone.