Black onyx has often been thought to be the stone of the warriors, for many good reasons. It has healing, protective and strength-providing properties that make it stand out from other gemstones. That, and also its appealing look often attracts people who want it etched on its jewelry, or to keep it as a lucky charm. In this article, we’ll uncover the meaning and uses of black onyx, introduce you to its origin and help you find it at an affordable and reliable price.

Onyx is grouped as silicate mineral chalcedony. It is similar to Agate, which is also a type of layered chalcedony. The two have sort of bands. For example, Agate’s bands are curved, while the black onyx has parallel white bands which make it extremely appealing and attractive to have.

That said, black onyx has the parallel colors of black with white stripes. Its hardness level on the Mohs hardness scale is 7, which makes it neither too hard nor too soft of a stone. That also makes it a reliable piece of jewelry as it won’t tear that easily. Additionally, it has a vitreous luster. It is a type of chalcedony, as mentioned earlier with opaque and translucent transparency.

It’s important to note that Onyx is considered a somewhat uncommon gem, which also makes its price higher. Still, it can be found across different places around the world, including Australia, the USA, Canada, Brazil, China, India, Afghanistan Indonesia, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, the UK, Germany, Czech Republic, and other regions across the world.

It’s worth noting its other types such as Sardonyx and others. Given that black onyx is a type of chalcedony, and has silica materials in it, it’s formed under the low temperatures in water with the wide deposits of silica. It’s mostly surrounded by other rocks, its fissures, and cracks.

The purest and most natural forms of natural onyx can be found in South America (Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina.) Also, there are pure forms also found in India.

What Are The History And Origin Of Black Onyx?

As mentioned earlier, black onyx has been a protective and empowering gemstone for centuries, if not millennia. However, it wasn’t those ways always. In the long past, priests and different spirituality practitioners believed that black onyx was a bad omen and discouraged its application through rituals.

This belief emerged because of its black color, which could be an indicator of impurity and evil. The black color led to the belief that there is a demon sealed within the gemstone. The demon inside the gemstone was supposedly a culprit for bad crops and reaping season. Additionally, it was believed that it brings misfortune, calamity, and bad luck to lovers.

Because of its black color, it was often believed that the demon imprisoned within the stone would emerge during the night. However, over the years, centuries and millennia, civilizations found the strength within it and started using it for its rituals and healing.

Its healing effects were mostly tested in improving the bond between lovers who were facing hardships and challenges, while also improving fertility in women. There are a lot of its uses and meanings which we’ll detail in the sections below.

Since black onyx has been widespread across different locations in the world, we’ll highlight its history in every notable civilization. What’s common for all these countries and kingdoms is that they benefited from using black onyx.

Ancient Egypt

Initially, in Ancient Egypt, the onyx stone was avoided because it was believed to cause detachment and hate between lovers. However, its strength-fueling properties changed the beliefs of the ancient Egyptians used it for healing.

Aside from that, the Egyptians used this type of stone to make handles for golden items, and carve it into the jewelry. The rulers in ancient Egypt also used onyx for protection and strength. One of those rulers also included Cleopatra which is one of the most known rulers of Egypt, with both controversial and important historical stories.

The stories also suggested that Cleopatra used the Black Onyx so that she could sense who was a loyal servant and who wasn’t. It’s no secret that Cleopatra had a lot of enemies and people immensely tried to take her rule down. As a result of such a risky life, Cleopatra kept the black onyx close to herself.

Different notes and sources suggest that the black onyx she had on herself would warn her every time she was exposed to danger. Its protective features would help her sense the negative energy and ill-willed people every time that the stone would vibrate.

Aside from making handles for golden items, crafters and smiths often used black onyx for certain inlay work.

Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire

The historical aspect from Greece and the Roman empire is important because that’s where the origin of the word “onyx” came from. The word means “claw” and “fingernail” in Greek and Roman. It is believed that the ancient civilizations gave it this name because they resembled the human nail.

Its alternative meaning is “sadness” as per el jazz word of the Arabic origin.

