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Onyx

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Big Photo

Minas Gerais, Brazil
© Rob Lavinsky




Formula:
SiO
 
2
System:TrigonalColour:Black and white
Lustre:WaxyHardness:6½ - 7
A variety of Agate

In correct usage, the name refers to a black and white banded variety of Agate, or sometimes a monochromatic agate with dark and light bands (brown and white for example) - but traditionally the name was reserved for black and white banded agate, and brown varieties named Sardonyx.

In recent times the name has become confused with other banded materials, in particular banded calcite formed in cave systems such as the material found in Mexico and Pakistan and often carved, in fact the majority of carved material (such as book-ends, chess-sets, etc) that are available today are made from this carbonate rock. This is a carbonate material and is not true Onyx. Other names have been used over time for this material, such as "Mexican Onyx" and "onyx-marble". Careless use of these names has resulted in the term 'Onyx' being incorrectly applied to a variety of banded materials that are not covered by the original definition of the name.

Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Onyx. Currently in public beta-test.

Classification of Onyx

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Physical Properties of Onyx

Lustre:Waxy
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Translucent, Opaque
Comment:Vitreous when polished
Colour:Black and white
Comment:often produced by dying agates
Streak:white
Hardness (Mohs):6½ - 7
Fracture:Conchoidal
Density (measured):2.6 - 2.65 g/cm3
Comment:varies with amount and type of impurities

Crystallography of Onyx

Crystal System:Trigonal

Chemical Properties of Onyx

Formula:
SiO
 
2
Simplified for copy/paste:SiO2
Essential elements:O, Si
All elements listed in formula:O, Si

Other Names for Onyx

Synonyms:
Onicolo
Other Languages:
Arabic:أونيكس
Bulgarian:Оникс
Czech:Onyx
Dutch:Onyx
Finnish:Onyksi
French:Onyx
Galician:Ónix
German:Onyx
Hebrew:אוניקס
Italian:Onice
Latin:Onyx
Latvian:Onikss
Lithuanian:Oniksas
Persian:عقیق سلیمانی
Polish:Onyks
Portuguese:Ónix
Romanian:Onix
Russian:Оникс
Serbian (Cyrillic Script):Оникс
Simplified Chinese:缟玛瑙
黑玛瑙
Spanish:Ónix
Swedish:Onyx

Other Information

Health Warning:No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

Internet Links for Onyx

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  • Localities for Onyx

    The map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.
    (TL) indicates type locality. ? indicates mineral may be doubtful at this locality. All other localities listed without reference should be considered as uncertain and unproven until references can be found.
    Argentina
     
    Raúl J. Tauber Larry´s collection (2014); Hugo A. Peña (1970): Minerales y rocas de aplicación de la Provincia de Tucumán. Secretaría de Estado de Comercio, Industria y Minería. Dirección Provincial de Minas. Tucumán. República Argentina.
    Raúl J. Tauber Larry´s collection (2014)
    Hugo A. Peña (1970): Minerales y rocas de aplicación de la Provincia de Tucumán. Secretaría de Estado de Comercio, Industria y Minería. Dirección Provincial de Minas. Tucumán. República Argentina.
    Australia
     
    • Western Australia
      • East Pilbara Shire
        • Marble Bar
    Fetherston, J., Stocklmayer, S., Stocklmayer, V. (2013): Gemstones of WA, Geological Survey of WA
      • Meekatharra Shire
        • Bulloo Downs Station
    Gemstones of Western Australia; Dept of Minerals and Energy; Western Australian State Government; Perth, 1994; http://www.kumarina.com/projects-Ilgarari.php; The West Australian newspaper, The Mining Industry. Northern Fields. Inspectors Report, 15/02/1929;
      • Ngaanyatjarraku Shire
        • Warburton
    Fetherston, J., Stocklmayer, S., Stocklmayer, V. (2013): Gemstones of WA, Geological Survey of WA
    Brazil
     
    • Pará
      • São Geraldo do Araguaia
    Revista Brasileira de Geociências, vol.30
    • Rio Grande do Sul
    Strieder, A. J., & Heemann, R. (2006). Structural constraints on Paraná basalt volcanism and their implications on agate geode mineralization (Salto do Jacuí, RS, Brazil). Pesquisas em Geociências. Porto Alegre, RS. Vol. 33, n. 1 (2006), p. 37-50.
    Canada
     
