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Definition of ÓNICE

It is a mineral of light or very dark colors that is classified, according to the Strunz regulations, as class IV. Also, it is considered as a semi-precious stone that is very useful for cameo.


In the Irish language this word means “on ice”, that is, it describes everything that can be done on this type of surface or can be found there.


Ónice is a word that comes from the Greek onyx which means “nail”, it is also known in Spanish as “onix”. The etymological reference is born from the mythology that supposes that this mineral was born from a nail of Aphrodite. This is a stone of volcanic origin that is composed to a greater extent by silica. It is a semi-precious mineral with great properties for jewelry.

This stone has been used historically in the cameo, that is, to carve different figures for jewelry, sculptures or others. This type of art was very popular in ancient cultures such as Persian, Greek and Roman, however, with the passage of time it lost cultural relevance.


There are at least four varieties of onyx, namely green, San Martín, onixtin, and aragonite. These varieties are classified depending on the physical characteristics of each stone.

The Romans attributed qualities to them as a good luck charm and to herald misfortune. They also said that it drives away sexual instincts and acts on negative forces.