But, why was the black onyx popular in these ancient empires? The reason is “godly.” Venus, the goddess of love was resting near the river of Indus. As she was sleeping Cupid made his way to sneak up to her. Afterward, he shot his enchanting arrows for a manicure. However, her nails dropped to the river and sank immediately.

As the nails of the goddess touched the river’s bottom, they transformed into the onyx that we know of today. That’s also the reason why the gemstone was named after the human nails.

The onyx also had various practices in the two empires. It was used to make a special kind of brooches.


Indian history and culture describe similar meaning to onyx like Ancient Egypt and Persia. That said, you can expect they used it for protection from evil spirits, while also improving emotional relationships.

Experts who specialize in gemology discovered that practicing rituals with onyx can bring bliss to relationships and lovers who go through different challenges in their relationships. It can bring peace to two imbalanced lovers and improve communication between them.

Because the stone has a contrast between the black surface and white stripes, Onyx helps describe the love between two people, and how to strengthen it in the process.


Black onyx was also a prominent gem in ancient China. The Chinese carved it to different objects and jewelry while believing in its strength and protection. They thought that it brings balance for the person who owns it, while also promoting stability.

Additionally, it was a symbol for positive energy, stamina, protection, while also using it as an asset to Feng Shui practices.

Like you can see, black onyx was prominent in most ancient civilizations. Interestingly, those regions in the world also had similar meanings which we’ll detail and explain so that you can use your black onyx gem in the right way.

What Does Black Onyx Mean?

Based on its historical origin, we learned that black onyx, although initially considered bad, has many protective meanings. It’s important for health, relationships, future foreseeing, balance, stability, and more. Here’s each prominent meaning of the black onyx.


Protection is an important aspect of black onyx. Although it looks black and kind of dreadful, it has many protective traits that can help channel your energy in a positive direction. Its intimidating black color uses to chase away the negative energy, absorb it, or turn it into positive energy.

Additionally, black onyx is supposed to protect you from false friendships, flatterers, and other negative people who may wish you ill or give you stress. Its protection property especially applies to families and relationships, but we will highlight that below.

Another term that is often used with protection when it comes to the meaning is courage. Black onyx was often used in battles, to encourage warriors to march forward and not fear the conflict. It was used in rituals to cleanse the fear of defeat from the warriors. That’s why it’s also called the “stone of the warriors.”


As mentioned before, black onyx is meant to protect the lovers and strengthen their relationship and connection. Previously, it was meant to detach the lovers and cause hate between each other. However, its further examination and studying found that black onyx is meant to bring them together.

In the ancient astrological believes, black onyx was believed to strengthen the bond between Capricorn and Leo, as the two horoscope signs represent the strongest astrological signs with the most ambition and determination. However, the literature suggests that the main sign of black onyx is Leo.

Different sources suggest that black onyx should be gifted to the lovers who are celebrating the 7th year of marriage. If you miss out on gifting it for the 7th anniversary, you should not miss out on giving them the black onyx for the 10th anniversary. This gift is an important sign of care and attention and will serve to strengthen their bond, be it on the jewelry or at home, close to them.

Black onyx is also a popular crystal for strengthening sexual life and fertility in women. It also promotes getting to know each other and learn about each other’s preferences while bringing them closer together. More importantly, black onyx was also practiced for women in labor who experience immense pain.


A lot of gemologists suggest that throughout history black onyx was used to alleviate stress and worrying. It was used to inspire the belief in reincarnation because people used to fear death. Priests practiced using it to teach people that there are no death and separation but birth and rebirth.

It was also used to teach people that being good and righteous throughout life would lead to reincarnation into a higher being and that everyone who is just and honorable will be rewarded for their deeds throughout life.


A bit less prominent meaning of the black onyx is protection from demons and nightmares. It was used to separate nervousness and stress from everyday life from the dreamland. That’s why a lot of people used it to eliminate the negative energy that encouraged nightmares.

It also taught people how to handle their stress, worries, nervousness, and tension that lead to their health being affected.

What Is The Value Of Black Onyx?

Being a variety of chalcedony which originates from quartz, black onyx is an uncommon gemstone. The black onyx is more uncommon compared to other varieties and colors, including its most prominent variety sardonyx.

