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Community Member
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎01-14-2004

Onyx with gold flecks

Here is a sterling & onyx (I think) key ring. Was using a loupe to check the stone & in the light saw there are gold flecks, only on top of his head and a bit on the smaller piece. Is there another name for the stone?
Thanks, Vicki

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Community Member
Posts: 497
Registered: ‎03-07-2009

Re: Onyx with gold flecks

in reply to covingtonantiques
Obsidian. Onyx is dyed travertine. Probably from Mexico.
Community Member
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎01-14-2004

Re: Onyx with gold flecks

in reply to covingtonantiques
Excellent......
Thank you!
lexy143
Community Member
Posts: 6,073
Registered: ‎12-07-2001

Re: Onyx with gold flecks

in reply to covingtonantiques
It's Sheen Obsidian, one of my favorite stones.
Community Member
Posts: 153
Registered: ‎10-28-2004

Re: Onyx with gold flecks

in reply to covingtonantiques
Obsidian. Onyx is dyed travertine. Probably from Mexico.


Um. "Mexican onyx" is generally a misnomer for dyed translucent banded travertine/calcite, a fairly soft and brittle mineral, but the term "onyx" by itself refers to a type of cryptocrystalline quartz, which is much harder and more durable-- in contemporary jewelry, usually it means "black onyx", uniform opaque chalcedony; in some other fields, "onyx" is instead a type of black/white agate with fine parallel stripes.

(The word "onyx" is based on the Greek word for "fingernail" because of those fine parallel bands. I think the slippage to "black onyx" came about because the high-contrast layers of striped-agate "onyx" made it a good material for carving cameos from small slabs oriented like an Oreo cookie with dark layers on the outside and lighter layers on the inside-- but if you leave the slab uncarved it just looks uniformly black. AFAIK it's fairly standard for "black onyx" to be permanently color-enhanced via a carbonizing process, but it's still much tougher than "Mexican onyx".)
elias11
Community Member
Posts: 1,490
Registered: ‎06-17-2004

Re: Onyx with gold flecks

in reply to covingtonantiques
In gemology, although it is commonly used in the jewelry industry, the term "black onyx" is a misnomer for chalcedony that is dyed black.

Again, in gemology, the term "Onyx' is defined as chalcedony composed of straight, parallel layers of different colors.

Obsidian is natural glass of volcanic origin. Sheen obsidian typically has a silvery or golden looking sheen.

To add to the confusion ]:smileyhappy:, the trade name "onyx obsidian" is defined as obsidian showing straight parallel bands!

Elias