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Black Onyx Gems

History of Black Oynx
Jeremy Foster
 
 HANDCRAFTED BLACK ONYX NECKLACE
Onyx was very popular with the ancient Greeks and Romans. The name comes from the Greek word onyx, which means fingernail. The story is that one day; frisky Cupid cut the divine fingernails of his mother Venus with an arrowhead while she was sleeping. He left the clippings scattered on the sand and the fates turned them into stone so that no part of her heavenly body would ever perish (while black isn't the color we normally associate with fingernails, back in ancient Greek times, onyx referred to almost all colors of chalcedony from fingernail white to dark brown and black). Years later, the Romans narrowed the term onyx to refer to black and dark brown colors of chalcedony. If the onyx was reddish brown and white, it was called sardonyx. Sardonyx was highly valued in Rome, especially for seals, because it was said to never stick to the wax. Onyx stones with even bands of color were made into cameos.


In jewelry as well as fashion, colors always seem to look crisper against a background of black. In many pieces of fine jewelry, that black backdrop has often been supplied by black onyx gemstones, chalcedony quartz with a fine texture and deep black color. Black onyx stones especially shines when it is used a backdrop for color play. The fine texture is ideal for carving, making it a favored material of lapidary artists both past and present. Black Onyx was often used as the perfect partner for the carved rock crystals and the vivid red of rubies found in Art deco designs. Today, black onyx can still be found in use as the backdrop for both carved opals and as the base for opal inlays with the deep black showing the dazzling opals to their best advantage


Black onyx gems can be cut, polished and set into one of a kind settings or a complete set of black onyx designer jewelry such as: A set would include a black onyx ring, a black onyx bracelet, a black onyx collar, a black onyx pendant and possible black onyx beads around the neck.

Today black onyx gems is best used in sterling silver settings as the price of silver is very reasonable and the contrast of black and silver always seem be a hit in any fashon arena.

 Preston Reuther Master Wire Sculptor

P.S. Links to our other sites: 

WWW.THEHANDCRAFTED JEWELRYMALL.COM 

WWW.CAMEOJEWELRY.COM 

WWW.MASTERWIRESCULPTOR.COM 

WWW.ANTIQUECAMEOS.COM 

WWW.WIREJEWELRYBOOTCAMP.COM 
 

 

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