The Mysterious Onyx Jewellery
Black Onyx is considered to be a midnight gem due to its colour. It is making a comeback on the runways, and combined with platinum and diamonds it creates a stunning effect. Enigmatic black onyx jewellery in sparkling strands of beads looks simple yet striking. Onyx, when shaped and polished, stirs up the images of dark places and night skies. Mysterious and melancholy, at times the black onyx stands in contrast to the riot of colours forming a rainbow through fancy coloured stones on various metals. The stark black hue of onyx is quite intimidating as opposed to the burst of colours with other fancy coloured stones.
The shadowy effect of the onyx renders a unique quality to jewellery items. Onyx is a form of chalcedony which appears in strands of alternating colours making it unique in appearance. The striking fact is that the bands are arranged in a parallel manner and not in a disarrayed manner as noticed in other agates. Ancient Romans made use of the stones for negative relief carvings. Intricate scenes were carved out on the layers individually. Cameos and Intaglios used black onyx frequently. Jewellers given to experiments provided a 3 dimensional effect on the jewellery items by engraving contrasting coloured bands. Onyx is an ideal choice for making beads.
Whenever we hear of onyx, immediately we associate the stone with black colour. However, onyx is available in a wide range of colours from white to deep purple. Black onyx is the most popular one when it comes to jewellery. However, we also find pieces made from other colours especially deep purple. Black onyx, which is mentioned in Naturalis Historia by Pliny, a first century naturalist and philosopher, most of the time is treated with heat or dye . In fact, according to legend onyx was the broken pieces of Venus’ fingernails trimmed by Cupid.
Onyx jewellery should be cared for by using a soft brush or a dry cloth to clean the dirt off the gemstone. Remember not to soak the jewellery item in water because onyx is porous in nature and will absorb water quickly resulting in change of colour. If you own a gold/silver onyx ring, then you have to take care that the stone does not come in contact with the solution you are using to clean the metal. Onyx is a vulnerable gemstone hence it is not recommended to be worn during household chores or swimming sessions. Also store it in a clutter free space to avoid chipping or cracking.