Sardonyx is a stone which has been highly valued since ancient times. Sardonyx is a very inexpensive stone but its unique banding and smooth finish give it quite a luxurious look. This makes it one of the most popular stones used in jewelry. It is also cut in cabochon and worn in strings of beads and it gives a fantastic appearance when interwoven with white or pink pearls. Found in India, Sri Lanka Germany, Czech Republic, Brazil, and the US, Sardonyx products like jewelry and decorative items or personal memento are one of the most popular gift items all over the world.
The history of this highly valued stone is quite interesting and quite a number of legends have been formed around how this stone was first found and gained in popularity. Sardonyx was first discovered by the Greeks in western Turkey who named this stone deriving from ‘sard‘ which means reddish-brown and ‘onyx‘ which stands for the veined gem. While the Greeks considered this stone to be protective against danger as well as a source of courage, the Romans considered Sardonyx to bring them honor, courage, wealth and success. It was not uncommon among the Greeks and Romans to carry or wear this stone at all times. Emblems of Gods were carved out of Sardonyx and talismans made of Sardonyx and engraved with Gods were also popular amongst soldiers as well as politicians.
The popularity of Sardonyx can even be observed in ancient Egypt during the 21st dynasty. The Egyptians also wore these stones as talismans and they believed that it brought them good luck. The significance of this highly valued stone in ancient times can be understood by knowing that the foundations of the fifth wall of New Jerusalem were garnished with Sardonyx. There is a small legend that involves Queen Elizabeth I who was given a sardonyx stone embedded in a gold ring by the Earl of Essex as a sign of friendship and the queen had promised that she will always come to his help if he needed it. The Earl was later imprisoned on charges of treason and he sent the ring to the queen but it sadly never reached her. The queen, thinking that the Earl was highly proud and was too conceited to ask for mercy, allowed his execution and learned the truth much later, resulting in a broken heart.
From the astrology angle, this stone has been considered to be the traditional August birthstone for those born in the month of August. According to astrologers, Sardonyx has the powers to focus the mind and end negative thinking. It is also believed to help marriages and relationships to be successful and happy. Apart from these positive effects on the mind, Sardonyx is also believed to keep away plagues and guard against reptile and insect bites. It also helps in getting a good night’s sleep and it also positively influences the heart, blood vessels, nerves, kidneys, hair, and nails. This is the reason why Sardonyx makes such a great birthday present for those born in the month of August. Just like ancient times, this marvelous stone still continues to be quite popular amongst the masses.