With its fine texture and luxurious black color, onyx has been popular since the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans. A black variety of chalcedony, onyx is similar to agate but with straight bands as opposed to curved ones. Some onyx also display white bands or ribbons against a black background: if the layers are even, this type of onyx may be carved into cameos.
Van Cleef & Arpels mainly selects onyx stones from Brazil for their exceptional quality. The Maison chooses the most remarkable stones, with no inclusions. Their color must be absolutely even and their polish perfect for a mirror effect.
This dark and fascinating stone is believed to eliminate negative thinking and is also said to bring spiritual inspiration. Romans believed that carved onyx gave them courage. It is the gemstone for the 7th wedding anniversary.
Maintaining your onyx:
Onyx is best cleaned using warm water and a soft brush. As with most gemstones, Onyx should be kept away from prolonged exposure to extreme heat and household chemicals that can damage the stone. Onyx should always be stored in a fabric-lined box away from other jewelry items.