Why Do We Keep Saying “Black” Onyx When Describing the Gem?

Not too long ago, we mentioned some jewels that featured onyx. We referred to the stones as “black onyx.” Some folks were wondering why we would name the color. After all, onyx is always black, right? Wrong!
Although black onyx is the most popular color of the stone, various colors actually fall under that name. For example, the name itself refers to an appearance that reminds of fingernails because of the light red hues the stone shows. Onyx also comes in green tones. When red onyx shows with white bands, those in the trade refer to it as sardonyx. To give you some great examples of black and green onyx jewelry, we have put together a collection of gems you have to see to believe.

1920s Platinum Hinged Link Bracelet with Natural Black Onyx and White Diamonds 

Techniques for artificially coloring chalcedony to take on onyx’s black color have been in use since around the first century AD. Thus, it bears mentioning that this Art Deco beauty features the real thing: 23 black onyx squares that artisans polished to achieve a high luster. They measure 2.5mm to 3mm. In between these squares, you find 23 old-European-cut white diamonds with a combined weight of 2.20cts. The combination of black and white tones is attractive and eye-catching. The platinum bracelet has a length of 7 inches and a width of 3.56mm with a depth of 3.59mm.

1940s Retro Art Deco Green Gold Bracelet with Green Onyx 

This bracelet comes from the 1940s and features 14k green gold that creates the links and settings. Inside the settings, you notice five sugarloaf green onyxes with a cushion cut. They measure 13.8mm by 13.85mm and present with a startling translucency. This bracelet is 7 inches long and has a depth of 11.05mm. When you tell admirers of the jewel that the green stone is indeed onyx, you are sure to amaze your friends.

Green Onyx in a White and Yellow Gold Ring Setting with White Diamonds 

In the 1930s, artisans took 18k white and yellow gold to create a scalloped border setting. This jewel shows classic cocktail ringfeatures. The focal stone is an oval green onyx that is translucent. It weighs 3.0cts and measures 14.87mm by 10.40mm. To add plenty of sparkle to the display, the jewelers also added 28 old-European-single-cut diamonds with a total weight of .70cts. At the top, the ring’s width is 20.31mm; toward the bottom, this measurement tapers off to 1.73mm.
At Peter Suchy Jewelers we are experts in all types of vintage, estate and antique jewelry. We hope you’ll stop by our showroom located at 1137 High Ridge Road in Stamford Connecticut.
Or, hop on over to our top-rated BigCommerce Store where you’ll find all the vintage onyx gemstone jewelry you see here. If you find a listing has ended, please email us at info@petersuchyjewelers.com as we may still have the item in stock.
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