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Onyx Stone Meaning

sheila of satin crystals holding out an oval black and white onyx stoneIs your world feeling out of whack? Onyx stone is here to bring you back to a state of balance and certainty. Keep grounded, protected, and centered with this sturdy black and white crystal.

How can Onyx benefit you directly? It's time to learn all about Onyx stone, from its geological facts to its crystal healing meanings.  

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Watch the Onyx Video

If you prefer the vibrancy of voice and visuals, click on our Youtube video for an overview of Onyx Stone.

While you are there, catch up on all of your A-Z Satin Crystals Meanings video series, where we answer your questions on all of the most popular crystals. You can also add your questions and stories directly to the Youtube comments. 

Can you benefit from Onyx?

If any of these statements apply to you, you can benefit from Onyx crystals: 

  • You want to balance yin and yang energy

  • You are looking to bring harmony to your relationships

  • You want a strong guardian stone

  • You love wearing black and white

  • Your Root chakra could use grounding energy

  • You can appreciate or relate to the Ox Zodiac

What is Onyx?

Onyx is a variety of Agate that shows black and white banding. The banding is formed in parallel layers. This black and white layered Onyx is also called True Onyx because you will find the name used incorrectly for many other stones. 

The term Onyx also refers to translucent black Chalcedony. 

What is the difference between Onyx and Sardonyx?

Where Onyx is the black and white version of Agate, Sardonyx is the reddish-brown and white variety of this stone. Both show parallel banding, but Sardonyx is banded with Sard and Chalcedony.  

What healing properties does Onyx have?

In crystal healing, Onyx is a stone known for its protective powers. It helps avert dangers and absorbs negative energy before it can infuse into your aura. 

Here are the other popular healing properties associated with Onyx stone: 

  • Stabilizes your emotional state

  • Moves you past bad relationships

  • Protects you while you're on-the-go

  • Strengthens your mental foundation

hand wearing and holding onyx stones

How do you use Onyx in crystal healing?

There are infinite ways to use your Onyx stones in your crystal healing practice. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Rub Onyx worry stones or polished stones to calm your rollercoaster of emotions

  • Use Onyx stones in a releasing ritual to move beyond toxic relationships and unhealthy habits

  • Wear Onyx jewelry to keep your aura protected in everyday outings and longer travels

  • Keep Onyx crystals in your pocket as a reminder of your inner strength when dealing with addictions

  • Harness the confidence of Onyx stones when you are facing nerve-wracking situations

  • Place Onyx crystals under your pillow to effectively process the lessons you learned during your day 

  • Wear Onyx anklets or place Onyx stones at your feet for grounding exercises

  • Wear Onyx earrings to balance your left and right brain energy

  • Meditate with a single or pair of Onyx eggs or spheres to calm your mind of irrelevant thoughts

          Where do you place Onyx in your home?

          Placing Onyx crystals anywhere in the home helps settle your scattered energy and protect your space.

          Here are some specific placements to try according to Feng Shui: 

          • Place Onyx in the Health area of your Feng Shui map (in the very center of the room), for alignment of self and space

          • Place Onyx at your front door for protection

          Metaphysics of Onyx 

          Here are some common metaphysical associations of Onyx:

          • Astrological Associations: Leo, Capricorn

          • Planetary Associations: Saturn

          • Chakras: Root

          • Archangel: Haniel, Raguel, Raziel

          • Vibrational Number: 6

          • Element: Earth

          • Wedding Anniversary: 7th and 10th
          sheila of satin crystals holding a pile of black and white onyx tumbled stones

          Sheila's personal experience with Onyx stones

          Like most people, I was always confused as to what Onyx truly was. I knew it to be a simple black stone or a banded yellow Calcite that trinket shops like to call Onyx. After doing thorough research for Satin Crystals, I can appreciate the rarity of natural banded Onyx. 

          Although the definition can be twisted to fit different scenarios, true Onyx is a beauty in its banded black and white formation. It is a representation of light and dark, of yin and yang, of opposites and One-ness.

          To me, Onyx is a symbol of balance. I use it when I am feeling off-kilter. If my emotions are leaning heavily one way or the other, I like to hold my Onyx stones and breathe deeply until I feel a shift of consciousness and a return to normality. 

          Lisa's personal experience with Onyx stones

          Being attracted to dark colors, I certainly appreciate Onyx. Like most everyone else, I first thought that banded calcites were Onyx. I now know that real Onyx is just black (sometimes with white patterns), and a lot harder to come by.

