As gemstone collectors and gemstone junkies, we get several questions asked through emails, blogs, and in our stores. We decided to create a series in our blogs called "MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS BY CUSTOMERS" with the intention to provide free content, educate and create awareness for the next time you shop for these crystals and gemstones.
One of the most common questions we get asked is "How Do You Tell The Difference Between an Onyx and an Obsidian?" or " How To Spot an Onyx and Obsidian?"
Onyx and Obsidian are easily mistaken, due to the fact that both black gemstones have a shiny, polished and sleek surface. They both have a deep black appearance and they are commonly used in jewelry making. Although very similar, onyx and obsidian are two very different gemstones, differing in chemical properties and value, structure and more.
Here is a list of questions covered in this article:
- What is obsidian? What is onyx?
- Where does obsidian and onyx come from?
- What is obsidian made of? What is onyx made of?
- What are the physical differences between onyx and obsidian?
- What is obsidian stone good for? What is onyx stone good for?
- What types of jewelry can obsidian and onyx be used in?
- What are the healing properties of black onyx? What are the healing properties of Obsidian?
What is obsidian? What is onyx?
Obsidian is a glassy, silica-rich volcanic rock with a harness of 5-5.5. Onyx is a variety of Chalcedony, a member of the Quartz family with a hardness of 7.
Where does obsidian and onyx come from?
Both onyx and obsidian are found in many different places around the world.
Obsidian can be found in areas with past or present frequent volcanic activity. Such places include Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Canada, Chile, Georgia, Greece, El Salvador, Guatemala, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Scotland, Turkey and the U.S.
Onyx on the other hand can be found most frequently in the UK, the U.S, Madagascar, China, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Uruguay, Canada, India, Czech Republic, Germany, Indonesia, Latin America and Yemen.
What is obsidian made of? What is onyx made of?
Obsidian is an amorphous stone, meaning that its structure contains no regular geometric pattern. Because it breaks with a very sharp conchoidal fracture, it has been used for making arrowheads and other tools since Paleolithic times.
Onyx is crystal system is hexagonal (trigonal). Onyx is defined as a banded Chalcedony in which the lines of banding are parallel. This banded Onyx is frequently used in carving cameos, since the layered colors allow the necessary contrast of background with foreground.
What are the physical differences between onyx and obsidian?
So, while onyx is indeed a mineral with a hexagonal crystal system, obsidian is essentially a black volcanic glass. The easiest way to differentiate between black onyx and black obsidian is by lifting them up since onyx is significantly heavier than obsidian.
Aside from the weight difference, the other main factor that will help you identify a black onyx and black obsidian is the fact that the onyx tends to have a slightly duller finish. At the end of the day, it’s a crystal and not glass. However, with a good enough polish, a black onyx can often be given an impressively glassy look, so don’t rely on that alone.
What is obsidian stone good for? What is onyx stone good for?
Obsidian powerfully eliminates negative energies in oneself and one's environment. It is like a psychic vacuum cleaner's, cleaning the auric field of disharmony, negative attachments, astral plane 'junk", and one's own emanations of anger, greed, fear resentment, etc. It is a strong grounding stone, stimulating the root chakra to make its connection with the Earthstar chakra below the feet, and deep into the core of the Earth. Black obsidian harmonizes is useful for all typed of scrying, including spirit communication. Black obsidian's energy is that of protection. Its frequency seals the aura and removes energetic attachments.
Onyx is a stone of inner strength. It enhances one's endurance an persistence, enabling one to carry even difficult and dreary tasks through to completion. One a mental level, it increases one's ability to maintain focus, allowing one to learn challenging new material and use well all that one has mastered. It energetically boosts the retention of memory and encourages attention to detail. It can help one to control, focus and direc t the will, and this brings about a considerable increase in one's personal power.
What types of jewelry can obsidian and onyx be used in?
Because obsidian is an amorphous stone, meaning that its structure contains no regular geometric pattern. When it breaks very sharp forms, it has been used for making arrowheads and other tools since Paleolithic times. They can both be used in anything from rings and earrings, through bracelets to pendants and necklaces. Because onyx is heavier than obsidian, it’s typically used in smaller pieces. Both make for lovely decorations and ornaments, however, and contribute to a rather mystical and spiritual feel on any piece of jewelry.
Kindly note that the information shared is not meant to replace diagnosis and treatment by a qualified medical practitioner. We, at Magic Crystals, are not doctors and cannot give out medical advice. Healing crystals should be used as a complement to other therapies and not as a replacement for medical treatment, diagnosis, or examination. For medical advice, please consult a licensed healthcare specialist.
OBSIDIAN HEALING PROPERTIES
SPIRITUAL: Black Obsidian assists in recognizing where one is holding negativity and helps to illuminate and cleanse negative emotional patterns from the aura. It can assist those who are very psychically or emotionally sensitive to maintain the integrity of their energy fields.
EMOTIONAL: Black Obsidian is a powerful emotional teacher. It leads one to an understanding and acceptance of the darker side of one's nature so that aspect can be evolved and illuminated. It assists in breaking negative emotionally based patterns such as self-abuse, eating disorders, and addictions, when one is willing to take responsibility for one's own healing.
PHYSICAL: Black Obsidian assists with removing blockages in the meridian system. It's energy is useful in clearing reproductive problems based in past abuse or current self-abuse issues. Black Obsidian opens and clears the base and second chakras.
ONYX HEALING PROPERTIES
SPIRITUAL: Black Onyx teaches the appropriate use of power and the focusing of energy into positive force. It is excellent for those who are working to develop their telekinetic abilities.
EMOTIONAL: Black Onyx is emotionally neutral.
PHYSICAL: Black Onyx can be used to help stimulate the connection between the feet and the first chakra. This can be helpful for those suffering from weak legs, or who have difficulty grounding or eliminating bodily wastes or excess energy.
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Love and Light,
Much love from your Magic Crystals Family.