Onyx comes from the Greek "onux", meaning fingernail, a description of a popular type of onyx. Though usually thought of as black, onyx is another type of chalcedony and forms in a series of alternating bands of various colors. The most common patterns are whites and grays or whites and blacks, if the bands are interspaced with sard it is known as sardonyx. Most black onyx on the market today is actually white onyx that has been dyed or strained.
               Onyx has a rather dark history in folklore, where most stones have positive legends attached to them only the opal rivals the fear in which onyx was traditionally viewed. It is said to literally kill love and quench desire, so like a ruby, should never be given as a gift to a mate. It is supposed to cause nightmares and dreams of the most horrid variety if worn at night, and cause squabbles, misunderstandings and even lawsuits if worn during the day. This may be why many in medieval Europe claimed that demons were bound in onyx, and why in the Middle East it is said to embody the Djinn. Indeed there are stories that in India people are so superstitious about this stone that only slaves mine it, and all onyx is exported. In spite of this it is highly valued for cameos and other carvings. According to some sard or sardonyx is said to counteract the onyx because of the divine nature of the sard.

Colors:
Almost any color, Banded                     
Locations:
India and South America
Composition:
SiO2, with impurities
Hardness:
6


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