          My favorite Onyx piece is the "Dark Arts Protection" bracelet that Sheila made. It's different than your standard bracelet, because it combines both glossy and matte beads. Who would have known that even black stones can be made to stand out, like in this contrasting piece? Most importantly, it has such a protective and grounding energy. You can't go anywhere these days without your own little forcefield of guardianship. That's exactly what Onyx provides, and why I love it.

          What does the name Onyx mean?

          Onyx gets its name from the Greek word onux, meaning fingernail or claw. In Greek mythology, Cupid is said to have trimmed the nails of a sleeping Goddess Venus with his love arrows. The nails scattered in the sand and the Fates turned the clippings into stone to prevent any part of the goddess from perishing. 

          hand holding black and white onyx tumbled stone

          What are Onyx mineral facts?

          Onyx is a variety of Agate, which is a type of Chalcedony stone. 

          • Mohs Scale of Hardness: 6.5-7

          • Surface Color: Black, White

          • Streak Color (can vary from surface color, this is the color of the crystals’ powdered minerals): White

          • Group: Oxide 

          • Cleavage (where the crystal breaks off naturally to form a new face, parallel to its structure. This is a clean break and can cleave over and over again along the same face, retaining the crystals structure): None

          • Fracture (where the crystal breaks randomly, not on cleavage): Conchoidal (concave clam-like glassy break) to uneven

          • Luster: Vitreous (glassy)

          • Transparency: Translucent, Opaque

          • Crystal System: Trigonal

          • Crystal Habit: Massive, Crystalline

          Where is Onyx found?

          Onyx is found worldwide in countries including the USA, the UK, China, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, and more. 

          How is Onyx formed?

          Onyx forms from deposits of silica at low temperatures from silica-rich waters trickling through cracks and gas cavities of Lava. It is formed in mineral layers, giving the final stone its banded appearance. 

          hands holding a onyx and sardonyx oval

          What color is Onyx stone?

          True Onyx stone shows alternate bands of black and white. The black bands may be very pale and look gray. Translucent Chalcedony that is a uniform black color is also known as Onyx. 

          Sardonyx is banded white and reddish-brown. Carnelian Onyx is banded white and orange. 

          Is all Black Onyx dyed?

          Not all Black Onyx is dyed, but a lot of it is because natural black Chalcedony is hard to find. Chalcedony is a porous stone, so like its Agate variety, Onyx is easy to color. Since ancient times, Onyx has been dyed to achieve that desirable, deep black color. 

          When real Onyx cannot be found, vendors may dye layered Agate or unicolored gray Chalcedony to pass for Onyx.

          To imitate banded black and white Onyx: Vendors saturate Chalcedony with a solution of cobalt chlorate and chlorammonium to dye the gray stone black. They then use hydrochloric acid to remove the dye from the top layer of the stone so that when it is cut, it looks like banded black and white Onyx.

          To imitate uniform black Onyx: Vendors can use the first step in the method above or they can immerse the stone in a sugar solution then carbonize the sugar by heating it in sulphuric acid. 

          Depending on the dying process, the black dye may fade over time. However, some processes have been perfected and the colors will remain steadfast. 



          hands holding a cave onyx bear and cup as fake onyx examples

          How can you tell real Onyx from fake?

          Because a lot of Onyx is dyed black, it is hard to tell real stone from fake. Here are some tips on how to tell if your Onyx is real: 

          1. If you smash your Onyx or can see where it fractures, it should be a dull black whereas glass will be shiny and glassy.

          2. Onyx has parallel white lines. Even if it is dyed, you may see some white veins in the stone. 

          3. Onyx will not show bubbles that are characteristic of glass.

          4. If you do a streak test, Onyx will show a white streak. To perform a streak test, scrape a piece of the crystal across unglazed porcelain like a tile. The powder from the crystal will tell you the stone's streak color. 

          If you can't tell if your Onyx is real from the tips above, venture into the scientific side of things by measuring the density, hardness, fluorescene, and gravity of the stone.

          The easiest way, of course, is to purchase your Onyx from a trusted vendor. 

          hands holding up a sardonyx sphere and a cave onyx goblet

          What is Mexican Onyx?

          Mexican Onyx, also known as Cave Onyx or Italian Onyx or Onyx Marble, is not real Onyx stone. It is a yellow-banded Calcite or Travertine (a type of Limestone) coming from cave stalactites. You will find a lot of sculpted items, especially at souvenir stores, carved from this material and dubbed Onyx to make it more desirable. 

          There is a lot of confusion with what Onyx truly is because so many vendors call so many different stones Onyx. Just like vendors like to name a lot of non-Jade crystals Jade, non-Turquoise crystals Turquoise, or non-Lapis crystals Lapis, they name non-Onyx crystals Onyx because it makes their stone more desirable. 

