Onyx is the birthstone for Leos and black Onyx is the anniversary gemstone for the 10th year of marriage. Onyx is a variety of the microcrystalline quartz called chalcedony. The name “chalcedony” comes from Calcedon or Calchedon, an ancient port on the Sea of Marmara in Asia Minor. Onyx seals were very popular with the Romans, who carved the pattern of the seal in negative relief to give a raised point. They often used stones with several layers, each of a different color, which were then individually carved to produce a different pattern each year. Onyx is the Greek word for “claw” or “fingernail” because these veins resemble the colors of a fingernail. The marble is still called “onyx marble,” being less valuable and softer than onyx which has a hardness rating of 7. Onyx was also traditionally used for carving cameo brooches. The myth of the origin of onyx says that the goddess Venus was resting on the banks of the Indus River. As she slept, Cupid used the point of one of his enchanted arrows to give her a manicure. The parings of her nails then fell into the waters of the sacred river. Since the nails were of heavenly origin, they sank to the river bottom and were metamorphosed into onyx. Associated with the root chakra, Onyx brings spiritual inspiration and control over emotions. Onyx is a powerful protective stone that can shield the mind and body from electromagnetic energy. It absorbs and transforms negative energy, helping to prevent that drain of personal energy. Onyx assists with melancholy, the release of negativity and depression. It helps to calm your fears, leaving you feeling stable and secure.