About Onyx

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What is Onyx?

Onyx is a semi-precious variety of silica minerals, made up of quartz and moganite. It is formed mainly in the gassy cavities of lava, in which some the primary sources come from Brazil, India, Hawaii, Madagascar, Indonesia, Yemen, Uruguay, Germany and parts of the United States.

The name ‘onyx’ is a Latin name from the Greek word ὄνυξ, which means ‘claw ‘ or ‘fingernail.’
It originated from the ancient Romans who believed that Onyx stones were formed from the fingernail trimmings of a goddess; that no part of a god should perish, hence fates turned them into onyx.


What are the characteristics of Onyx?

Onyx has parallel bands in constrasting or alternating colours that can come in almost any colour including black and white, except for purples and blues. The unique parallel bands itself are formed of distinct fine growths of silica minerals, that are quartz and moganite.

Onyx is highly sought after for its shimmer and semi-translucent effect that allows light to shine through the stone. This makes Onyx a luxurious, creative option for backlighting. Due to this, Onyx often comes in polished finishes to enhance its property.

The degree of translucence varies from onyx to onyx, depending on the colour, thickness and surface finish.


What is Onyx used for?

Since the ancient history, Onyx was often used in carvings, jewellery, accessories, potteries and luxurious building projects. In 1930, slabs of Onyx were also used as interior walls by a famed German-Architect, Mies van der Rohe for a luxurious Villa Tugendhat project at Brno for the stone’s unique properties.

To this date, Onyx continues to charm designers and architects alike, being widely used in building projects as a feature wall, surfaces, and even flooring. It continues to be one of the fine natural stone wall options for both commercial and residential projects.