Focus your energy on what is most important.
Be disciplined and follow things to completion.
Feel grounded, protected, and confident.
Increase discernment and be more logical.
Let Onyx inspire you to do what needs to be done!
Mineralogy of Onyx
Mineral Family: Tectosilicate
Chemical Composition: SiO2 Silicon dioxide
Crystal System: Hexigonal/triagonal
Luminescence: Varies, can be yellow or blueish-white
Transparency: Translucent to opaque
Location: Natural Onyxes are found in relatively large deposits in Brazil, India, and Uruguay. Smaller deposits have been found in Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Germany, Madagascar, Pakistan, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Mineral Family: Onyx is a rare type of black Agate and a silicate mineral. Agate is a tiny twig on a far off branch of the crystal family tree. Silicate minerals form the largest family of minerals, including more than 25% of all known minerals and 40% of all common minerals. In addition to being a major part of the Earth’s crust, Silicate minerals have also been found on the moon and in meteorites. Silicates are minerals which contain the elements Silicon (a light gray shiny metal) and Oxygen (a colorless gas). Together, these two elements form a tetrahedron – a shape similar to a pyramid – with a Silicon atom in the center and Oxygen atoms at each of the four corners. These tetrahedra connect with other chemical structures, in six different ways, to form various minerals and rocks. There are six main groups of Silicate minerals, and these main groups are further subdivided into secondary subdivisions, such as Quartz and Feldspar. Quartz is a large mineral family in its own right, and has two main subdivisions, macrocrystalline (crystals that are large enough to be seen by the naked eye, for example, Amethyst) and microcrystalline (crystals so small they can only be seen through a microscope, for example, Agate). All microcrystalline Quartz falls under the subcategory of Chalcedony, which is then further subdivided. One of these categories is Agate. Onyx is the name given to pure black as well as black and white striped Agate.
Formation: Onyx is created when liquid magma from a volcanic explosion cools down and transforms into igneous rock. During this cooling down period, silica acid bubbles shift from being a gas/liquid into a solid compound. The bubble becomes a hollow space in the igneous rock and the silica acid becomes Quartz crystals. Agates are formed when thin sheets of Quartz are layered with other minerals, creating a wide variety of colors and patterns. Onyx is pure black, and is found only in small quantities, often layered with White Agate. It is also commonly found with Orange Sard (more commonly known as Carnelian) and together they form Sardonyx.
Mining: Typically found at a primary deposit which still has its original relationship with the host rock.
Enhancements: Black Onyx is a relatively uncommon mineral, and when fully natural is often banded or blended with other forms of Agate. Cheap Black Onyx is often artificially created by dyeing pale Agates.
History of Onyx
While today most people think of Onyx as a pure black stone, in ancient times the name Onyx was used to refer to a wide variety of light colored Agates. The name Onyx comes from the Roman onux, meaning “claw or nail,” which is thought to be a reference to a group of relatively common stones such as Alabaster, Pink Chalcedony, and Onyx Marble, all of which have a soft pinkish-white color, similar to the luster of polished fingernails. In Hebrew, onux means “shining stone.”
According to one Roman myth, Onyx stones had a very unique origin story. When the world was still new, Venus, the Goddess of Love and Beauty, was sleeping on the banks of the sacred Indus River, in India. Her son, Cupid, god of desire, kindly gave her a manicure, using one of his enchanted arrows to do the work. As the nail parings fell into the water, they sank to the bottom and were transformed into Onyx!
For much of its history, Onyx has the rare distinction of being known for mainly negative qualities, rather than positive! According to one medieval lapidary, a text which describes gemstones and their powers, “[Black] Onyx… has bad virtues because he who wears it at the neck or on the back will see devils; it causes many frivolities, brings anger and disagreement, but it gives hardiness.”1 People were advised to instead wear Sardonyx, or if they intended to wear Black Onyx, to wear Carnelian as well.
Other lapidaries offered more positive traits, suggesting that Onyx calmed lust and otherwise cooled emotional passions. Camillus Leonardus, an Italian physician, astronomer, and author of Speculum lapidum (1502), described Onyx in his work, stating that Onyx helped quicken labor and bring about the safe delivery of infants, as well as preventing epilepsy falls. Throughout Europe, Onyx was widely believed to be one of the best stones for pregnant women. A fist-sized Onyx was once part of the lost silver reliquary in the Abbey of St. Alban in England. It was reportedly engraved with an image of Asclepius, the ancient Greek god of healing. This large Onyx was left unset and was taken to the homes of nearby women so that they could hold it during labor and thus ease the pain of childbirth. It is thought that this stone was probably an old pagan amulet that was later given to the shrine and assigned Christian meanings.
