ONYX, a black or white variety of chalcedony, usually in alternating bands
- VARIETY OF: Crypto-crystalline
- USES: Gemstone and ornamental stone.
- COLOR: black and/or white
- HARDNESS: 7
- CLEAVAGE: none
- CRYSTAL SYSTEM: none visible (actual crystals are microscopic)
- For natural Onyx mineral specimens see our For Sale or Sold lists
Onyx is a black or white variety of
chalcedony (cryptocrystalline quartz),
usually with alternating bands. It is a fine-grained quartz whose crystals are
too small to see.
Onyx is popular as a carving stone, since clever use of alternating bands of
black and white can create a highly appealing carving.
Onyx is the traditional birthstone
for February. It is associated with relaxation and comfort.
Onyx is only one of several
chalcedony (cryptocrystalline quartz) varieties.
The primary varieties are as follows:
- Agate is a banded variety
(sometimes with translucent bands)
- Bloodstone is
green with red speckles
- Carnelian is yellow
- Chrysoprase is
- Flint is generally black
with a fibrous microscopic structure
- Jasper is any colorful
- Onyx is black, white, or
alternating black and white
- Sard is yellow to brown
- Sardonyx is banded,
alternating sard and (usually white) onyx