          It is extremely easy to tell the difference between Mexican Onyx and Onyx by the color. Both are banded, but True Onyx will always be black and white. Because it's a Limestone or Calcite, Mexican Onyx is very soft and easily scratched compared to True Onyx. 

          What is the difference between Obsidian and Onyx?

          • To tell the difference between Obsidian and Onyx, take a look at its fracture lines. Obsidian is a volcanic glass, so it will break in a shiny waxy way. Onyx will break like a rock, matte and rough. 

          • Obsidian can be transparent while Onyx is translucent to opaque.

          • Obsidian is softer and lighter than Onyx. 

          • You may find sheen or colored patterns in Obsidian whereas you will only find white bands in True Onyx. 

          hand holding jet, tourmlaine, black obsidian, onyx tumbled stones

          How can you tell the difference between Tourmaline and Onyx?

          It is not too hard to tell the difference between Tourmaline and Onyx once you become familiar with both stones. 

          • When polished, Tourmaline retains many of its cracks, veins, divots, and crevices. It doesn't polish as shiny and smooth as Onyx. 

          • Tourmaline will not have the white bands that are characteristic of Onyx. 

          • Raw Black Tourmaline is even easier to differentiate from Onyx because it has long striations running the length of the crystal.

          • When performing the streak test, Onyx will have a white streak whereas Tourmaline will be colorless because it is harder than the streak plate.

          sheila of satin crystals holding onyx and sardonyx oval slabs

          How do you clean Onyx?

          To physically clean Onyx, you can use warm soapy water and a soft brush or a soft cloth. Avoid harsh chemicals. Keep it away from crystals that are harder than a 7 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness to avoid scratching. 

          To energetically cleanse your Onyx, choose any method, including the water method. To learn more about metaphysical crystal cleansing and charging, watch the video at Crystal Care

          hand wearing black onyx bracelet holding onyx angel necklace

          Magical Incantation of Onyx

          This is a message from Onyx stone from Doreen Virtue and Judith Lukomski's book "Crystal Therapy":

          "Dream with me under your pillow, and you'll recall the lessons of nighttime and begin to immediately and peacefully incorporate them into your life. I join you as a stabilizing force in order to add a dimension of self-trust when you're struggling to find your sense of balance in the precarious events of living. In learning to trust, you're introduced to a world of peace, and your willingness to accept vulnerability establishes a broadening sense of community. With me, you can solidify the increasing focus and concentration that emerge with your self-acceptance. Let go and relax, for I will guide you."

          What does Onyx mean in divination?

          Drawing Onyx in a gemstone divination session means: You are being weighed down by a decision. You are having trouble seeing both sides of the coin. Use your Onyx crystal to balance your mind and come to terms with the pros and cons of each side of the decision. Your solution will appear with ease and clarity. 

          What chakra is Onyx good for?

          Onyx is good for opening and balancing the Root chakra. It centers you with earth energy. 

          To learn more about crystals and your chakras, visit the Chakra Guide

          female holding and wearing black onyx jewelry

          Can you wear Onyx every day?

          Onyx has been a popular stone since ancient times. Whether you are wearing it for its magical properties or its physical beauty, Onyx can be worn every day. Slip your Onyx bracelets, necklaces, or rings on every morning and you'll be ready to impress. 

          Onyx is also popular in engravings and carved cameos because its layers can be cut to show off the black and white contrast. Wear Onyx cameos as a nod to Mother Nature and the artistic world. 

          Can you wear Onyx in the shower?

          It is not advisable to wear your Onyx jewelry in the shower. The stone will eventually lose its polish with prolonged water and the jewelry elements will break down. To be on the safe side, take off your Onyx jewelry before showering, swimming, or washing the dishes. 

          Onyx is a tougher stone at 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, but it is not hard like a Diamond! Avoid situations where your Onyx jewelry will be scratched and banged up. 

          Where can I buy Onyx stones?

          Onyx is a handsome addition to your crystal collection. Shop the Onyx Collection on the website or find these powerful rocks for sale right here on the blog:

          Continue your Crystal Journey

          Are you ready to boost your energy with Onyx?

          Onyx Reference Guides

          Onyx Shopping Guides

          Helpful Crystal Resources

          female holding and wearing onyx and sardonyx crystals

          Contact Satin Crystals

          Have any questions about Onyx stones? Feel free to contact us by filling out the form below and Sheila or Lisa Satin will get back to you. 

          Disclaimer: The information provided is for entertainment only. See full disclosure.