Onyx is a variety of chalcedony. It can occurs as banded, in colours such as white, black and red (sardonyx) but it is commonly known as the black opaque gem variety. The name derives from the Greek word ‘onux,’ which surprisingly means fingernail or claw. According to Greek mythology, Eros trimmed Venus’ nails and the gods turned these clippings into onyx. Onyx was then highly popular in the Victorian period for memorial jewellery, owing to its colour, availability and ease of carving.
Despite these connotations, onyx became fashionable once more in the Art Deco period. This time, it was associated with glamour, clean lines, and was used to frame diamonds in a stunning and highly stylish contrast of colour.
Onyx is gifted for seven-year wedding anniversaries. Onyx has been found in Uraguay, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Germany, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Madgascar, the USA and the UK.