The use of gemstones in jewelry goes far back in human history. People both ancient and modern find beauty in these creations of the earth. One such stone, long valued for both its naturally rich colors and varied patterns and its deep spiritual connections to the earth, is onyx.

Onyx forms in caves from mineral deposits left by melting stalagmites and stalactites. Found mostly in South America, the Middle East or certain parts of Africa, the variety of minerals is what creates the different colored bands and patterns found on the stone. The fact that there are so many colors is part of what makes onyx so prized. Onyx is also translucent, which allows for a glow that highlights the patterns within each piece.

Most onyx used in jewelry is shaped then polished, leaving the surface smooth rather than faceted. Onyx is often used for beads but can be left in larger pieces for bracelets or earrings. It’s also a good stone for carving or engraving and was often used in cameos.

It isn’t only the beauty of onyx that makes it popular to wear. Many feel the stone has a calming and grounding effect. Because it forms slowly within the earth, some see it as having underlying stability that encourages stamina and perseverance. People also wear onyx while meditating, believing the energy of the stone will bring strength and healing to the wearer.

Whatever the reason for choosing it, there is no doubt onyx brings a great deal to those who wear this precious gemstone. Its likely onyx will remain a popular choice for jewelry artists for many years to come.