Onyx is a unique stone that features layered bands of color. Since Greek and Roman times, onyx has been used by carvers to create cameos and intaglios. When an image is carved into the onyx, the color of the next band shows through. Onyx is opaque, meaning no light shines through it, and is often smooth‐cut into a cabochon. Onyx beads are also a popular use for this versatile gemstone.


While generally thought of as being solid black, onyx actually ranges in color from white to black and may display white bands or ribbons.

Gem Family

Onyx is part of the chalcedony family of colored quartz.


Onyx has a Mohs hardness rating of 6.5‐7.0, making it suitable for daily wear.


Onyx is generally not a treated stone.


Onyx should be stored separately to keep from being scratched. Store your onyx in a lined box or a soft pouch. Clean your onyx under warm running water and dry with a soft, lint‐free cloth. Avoid steam or ultrasonic cleaners.