Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Gemology - Learning about Gemstones and Minerals - Black Onyx

I thought it might be kinda fun to share some information about the different gemstones and minerals I use in my jewelry. Although I'm just a novice regarding the scientific particulars, there is a wealth of information about gems on the web. I'm particularly fond of the metaphysical properties and folklore surrounding gemstones. Crystal healing is a real practice, using certain gemstones for their properties to aid in the body's natural defenses as well as emotional well-being. I love to use stones that benefit the wearer or user of my pieces.

Men's Bracelet in Black Onyx
I wondered where on earth to start? I don't work with diamonds, emeralds or rubies at this time - just too darned expensive for this upstart business! But I love the beauty of long-wearing, practical semi-precious gemstones and minerals. So I decided to start with a basic favorite - Black Onyx.

Black Onyx as we know it has a gorgeous deep black color. It's a form of chalcedony, a part of the Quartz family, and is usually dyed for full color. It's most often mined in Brazil, but gray chalcedony is found in India and China. Onyx forms in multiple layers like agates; what we call "onyx" is usually found with a black base covered by a white layer. This white layer over black could be carved away to create a negative relief, like a cameo; the Romans achieved beautiful results with this process, called glyptography.
Gothic Anglican Rosary

Black Onyx is thought to offer protective qualities. It is considered beneficial to carry it when traveling for this reason. Black is a color associated with new beginnings, starting over. Recommended for those fighting basic fears or getting past negative experiences, it is a source of encouragement for some, reinforcing one's inner strength.

Military Rosary Tenner
I love to use Black Onyx in rosaries, especially for those in national and local public service - military, police, firefighters, etc. It's beautiful, and because of these other metaphysical properties, I feel it makes a wise stone choice.

Does Black Onyx appeal to you? Do you respond to it when you see it, like you need to touch it? If so, you just might benefit from a piece of black onyx jewelry. Feel free to contact me about a custom piece - I love custom orders and do my best to keep my prices down.

To see some of the black onyx pieces I have in my shop, click here.

I'd love to hear what you think! What stones appeal to you? I'm happy to share what information I can glean in a future post!


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