SARDONYX, a variety of agate with alternating orange and white bands
VARIETY OF: Crypto-crystalline
USES: Gemstone and ornamental stone.
COLOR: alternating bands of yellow-brown and white
CRYSTAL SYSTEM: none visible (actual crystals are microscopic)
For natural Sardonyx mineral specimens see our For Sale or Sold lists
Sardonyx is a banded variety of
with layers alternating between Sard
and Onyx. It is an impure fine-grained quartz whose crystals are
too small to see.
The color is usually a yellow-brown alternating with white, but other variants
are also called sardonyx.
The banded nature of sardonyx is used to advantage by lapidaries and artisans,
as a careful selection of material and design allows the creation of bas-relief
art, where one layer is left as a foreground, and another is used as the
background for a carving.
Sardonyx is the traditional birthstone
for August. It is associated with relaxation and security.
Sardonyx is only one of several
chalcedony(cryptocrystalline quartz) varieties.
The primary varieties are as follows:
Agate is a banded variety
(sometimes with translucent bands)
green with red speckles
Carnelian is yellow
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