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Sardonyx Gemstone

Throughout  the  ages  there  have  been many myths, legends and folklore surrounding  the spiritual qualities of Sardonyx (also known as Banded Agate). Romans soldiering into war would wear the stone, engraved with a picture of  Mars (god of war), believing it would bring them courage in times of doubt.

The name Sardonyx itself is an amalgamation of its composition, the two minerals ‘Sard’ and ‘Onyx’. During the Renaissance in Europe it was believed that this stone gave speakers eloquence when  talking.  In Ancient  Greece  people  used to carve them into the shape of scarab beetles, a  mythological  creature  that  was  believed  to eat people! The gem also has many links with royalty and it is said that Queen Elizabeth I gave the Earl of Essex a large Sardonyx gold ring as a present.

Sardonyx is the reddish brown coloured member  of the Agate family and it normally has varying  coloured layers and a vitreous to waxy lustre.  The main use of Sardonyx throughout the ages  has  been  to  make  carved  cameos  (a  carving  made out of a gemstone).

Today Sardonyx is mined in various locations  around the world, however in years gone by it  was considerably rarer and more valuable. There  was even a time when it was worth more than  gold! Most of the world’s supply is mined in the  Sardonyx Mountains in India and it is generally  agreed  that  this  is  where  the  highest  quality  Sardonyx comes from. The gem is also found in  Russia, Australia, Brazil and Madagascar.

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