INFORMATION ABOUT BLACK ONYX AND OTHER FORMS OF CHALCEDONY ESTATE JEWELRY AND ANTIQUE JEWELRY
BIRTHSTONE AND ANNIVERSARY
Bloodstone is an alternate birthstone for March. Sardonyx is an alternate birthstone for August. Onyx is the stone used to celebrate the 7th wedding anniversary.
ORIGIN OF NAME
The term chalcedony may derive from the ancient Greek port Chalcedon. Carnelian is derived form the Latin word meaning "cornelian cherry". Chrysoprase is derived from the Greek words "chrysos" and "prase", which combined mean "golden leak".
VIEW OUR BLACK ONYX ESTATE JEWELRY AND VINTAGE JEWELRY COLLECTION
Green Chalcedony Ring Vintage Estate Jewelry
Antique Black Onyx Diamond Ring
Antique Black Onyx Seed Pearl Pendant
Large Black Onyx Gold Ring Estate Jewelry
Art Deco Black Onyx White Gold Filigree Ring
Pretty Antique Black Onyx Ring in White Gold Filigree
Unique Estate Black Onyx Ring
Antique Diamond Onyx Fly Brooch
Black Onyx Amethyst Ring
Estate Black Onyx Filigree Ring
Agate has been found to have been used during the stone age (20,000BC to 16,000BC). Agate, carnelian and chrysoprase were used by the Egyptians before 3000 BC. Carnelian was often used by the Romans to make cameos. The prophet Mohammed even wore a carnelian seal. During Roman Empire, Idar and Oberstein provided agate and jasper. These German towns are no longer a source of chalcedony, but remain known for their skills with processing the stones. Chalcedony is a common stone. It is formed in cavities, cracks and is formed where silica-rich waters percolate through sediments and rocks - especially where there is volcanic origin.
ESTATE JEWELRY AND ANTIQUE JEWELRY USAGE
During the Early Victorian Period, chalcedony was often used to make cameos from jasper and agate. Bloodstone was also used in the Victorian Period. During the late Victorian Period, onyx was used for making rings. During the Art Deco Jewelry Period, black onyx, chrysoprase and cornelian agate were widely used materials.
Bloodstone was believed to preserve the owner's health and protect them against deception. Chrysoprase was believed to strengthen vision and relieve internal pain. Carnelian was believed in the thirteenth century to give the owner courage for battle. In Volmar's thirteenth-century novel, Steinbuch, created the legend that a thief may escape his execution by putting chalcedony in his mouth.
SOME VARIETIES OF CHALCEDONY:
AGATE: Applied to chalcedony that is translucent or semi-translucent. Chalcedony is more specifically seen with curved or angular bands. Often colorless versions are dyed red, green, black yellow or blue. Agate is mainly found in Mexico, Brazil, Namibia, Madagascar, Russia and India.
BLOODSTONE: An opaque chalcedony that is usually dark green, almost black. It is distinguished by its orange or red spots. It was once used for medicinal purposes to stop bleeding. The main source for bloodstone is India. Bloodstone was often used in early Victorian jewelry.
CARNELIAN AGATE: Clear orange or red chalcedony. Most all is heat treated. Found in South Africa, China, Brazil, Morocco, and Uruguay.
CHALCEDONY: White, gray or light gray stone.
BLUE CHALCEDONY: Blue stone generally from Namibia.
CHRYSOPRASE: Pale to medium green stone, looks like jade. Found in Australia, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Poland and Kazakhstan. The most rare and valuable variety.
JASPER: An opaque, fine-grained stone. Jasper is distinguished from other forms of chalcedony by the fine sugar-like grains it has. Normally it is multi-colored by foreign materials. It is usually spotted or striped. Most common colors are yellow, green, brown or gray. Jasper is found worldwide. Found often in Venezuela, Germany and Russia.
ONYX: Parallel bands that are black and white, which is rare. Black onyx is usually a dyed chalcedony.
Crystal system: Trigonal
Refractive Index 1.53 - 1.54
Specific Gravity:2.58 - 2.64, some jasper 2.9
With a hardness of 7.5, on the Mohs' Scale, chalcedony is hard enough for daily wear. Exposure to cleansing agents, even mild soaps, can ruin a chalcedony's finish. Rings should always be removed prior to washing one's hands. Likewise, ultra-sonic cleanings can remove the finish and ruin the stone.
Black onyx antique rings and estate jewelry at Ten Two Three.