Onyx - rich, glossy black, and Sardonyx - Glossy black and white. The high gloss of these stones is a distinctive characteristic.
We try to choose consistent stock, but the nature of natural stones is that there will be inconsistency between strands and between individual beads.
Black Onyx is a cryptocrystalline (micro-crystalline) form of quartz, and is characterized by taking an extremely high gloss. Onyx has been used as a decorative stone for centuries, and was popular with the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians, and is mentioned in the bible. Onyx is from the word that means "claw" or "fingernail." The story goes that Cupid trimmed the fingernails of Venus while she slept, and left the parings scattered on the sand. The Fates turned the trimmed nails to stone to protect the divine Venus. It's quite probable that the term onyx referred to all colours of onyx - the pinkish/reddish/whitish stones could have easily resembled fingernails or claws - but these days - we tend to think of onyx primarily in it's black form.
Long worn as a protective stone, metaphysically - onyx is considered to be a grounding stone, good in difficult or confusing times. Can also be worn to deflect negative forces and deflect awkward emotional entanglements or toxic relationships.