Black onyx is both beautiful and mysterious. Various cultures throughout the centuries have taken one look at onyx and ascribed to it profound meaning. Black onyx has been an empowering and protective gemstone across different cultures worldwide. These mesmerizing stones can be used for grounding, to stay calm and centered, elevate self-confidence, stimulates the power of wise decision making, and the protection from negative energy. Its calming quality is also seen as beneficial in working with adverse emotions, such as anxiety and grief. As it also helps balance the yin and yang, onyx helps us feel centered to make wise decisions.
The Ancient Greeks called it "fingernail" because flesh-colored onyx with white bands may sometimes resemble a fingernail. The origins of its name were derived from a Roman and Greek mythological legend where Cupid clipped the fingernails of the goddess, Venus while she slept. As her nails fell from Mount Olympus into the sacred Indus River, and to immortalize every part of her body, the clippings metamorphosed into Onyx as they were believed to be divine.
The ability of black onyx to absorb light efficiently is seen as parallel to absorbing negativity and was therefore used to ward off evil and facilitate healing, which many cultures recognize. Its light-absorbing properties also absorb the universe energies required for healing and other purposes. In ancient Indian tales, onyx is valued as a stone that protects relationships from evil and disharmony and helps keep stability and balance. Onyx is also valued as a balancing stone to change the energy in the lives within the body and allow more ease in ones life. In gemology, onyx is a powerful crystal recognized for its ability to center your energy and align it with a higher power, facilitating your connection with the whole by accessing higher guidance.
Like most semi-precious stones, black onyx is available in larger sizes and is somewhat rare. Formed beneath the earth by sedimentation, onyx has parallel bands consisting of intergrowths of quartz and morganite. The purest and most natural forms of black onyx can only be found in South America, particularly Brazil, and are rare in places such as Afghanistan, India, Madagascar, and the U.S. With a Mohs scale for hardness at 6.5, onyx is a good choice of gem for carving.
The best onyx gemstones should have a well-polished and reflective surface and should appear slightly transparent Natural black onyx does exist, although it is rarely found in nature. The black onyx found in the old world was usually processed from common chalcedony and plain agates to make them black. Pliny the Elder, the first-century naturalist, described the process for producing black onyx by soaking chalcedony and agates in sugar solutions, then treating these with strong acids to carbonize the sugars absorbed into the stone. These techniques are still used to treat gray chalcedony and other colored onyx to turn these into black.
Black Onyx Rings
Since ancient times, black onyx rings have adorned the fingers of royalty, holy persons, shamans, and persons of note. Cleopatra is reported to have worn black onyx for its potent protective features and that it could protect her from any danger or negative energy. She kept these black stones close to herself to help her sense danger. As stones befitting royalty, these stones help us keep our wise counsel.
The peak of artistry and elegance of black onyx rings was reached during the Victorian era. From cabochon to table and round cuts, the highly-valued brilliant cuts for black onyx began to appear during this era. Mourning was a constant theme during what was considered as the “Grand Period,” which followed the death of Albert, the Prince Consort and spouse of Queen Victoria, where black onyx became popular.
The Victorian era was indeed a time of symbolic, self-expression, and experimentation in jewelry design for women. The flowing, intricate patterns are inspired by nature that breathes romantic motifs, and profound symbolism is expressed in the designs. There was rarely any stone that typified the era more than brilliant-cut black onyx stones.
The styles of contemporary gothic jewelry draw inspiration mainly from the designs of that era. They are the ultimate symbols of feminine strength, identity, and attributes. Aptly set in natural floral design patterns in vintage metal patina, the faceted onyx in the Gothic Rose Cocktail Ring symbolizes nature and rebirth. In the Bible, it was written that black onyx, together with resin and gold, were the elements of creation. In gothic gemology, the deep black hue of black onyx, among other black gemstones, is preferred because of its affinity to the moon and the night to symbolize and emphasize femininity profoundly. With its intricately faceted design, the black onyx in the Gothic Rose Cocktail Ring also presents the multiple facets of the wearer.
Black Onyx Earrings
Hoop earrings are a strong statement of femininity. In contrast, earrings with floral designs reflect the innocence and tenderness of a woman, as well as rebirth and the cyclical perfection of nature as represented by a woman's divine characteristics. However, the earring design that best complements black onyx gems is dangling earrings because they symbolize balance, which reveals a woman is in harmony and grounded, as also powerfully communicated by black onyx.
Contemporary gothic jewelry, while adapting sophisticated forms inspired by design cues from the past, takes on even more profound meaning. For example, the Petals of Divina faceted onyx chandelier earrings take shape using the explicit forms of great French cathedrals creating windows that seem to allow a peek into the wearer's soul. The black onyx briolettes provide a perfect balance to an intricate piece that also sings an ode to the feminine and the divine. With the elongated and statuesque faceted onyx, these faceted stones highlight the many sides of the wearer, as well as enhance her beauty and elegance.
Black Onyx Necklaces
Necklaces are the type of jewelry most identified with black onyx and its deep symbolism. Black onyx is believed to have protective properties. These protective amulets are typically worn as necklaces to protect the wearer from negative energy or serve as a shield to protect against any harm.
They are best worn close to the heart as a healing stone that is also symbolic of confidence, balance, harmony, and being grounded. Black onyx activates specific chakras deep inside the body that helps in grounding the body, mind, and soul. Black onyx is finely set in intricate and sophisticated patterns that define the dramatic look of Victorian gothic jewelry.
As a woman who wants to convey her majestic qualities, wearing a finely detailed statement necklace truly defines her status as the master of her own destiny. With black onyx, a mighty warrior stone, set in radiating patterns in finely detailed, intricately crafted silver framing details, the Majestic Faceted Onyx Necklace magnifies the brilliance of the wearer.
Black onyx is sought-after, not just for its beauty but also for its profound symbolism across different cultures. With its deep black hue and captivating beauty, black onyx has adorned people for millennia. Its dramatic color and opaque surface make it much-loved to this day. Once set in intricate gothic rings, necklaces, and earrings, they enhance the wearer's beauty and match well with a wide range of outfit options. Besides being excellent stones for intricate gothic jewelry, their association with confidence, balance, harmony, and being grounded make them highly relevant to today's woman. For a woman who wants aid for her own destiny and enhanced emotional well-being, having black onyx set in gothic jewelry is a perfect choice.