The History Of Onyx
Onyx is a type of stone which is very precious, in part due to its composition and range of attractive colours.
It is a very desirable stone in part due to its colour, and also due to its rarity and lustre.
However, it has been used for numerous things throughout history, and we’re taking a look at its uses now.
Superstition surrounding onyx
One of the interesting parts of the history of Onyx is the way it was part of superstition.
Ancient Romans would often enter battle wearing amulets made of sardonyx, which is just onyx with white layers, that alternate with sard.
These amulets were adorned with carvings of Mars, the Roman God of War, and used to be believed to bring good luck to the wearer.
As well as this, it was not an uncommon practice for English midwives to use the stone during childbirth, believing it helped to take some of the pain away from the mother.
Uses throughout history
The stone itself has a very long and rich history, frequently being used in jewellery and the carving of hard stones, because of it’s highly desirable coloration and shape.
It was used as early as ancient Egypt, during the Second Dynasty, where it was used to make pottery items which included bowls.
The art of Minoan Crete has also featured sardonyx in its composition.
A green coloured onyx was frequently used in the creation of plinths for art deco composed in the 1920s and 30s.
The German sculptor who was called Ferdinand Preiss used green onyx as the base for the majority of his famous chryselephantine sculptures.
Green Onyx was also employed with great frequency when constructing trays and pin dishes over in Austria, where they were released with bronze animal statues and other such things.
In terms of more modern uses of onyx, the Hôtel de la Païva in Paris is well known and famous for having yellow onyx in it’s decor to great effect, and new Mariinsky Theatre Second Stage, which is located in Russia, also uses yellow onyx in its construction and decoration, again to very great effect.
Overall, there have been many historical uses of the onyx stone over the course of human history.
The stone has been popular since ancient times due to its lustre and colouration and has become the focal point for many types of jewellery and stone carvings.
It was also connected with superstition over its time, being thought to bring good luck to its wearer and to help relieve the pain of childbirth during a time when there was a lack of medical knowledge.
In more modern times, the stone has enjoyed being part of the modern decor of several prestigious buildings across the world, with its beauty and high quality becoming associated with a higher class decoration.
It can also have other uses, such as being involved with statues and decorations, as well as being used as onyx worktops and countertops due to the regality and beauty of the stone.