ONYX, a black or white variety of chalcedony, usually in alternating bands

VARIETY INFORMATION:

  • VARIETY OF: Crypto-crystalline Quartz , SiO2
  • USES: Gemstone and ornamental stone.
  • COLOR: black and/or white
  • HARDNESS: 7
  • CLEAVAGE: none
  • CRYSTAL SYSTEM: none visible (actual crystals are microscopic)
  • For natural Onyx mineral specimens see our For Sale or Sold lists

Onyx is a black or white variety of chalcedony (cryptocrystalline quartz), usually with alternating bands. It is a fine-grained quartz whose crystals are too small to see.

Onyx is popular as a carving stone, since clever use of alternating bands of black and white can create a highly appealing carving.

Onyx is the traditional birthstone for February. It is associated with relaxation and comfort.

Onyx is only one of several chalcedony (cryptocrystalline quartz) varieties. The primary varieties are as follows:

  • Agate is a banded variety (sometimes with translucent bands)
  • Bloodstone is green with red speckles
  • Carnelian is yellow to orange
  • Chrysoprase is green
  • Flint is generally black with a fibrous microscopic structure
  • Jasper is any colorful agate
  • Onyx is black, white, or alternating black and white
  • Sard is yellow to brown
  • Sardonyx is banded, alternating sard and (usually white) onyx

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