Have a successful and healthy romantic relationship.
Be honest in your commitments and act with honor.
Understand the world and people around you.
Celebrate friendship, love affairs, and partnership.
Let Sardonyx inspire you to live a more meaningful life!
Mineralogy of Sardonyx
Mineral Family: Tectosilicate
Chemical Composition: SiO2
Color: Black, white, red-brown
Crystal System: Hexigonal/triagonal
Luminescence: Varies with bands yellow and blueish-white
Transparency: Translucent to opaque
Location: The principle source for natural Sardonyx is India. Additional deposits are found in Brazil and Uruguay.
Mineral Family: Sardonyx is a type of 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. Sardonyx is the name given to banded Agate which combines Black Onyx, Orange Sard (Carnelian), and/or White Agate, with occasional trace amounts of other Agate colors.
Formation: Sardonyx is a type of multicolored Chalcedony, which typically includes black (Onyx), white (colorless Chalcedony) and reddish brown (Sard) stripes or spots. Chalcedony is a fibrous Quartz formed in temperatures below 100 degrees Celsius out of solutions rich in silicic acid, typically in ingenious rocks. The silicic solutions flow through fine cracks and veins and into larger clefts and cysts.
Mining: Typically mined from primary deposits that still have their original relationship with the host rock. Sardonyx is found in the same locations as natural Onyx.
Enhancements: Sardonyx is relatively uncommon, but can be artificially created by dyeing pale Agates. Sardonyx which is known to originate from India, Brazil, or Uruguay may be considered natural, enhanced only by tumbling, cutting, and polishing.
History of Sardonyx
The history of Sardonyx can be difficult to trace, as there is quite a bit of confusion about what this gemstone actually looks like! According to some modern sources it is Sard (Also called Orange Agate or Carnelian) with white bands. Other sources unite Sard with Onyx (also called Black Agate). Still others attribute a wide variety of colors to it, blending together every shade of Agate. Regardless of which colors are included, part of what makes Sardonyx such a fascinating stone is that the different color layers lend themselves well to carving. Some of the most wonderful cameo pieces ever created are Sardonyx or banded Agate stones.
The oldest known reference to Sardonyx is an 11th century lapidary, a text which describes gemstones and their powers. According to its author, Marbod:
“The Sard and Onyx in one name unite,
And from the union spring three colors bright.
O’er jetty black the brilliant white is spread
and o’er the white diffused a fiery red:
If clear the colors, if distinct the line,
Where still unmixed the various layers join,
Such we for beauty and value prize.
Rarest of all that teeming earth supplies.”1
Despite its beauty, Marbode then states that the stone has no powers, besides the ability to neutralize negative emotions. This continued to be the general consensus for the stone for some time, until Camillus Leonardus wrote his lapidary in the 16th century. While he agreed that Sardonyx calmed negative emotions, he took it a step further and said that it also “makes men merry and agreeable.”2
Today, Sardonyx is one of the birthstones for the month of August and is also believed to be one of the twelve Biblical Foundation Stones listed in Revelations XXI. Each of these stones is carved with the name of one of the Apostles. Sardonyx has been proposed as a stone for both James and Bartholomew.
1Riddle, John M. Marbodes of Rennes’ (1035-1123) De Lapidibus, Considered as a Medical Treatise (Wiesbaden, Franz Steiner Verlag, 1977) p.46
2Camillus Leonardus, Speculum Lapidum (The Mirror of Stones) (Venice, 1502) p.312
Healing Properties of Sardonyx
Spiritual: Sardonyx encourages us to to actively create a meaningful existence, one that brings us emotional, mental, and spiritual satisfaction. It gives us the strength and determination needed to achieve our goals. It also pushes us to be virtuous and kind – to follow the “Golden Rule” and treat all beings with respect. Sardonyx reminds us that life is good! The sheer act of being here, now, and able to enjoy life is a blessing. When we live with that attitude, our life automatically becomes more joyful and generous. Sardonyx is attuned to the Root, Sacral, Solar Plexus and Third Eye Chakras and linked to the astrological signs of Aries. it is connected to the elements of Earth and Fire and vibrates to the number 3.
Emotional: Sardonyx’s energy celebrates friends and lovers, and as such is one of the most powerful stones for a happy and healthy marriage. It can also be used to attract new friends and wonderful partnerships. Sardonyx helps us to stay grounded, confident, and hopeful. With it, we are always ready to lend a helping hand to all those in need, while also taking care of ourselves and those closest to us. Sardonyx is a joyful and courageous stone, one that reminds us that true happiness lies in helping ourselves and helping others, both deeds done for the betterment of all.
Mental: Sardonyx is a wonderful mental stone, strengthening our ability to understand information and discern between truth and fiction. In particular, it helps us to see how the little things, our daily habits, add up to create our bigger reality. By changing our habits, even just small ones, we can significantly change ourselves and our world. Sardonyx also encourages us to cultivate self-control and, particularly during intense situations, to allow our logical minds a chance to think, before we get emotionally carried away.
Physical: Sardonyx is believed to help strengthen our sensory organs, particularly sight and hearing. It is often used by metaphysical healers to help regulate digestive and eliminative systems as well as to heal the immune system. Sardonyx is also said to be an extremely effective anti-depressant.
Always use wisdom when considering crystal therapies for healing.
Ethically Sourced Sardonyx
The Miners sell directly to the Lapidary.
The Lapidary sells directly to Moonrise Crystals.
Moonrise Crystals sells directly to you.
The Supply Chain
The Supply Chain is short and clean.
The Mine and Lapidary are located in the same country.
This Sardonyx was artisanally mined in India.
The exact deposit is unknown, but most likely caused only minor environmental damage,
and would have been relatively low risk for miners.
Learn More: Ethical Mining
This Sardonyx was polished in Mumbai, India.
The Lapidary is owned by two long-time friends and business partners.
Unusual for India, factory workers have safe conditions and are paid fairly.
The Lapidary is also the direct-importer & sells exclusively at large gem shows.
Learn More: Ethical Lapidary
I first met one of the owners of the lapidary at the Denver Gem Show in 2017. Our first encounter was short since it was my last day of shopping and I had already spent most of my budget. But their tumbled stock was the highest quality I had ever seen. A few months later we met again in Tucson and this time I made sure to see them at the beginning of the show!
In 2019, at the Tucson Gem Show, I was able to sit down with both owners and have a lengthy conversation about sourcing. Unlike most vendors, they were willing to speak with me in-depth about how they make sure their business is ethical. We talked about individual mines they source from both in India as well as how they source from other countries. We also talked about how they treat their own workers and about the links between business, karma and God. Their willingness to talk and their pleasure at the conversation makes me eager to continue to develop and deepen this relationship.
Sardonyx Tumbled Stone
Color: Black, white and orange. 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 Sardonyx
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