Artisans and jewelers were carving the black onyx on different types of jewelry, but throughout history, cameo brooches were the most popular. Black onyxes are usually cabbed or faceted. The price of onyx ranges from $1 per carat up to $500 per carat. It’s worth mentioning that the price of a carat depends on how much it’s treated.

Treated options can go down in price, but not too much. However, treated options with decreased prices are rare to find. More commonly, treated black onyx has already been carved and etched onto different jewelry. That way, artisans and various jewelry stores have made a way to increase its price, despite the gemstone being treated.

The price also depends on the setting used on the black onyx. Bare black onyx is more affordable. However, if it contains the additions of silver and gold, it’ll be more expensive. White and yellow gold varieties are pricier compared to the silver setting.

How to Use Black Onyx?

Given its vast history and origins, different protection and healing meanings and value, black onyx is widely used for different healing rituals. Let’s detail it below.

Physical Healing With Black Onyx

Both onyx and its variant Sardonyx are great for improving the nervous system, so you can benefit if you experience back pain in the lumbar region or sciatica that radiates into the legs. Additionally, sardonyx is said to have beneficial effects on immunity improvement, while also enhancing the eyesight and hearing. Some believe that it’s even effective at reducing the effects of tinnitus.

It’s also believed that black onyx can improve mental stamina and strength, improving the mental health that can plummet during or after illnesses. It helps fasten the healing and regeneration of cells, while also helping people get rid of constipation and excess fluids.

Lastly, black onyx improves the health of bones, including teeth too. It helps cure disorders and injuries in the bones and soft tissues. It’s especially applicable for treating injured knees and feet, especially because black onyx represents the power and strength of root chakra.

It is also used to help women struggling with infertility and pain during labor.

Emotional Healing With Black Onyx

When it comes to emotional healing, black onyx will protect the negative energy and help you stabilize the relationship with your loved ones. Using it as part of your jewelry or in-home accessory will cleanse you from inside and help you filter out the negative people from your life.

It’s also responsible for raising your self-confidence in the situations where you need it the most. It guides you as you’re making important decisions in life such as studies, work, promotion, and migration. It helps you embrace new, productive habits and get rid of everything that slows you down.

For people who’ve gone through the loss trauma, black onyx will bring back their peace and help them cope with their grief and mourning. It also guides people to move on from the past that chained them in one place.

Black Onyx And Feng Shui

Black onyx and black stones in particular have a wide application for Feng Shui. It supports the decision-making, gives you self-confidence, support, and helps you get rid of the bad memories and past. That’s why in Feng Shui, you can use the black onyx together with wealth amulets like the frog with three legs, and others.

Black onyx also has associations with the Chinese zodiac animals such as the dragon and others. Still, the best effects of the black onyx in Feng Shui are using it on jewelry, such as a necklace or a bracelet.

Where to Buy Black Onyx?

There are different places where you can buy black onyx, those include:

Amazon – It has a lot of options, but keep in mind that not all vendors are reliable and trusted. We listed one we believe is trusted.

Etsy – Same like Amazon, Etsy contains a lot of individual vendors who are either small store owners or collectors. Not every one of them is trusted.

Gem Pundit – This site offers various jewelry made out of black onyx, including necklaces, pendants, earrings, and rings.

Gems N Gems – Here you can find a respectable collection of loose black onyx.

People Also Ask…

Q: What Chakra does black onyx empower?

A: The root chakra.

Q: On which hand should I wear a black onyx bracelet for healing?

A: We suggest the right arm. It has healing effects, but it’ll also protect you and your family from negative energy.

Q: How can I know if my onyx is real?

A: The best way to tell is a fire test. That means placing an onyx stone under a lighter or above candle for about 10 seconds. Drop it in the water afterward.

Read More: How Can You Tell If Black Onyx Is Real? 6 Simple Steps (With Pictures)

Q: How to clean black onyx?

A: You can drop it in a bowl of mild soapy water and leave it there for 1 hour. Don’t leave it there for too long.

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