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  • Curated By Callisto

What is Onyx?

Onyx is a coveted material known for its translucent properties. There are two different types of Onyx that are referred to; the commercially known stone, and the black precious gemstone. Onyx is formed of chalcedony, a mineral mainly composed of calcite which is sensitive. Their unique structure typically contains parallel or undulating bands of colour, ranging from white to black and everything in between.

Black onyx is extremely rare, durable and has a very deep colouration of brown, gray and black with certain white banding. It is very difficult to find truly black onyx, and many manufacturers have resorted to dying more commonly available onyx to sell as black. This lowers its rarity and therefore its value, so please be wary and buy from a certified buyer you trust, where the stone has been certified.

In the design and décor world, white onyx is greatly valued for its high translucency as well as blue and pink onyx for their rare mineral composition and bright colouration. More commonly you will find honey, amber, red, gray and green colours.

Onyx is created by spring water close to the surface that is over-saturated in calcite minerals and leaves deposits in layers at the mouth of the spring or within underwater caves. Due to the fragile nature of this materials, smaller pieces are typically used in the production of décor, furniture, and architectural elements like windows and feature walls.

Similar to limestone it can be produced as vein-cut or cross-cut, each way showcasing different aspects of the stone. Typically any pits, holes and imperfections will be filled with similar colour resin to create a smooth surface.

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