Gemstone Review – Onyx – The Fingernails of Venus – agate gemstone

Gemstone Review – Onyx – The Fingernails of Venus – agate gemstone
agate gemstone –

Mention the name of the gemstone onyx, and one is apt to think of a black stone, and it is most of the time. But there are also onyx stones that run from dark brown to white in color, or have white or red bands running through the stone. Onyx is a variety of quartz, chalcedony quartz to be specific. Some other forms of chalcedony quartz are flint, petrified wood, bloodstone, agate, jasper, and petrified dinosaur bone. Some of these forms of chalcedony quartz were the first stones used by man and were used to make arrow heads, knives and tools. Most of the onyx mined today comes from Brazil, India, California and Uruguay. The stone is very hard, very finely textured and is sometimes used for carvings.

How Onyx Got Its Name

The ancient Greeks had a story for everything, and onyx is no exception. The name of the stone comes from the Greek word for nail or claw. The story goes that while the goddess Venus was sleeping one day, the mischievous Cupid cut her fingernails with the head of one of his arrows. The cut fingernails were left on the ground, and were turned to stone because no part of a heavenly goddess would be allowed to perish, not even her fingernails. The ancient Greeks called most of the forms of chalcedony quartz by the name of onyx. It was the Romans who later restricted the use of the name to dark stones, but even today the stone is many times called black onyx to differentiate between other colors of the stone.

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The ancients believed that wearing an onyx stone strengthened the heart and kidneys, reduced stress, improved eyesight and helped the wearer sleep well. Black onyx sets the stage for other gemstones, precious metals and pearls, as well as being a beautiful stone all by itself. It is readily available in a variety of price ranges and jewelry styles. They are versatile and beautiful stones, these fingernails of Venus.

– Onyx – The Fingernails of Venus


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