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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

Search Engines:
  • Look for Onyx on Google
  • Look for Onyx images on Google
  • Mineral Dealers:
  • Fabre Minerals - search for Onyx specimens
  • Onyx specimens for sale - minfind.com
  • SpiriferMinerals.com - high quality low prices
  • Fine Minerals from Weinrich Minerals, Inc.
  • Fine minerals from bisbeeborn.com
  • Wilensky Fine Minerals
  • Rare and Unusual minerals at Mineralogical Research Company
  • Buy from David K Joyce minerals
  • Buy from McDougall Minerals
  • Buy RARE Minerals from Rocks of Africa
  • High-end worldwide specimens & outstanding customer service
  • Search for Onyx on Well-Arranged Molecules
  • 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.
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    Locality Updated: JordanFrom Uwe Kolitsch, 30th Aug 2014 20:07:54