Onyx: a multifaceted stone

The peculiarity of onyx consists in having many different uses and applications, ranging from flooring to furnishing accessories to candle holders and jewellery. Architects and designers employ this material to create sophisticated environments and fancy spaces.
Let’s take a look at what makes Onyx so fascinating.

An almost divine origin

Onyx is often found in India, Turkey, Brazil, Uruguay and Madagascar, it is a type of matte or semi-matte-colored chalcedony whose colors can range from dark red to black, including many shades of grey. The name of this stone is shrouded in mystery: it comes from the Greek ònux, which translates to “nail”. But why?

Legend has it that one day, amongst the clouds of the Olympus, Cupid decided to secretly chop Venus’ nails with the tip of an arrow after she had fallen asleep. But the three Parcae could not let part of her divine body get destroyed or lost, therefore turned her nails into precious stones.

Types of onyx

There are countless types of onyx marble, but the common denominator is always the unique charm of its colors. Here are some:

  • White onyx marble was well known amongst the ancient Greek, Romans and Egyptian. A rare and precious material, it has always been regarded as a symbol of luxury, and it’s mainly used in indoor applications.
  • Pink onyx, as the name suggests, is characterised by its colour, a very light hue of peach pink. The uniqueness of this type of onyx lien in having many different applications, from flooring to kitchens tops, as well as in its capacity to express exceptional beauty when backlit.
  • Honey Onyx is a crystalline onyx marble with a beige background marked by darker veins, which intertwine in a sort of cobweb of unique geometric patterns. Stairs, tables, shower trays or kitchen tops: this type of onyx is a perfect choice for a myriad of applications!
  • Persian Green onyx is characterised by a soft, mild green. It is most typically employed in the creation of floors and interior trim, stairs, as well as furnishings and tables.
  • Red onyx owes its name to the intense hue of dark red which resembles incandescent lava. This beautiful material of Turkish origin is primarily used for interiors and decorations.
  • Cloudy onyx is originally from Mexico, and its main feature is its warm and intense colours. Its pattern, resembling a wisp of clouds, makes for the perfect backlit interior decorations: this type of onyx can unleash its true, bold elegance.

 

Onyx in architecture and design

Its low refractive index is what makes light travel fast through this material: thanks to this particular quality, onyx can give life to elegant light effects that enrich any space with style and finesse.

A light source is typically placed on panels installed behind onyx slabs: that’s how design and technology can work together to produce an extraordinarily evocative, loud atmosphere. The lighting emphasises every little detail, shade of colour and vein of the slab, turning them into the main protagonists of every space.

Architects and interior designers frequently opt for this kind of furnishing accessory for different parts of indoor spaces, such as bathroom or shower walls, tables, lamps, and furniture doors. In contract environment, it is also used to realise bars and various counters.