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This stone has always attracted those with a different sense of style. Usually not worn by itself, onyx is frequently used as backdrop of some sort and paired with other gems. The Romans were responsible for onyx’s current association with black or dark brown colors. However, the word “onyx” is derived from the Greek word "Onux", meaning fingernail. Therefore, onyx had previously meant any color ranging from black to brown to fingernail white.
Sardonyx, another form of onyx, is reddish brown and white. This stone was highly valued in Rome, especially for seals, as it was said to never stick to wax. Primarily used for carving or backdrops, it adds a bit of mystery and allure to any piece of jewelry.
Onyx may chip or scratch rather easily.