    • British Columbia
      • Omenica Mining Division
        • Kemano
    China
     
    • Sichuan Province
      • Garzê Autonomous Prefecture (Ganzi Autonomous Prefecture)
        • Kangding Co.
          • Daduhe gold field
    Zhimin Cao (1991): Journal of Chengdu College of Technology 18(4), 26-36
    • Xinjiang Autonomous Region
      • Hami Prefecture (Kumul Prefecture; Qumul Prefecture)
        • Yiwu Co. (Aratürük Co.)
          • Naomaohu
    Yanling Tang (2005): Non-metallic deposits of Xinjiang, China [Zhongguo Xinjiang Fei Jinshu Kuangchuang]. Geological Publishing House (Beijing), 289 pp.
    Czech Republic
     
    • Bohemia (Böhmen; Boehmen)
      • Liberec Region
        • Jizerské Mtn (Iser Mtn)
    geological prospecting, 2008 - 2009, Czech geological Organization
    Germany
     
    • Baden-Württemberg
      • Black Forest
        • Baden-Baden
          • Iberg
    S. Weiss: "Mineralfundstellen, Deutschland West", Weise (Munich), 1990
          • Leisberg
    S. Weiss: "Mineralfundstellen, Deutschland West", Weise (Munich), 1990
    • Brandenburg
      • Großräschen
        • Saalhausen
    A. Wittern: "Mineralfundorte in Deutschland", Schweizerbart (Stuttgart), 2001
      • Lübbenau
        • Calau
          • Plieskendorf
    A. Wittern: "Mineralfundorte in Deutschland", Schweizerbart (Stuttgart), 2001
    India
     
    • Gujarat
      • Zaghadia (Jhagadia)
    Richard M. Pearl: "Minerals of India", Mineral Digest, vol. 2.
    • Madhya Pradesh
      • Jabalpur Division
    Richard M. Pearl: "Minerals of India", Mineral Digest, vol. 2.
    Madagascar
     
    • Fianarantsoa Province
      • Atsimo-Atsinanana Region
    Behier, J. (1963): Carte mineralogique de Madagascar. Archive Service Géologique Madagascar. A 1871
    Russia
     
    • Northern Region
      • Karelia Republic
        • Ladoga Region
          • Pitkyaranta District (Pitkäranta District)
            • Salmi
    Polekhovsky, Y.S., and Punin, Y.O. (2008): Geology of Ore Deposits 50(7), 642-646.
    UK
     
    • Scotland
      • Tayside (Angus)
        • Montrose
          • Usan
    USA
     
    • Colorado
      • Grand Co.
    Minerals of Colorado (1997) E.B. Eckels
      • Larimer Co.
        • Rocky Mountain National Park
    Minerals of Colorado (1997) E.B. Eckels
      • Saguache Co.
    Minerals of Colorado (1997) E.B. Eckels
    • Idaho
      • Power Co.
    U.S. Geological Survey, 2005, Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
    • Montana
    Jay Ellis Ransom,1974, Gems and Minerals of America
      • Madison Co.
        • Ruby Range
    U.S. Geological Survey, 2005, Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
    • Oregon
      • Lane Co.
        • Lookout Point prospects
    Ariel S Wall
    • Rhode Island
      • Providence Co.
        • Cumberland
    AmMIn 11:334-340
    • South Dakota
      • Custer Co.
        • Custer District
    SDSMT Bull 18 Roberts and Rapp "Mineralogy of the Black Hills"
    • Utah
      • Garfield Co.
    UGMS Bull 117 Minerals and Mineral Localities of Utah
      • Salt Lake Co.
    U.S. Geological Survey, 2005, Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
      • Tooele Co.
    UGMS Bull 117 Minerals and Mineral Localities of Utah
        • Stansbury Mts
    UGMS Bull 117 Minerals and Mineral Localities of Utah
      • Utah Co.
        • Pelican Point Area
    UGMS Bull 117 Minerals and Mineral Localities of Utah
    UGMS Bull 117 Minerals and Mineral Localities of Utah
    UGMS Bull 117 Minerals and Mineral Localities of Utah
    U.S. Geological Survey, 2005, Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.
    • Virginia
    Minerals of Virginia 1990 by R. V. Dietrich
    Minerals of Virginia 1990 by R. V. Dietrich
    • Wyoming
      • Platte Co.
    Rocks & Minerals 76:389
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    Copyright © Jolyon Ralph and Ida Chau 1993-2014. Site Map. Locality, mineral & photograph data are the copyright of the individuals who submitted them. Site hosted & developed by Jolyon Ralph. Mindat.org is an online information resource dedicated to providing free mineralogical information to all. Mindat relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters. Mindat does not offer minerals for sale. If you would like to add information to improve the quality of our database, then click here to register.
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