1Blanas, Kat, translation of Isaac del Sotto’s Le Lapidaire Du Quatorzieme Siecle. (Geneva: 1882, Reprinted, 1974) p. 57
Healing Properties of Onyx
Spiritual: Onyx teaches us the importance of self-mastery, or the ability to harness our own strength and focus, in the pursuit of our most important goals. It is a wonderfully grounding, centering, and balancing stone for anyone with great spiritual aspirations, as self-mastery is one of the most important aspects of self-realization. Attaining Enlightenment, or any other high spiritual state, takes enormous dedication and a willingness to look deeply at ourselves and our world. Onyx provides that strength, and also the steadiness of vision to see the truth and align ourselves accordingly. Onyx also provides a deep root connection, allowing us to draw energy from the wider world and universe to augment our own energy pools. Onyx is attuned to the Root, Solar Plexus, and Third Eye Chakras and linked to the astrological sign of Leo. It is connected to the element of Earth and vibrates to the number 6.
Emotional: Onyx has a very calming energy, which can help to reduce anxiety and grief. It promotes self-confidence, self-control, and independence. Onyx can help us to logically work through our emotions, particularly negative emotions like fear or anger. It can show us the root cause behind our unhappiness and the simple solutions to most problems. These solutions are simple on the surface, but often require dedicated work on our part. Onyx provides us with strength and determination so we can do what is necessary. Onyx is also a fantastic stone for conflict resolution, as its energy encourages us to sit in non-judgment, carefully listening to both sides of an argument and assessing the facts, before coming to any conclusions.
Mental: Onyx is an excellent tool for students and anyone who is actively learning new information or a new skill set. It stimulates logical, analytical thinking and the ability to see connections and arrive at accurate conclusions. Onyx is also particularly helpful when we need to take a closer look at our own life and make some wise decisions. It helps us to realistically examine our actions and beliefs, and determine what course of action will best serve our own Highest Good. Onyx reminds us to stay focused on the things that are inside our circle of control and to not waste precious energy complaining about those things which we cannot control. If our hearts are set on making a difference, then Onyx can show us how to get involved and expand our circle of influence.
Physical: Onyx has been used for centuries to ease childbirth and hasten labor. Today, it is widely used by metaphysical healers to treat conditions in the feet and lower half of the body. It is also believed to significantly increase endurance and physical strength, making it an excellent talisman for athletes, particularly anyone training for marathons, triathlons, and other demanding competitions. Onyx is also said to be a good stone for anyone needing to regain their physical vigor, for instance, after suffering a chronic illness or major health crisis.
Always use wisdom when considering crystal therapies for healing.
Ethically Sourced Onyx
The Miners sell to a rough Gem Dealer/Exporter.
The Exporter sells to a Lapidary.
The Lapidary sells directly to Moonrise Crystals.
Moonrise Crystals sells directly to you.
The Supply Chain
The Supply Chain is clean and relatively short.
The Mine and the Lapidary are located in different countries, with one middleman involved.
This Onyx was artisanally-mined in India
The exact deposit is unknown, but most likely caused only minor environmental damage
Learn More: Ethical Mining
This Onyx was polished in Cape Town, South Africa.
The Lapidary is a family-owned business, founded by father and passed on to his sons.
Factory workers have safe conditions and are paid fairly.
The Lapidary is also the direct-importer & sells primarily at large gem shows.
Learn More: Ethical Lapidary
I have been doing business with this source since the earliest days in my business. They are a major tumbling company and have more varieties, in more sizes, than any other known source. The owners visit many small and industrial-size mines personally. For artisanal-mined deposits in sub-Sahara Africa, the owners work with Gem Dealers who deal directly with the part-time miners. The majority of these Gem Dealers are women.
Some, but not all, of their stones are labeled with country-of-origin. For those that aren’t, I have to ask the owners personally. They tend to get impatient with questions. As I’ve learned more about mining practices in individual countries, I have become increasingly selective about what I will purchase from them. However, they remain my preferred source for most of sub-Sahara Africa.
Onyx Tumbled Stone
Color: Black. This is a 100% natural stone, so minor variations are part of their unique beauty.
Size: 1 inch, or a little bit bigger
Weight: 1 oz
Shipping: Next business day – Domestic First Class averages 3-7 days. International First Class averages 2-3 weeks.
Safe Handling of Onyx
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