Onyx, noted for its stunning pitch-black color that may or may not include white flecks that resemble a night sky, is considered a niche material for homes and offices due to its structural properties. However, the stone is still popularly used in decorative applications, and provides a unique look to any space!
Onyx had long-been known for its energy cleansing properties, as the semi-precious stone is thought to be good for preventing bad Karma, as well as warding off any evil. Ancient civilizations believed that the darkness of onyx is attributed to the amount of negative energy trapped within the stone, and that darker stones hold mysterious secrets.
Ancient Egyptians believed in the power of onyx for their protection against evil entities, disease, and pitiful harvests. Cleopatra was said to be especially fond of onyx, incorporating the stone into her daily wardrobe and jewelry. She believed that the stone would warn her of incoming dangers, and store her beloved memories in its core.
Today, onyx continues to uphold its reputation as a protective stone, and is most popular among crystal therapy believers as they incorporate the stone in their homes and garments. Modern uses for onyx include decorative pieces, and as beads for jewelry, charms, and other wearables.
The best feature of onyx is its pitch-black background with a slight translucency that represents the night sky. Few natural stones can have the raven-colored hues of onyx, and the stone shows off a shiny brilliance on its surface as well.
Onyx has a smooth surface that is predominantly black, but may often have white banding or lightning strikes amidst the background. The stone is mainly composed of silica minerals like quartz, and can also come in shades of deep red. Red onyx is called sardonyx, but is less famous than its black counterpart.
Onyx can also be treated to show shades of yellow, green, or brown instead. However, many jewelers would treat onyx to give off the dark, black color that is most remarkable for the stone. The silky, lustrous appearance of onyx is much desired, as the stone needs no polish to give off a smooth appearance.
Beneficial Features of Onyx
Unlike the more popular stones marble and granite, onyx has a relatively lower density, hardness, and malleability as the stone tends to be more brittle than most stones. However, onyx is mostly renowned for its physical appearance instead of its structural integrity, which is why the stone is mostly used in areas where there is not much activity.
When properly cared for, onyx can be a durable stone that lasts over a hundred years. Durability is not its most prominent attribute, but the translucency of the stone is what makes onyx a prized material in home and decor design. Well-lit onyx can give off a stunning glow that cannot be mimicked by other stones, and offers gorgeous patterns through its veining.
Overall, onyx makes for a unique material that is meant to be the focal piece in any room, especially when used as an accenting piece in otherwise light or neutral-toned interiors. The stone is best left to be admired, not used.
Uses of Onyx
Onyx has various uses in architecture, interior design, and even in crystal therapy. Onyx was believed to have protective properties, clearing away bad Karma energy. Some homeowners would include onyx in their interiors to sway away bad omens from their homes, or to push for focus, protection, and willpower.
The protective beliefs that surround the stone increased the demand for onyx to be used as tiles, countertops, and for decorative pieces. Sealed onyx can last for generations when properly cleaned, and while the stone is not as popular as marble and granite, onyx can be used in kitchen islands, backsplashes, and bathroom vanities.
The most common use of onyx is as decorative stones, especially when polished and placed together with other crystal stones for their mood-lifting energies. Onyx is best used in areas that do not experience much activity due to the relative softness and brittle nature of the stone.
Because onyx is made of a porous, silica material, the stone tends to absorb water well. Avoid soaking the stone, especially when unsealed. As much as possible, use a dry but soft cloth to clean onyx items.
Acidic solutions can dissolve onyx, and cause etch marks on the surface, so stick to using mild soap to clean your onyx fixtures instead. When used as a countertop, onyx will need to be sealed to prevent moisture, scratches, and brittleness. Best to use onyx for decorative pieces instead of practical ones as the stone does not go well with wear and tear.