The name onyx was used by the Romans for a variety of stones including alabaster and chalcedony. The name chalcedony comes from an ancient town on the Bosphorus. Striped onyx, a form of chalcedony, was used for cameos in ancient times and was thought to cure depression. Chalcedony was used in Renaissance magic for health and safety.
Onyx, as a form of chalcedony, is a microcrystalline quartz formed in the gas cavities of lava. Its multi-layered structure is similar to that of agates. When the stone has a black base and a white upper layer, it's called onyx. When the base is brown, it is called sardonyx while carnelian-onyx has a red base. Today it is found primarily in Brazil, India and the Malagasy Republic.
Striped onyx (chalcedony) is believed to promote goodwill and brotherhood. The stone absorbs negative energy and then diffuses it. It is thought to bring mind, body, spirit and emotions into harmony while engendering benevolent feelings and removing hostility.
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