Looking for an alternative engagement ring stone ? The black onyx might just be what you’re looking for ! Not only does this gem stand out form the rest with its inky black color, it also carries some beautiful and impressive symbolism.
Read on to find out what an onyx engagement ring symbolizes, what to know before getting such a ring, and alternative stones you may want to consider.
Onyx engagement ring meaning
Onyx draws on its opaque black color to reflect any negative emotions away form the wearer, and this will protect the couple when set in an engagement ring. Black onyx is also a symbol of self-discipline which allows the couple to remain calm and collected in the face if trials and adversity.
This gem is known for its protection over the wearer, giving boosting their focus, willpower, and allowing them the discipline to obtain what they want, or remain firmly rooted in their decision and allegiance. An onyx engagement ring is a reminder of the unwavering loyalty you two share, and it will help reflect all the negative thoughts other people might send your way, such as jealousy or envy.
What is onyx ?
Onyx is a type of chalcedony that comes in several color, with deep inky black being the most common on the market. You may find onyx in black and red as its two most famous colors, yet most of the onyx found on the market is artificially colored to get that deep black. Natural black onyx has various bands of lighter color interspersed, which don’t form an uniform color throughout the stone.
Read also: Citrine Engagement Ring Meaning
What does a black stone engagement ring mean ?
A black center stone engagement ring is not for everyone, and it is mostly chosen for those who tend to stand out from the crowd. Black engagement ring stones symbolize a couple that stands out, someone who does not embrace tradition but instead follows their own path. This comes with its own challenges, and these people are often made stronger by the trials they’ve faced.
You will often find that celebrities wearing such a stone are known for being bold and making decisions that make people want to talk about them. Examples include Carmen Electra, Kat Von D, and the not-real-but-very-influential Carrie Bradshaw.
Is onyx good for an engagement ring ?
Yes, onyx is a great choice for an engagement ring that will challenge tradition and make people look twice. This type of engagement ring is no easy to wear as it has a strong dramatic effect, so you better be bold enough to wear it ! If you are, then this gem will bestow its protection and boost willpower, helping you stand by your decisions.
Onyx is also the birthstone for Leos, regardless of their birth month (July or August), which makes a lot of sense when you think of their dramatic and creative flair, and how they tend to be the center of all gossip. After all, all press is good press.
Can you wear onyx every day ?
Onyx is no the best gem to wear every single day, as it’s a bit soft which means it will scratch and chip more easily than other gems. Onyx scores a 6.5-7 out of 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness. This means it will accumulate some scratches as the years go by, and may need replacing faster than a sapphire morganite.
Still, if your heart is set on an onyx engagement ring you can either wear it to special occasions, or take it off when you know you have some serious work to do, such as house work, gardening, woodworking, or anything that may subject the onyx to an accident.
What is the best cut for black onyx ?
The best cuts for an onyx are cabochons, as they provide no weak points for the stone to shatter or chip, as long as it’s a low cabochon. Of course, you an get onyx faceted in any shape and cut style you like. It will not benefit from a round brilliant cut, as it is not transparent, but it may look very striking in a step-cut of any type, simply because it’s so different.
What metal pairs best with black onyx ?
Yellow gold and rose gold pair best with black onyx, as they seem to complement the darkness of the stone and exude a royal air. If you’d like to set your onyx in silver, platinum, or white gold also work great with black onyx, because they provide a direct contrast to the gem.
In the end it’s about the message you’d like to send with this engagement ring. Do you enjoy contrasts or would you like the stone and the metal to complement each other, tending towards luxury ?
What setting is best for black onyx ?
The best setting for black onyx is a bezel setting, to protect the gem from most hits. However prong settings are the most popular, so we recommend getting a prong setting that ahs more than 6 prongs to cover most areas of the onyx stone.
You’ll notice that most of the onyx rings you can look at for inspiration tend to have a halo or several stones around the onyx as well, which acts as extra protection and keep the onyx in place a little easier.
Is onyx expensive ?
Onyx is a very affordable stone, with a single carat ranging from as little as $1 to $10, depending on whether there are any faults within the stone and if the color is truly inky and has no variation. Really, onyx is not expensive at all can this makes it a very interesting choice when paired with a really expensive stone like diamonds, sapphires, or rubies.
Alternative gems to onyx
Onyx is impressive on its own, yet you may want to look at other options that also fir the bill of being black, opaque, and impressive, There are quite a few gems you can look at, and we’ve compiled this list while also thinking of their Mohs rating, since an engagement ring is meant to last a lifetime. So a high rating will mean the stone will stand up to the test of time very well.
Black diamonds, despite being diamonds, are not as expensive as your typical clear white diamonds. Instead they are far more affordable, landing somewhere in the $2200-2500 range for a single carat. Compared to a clear white diamond’s $6000 mark or higher, a black diamond is very affordable.
And what makes a back diamond, well, black ? Inclusions. So many inclusions that the diamond turns opaque and instead makes you wonder how such an interesting, sparkling gem can be so mysterious and reveal nothing to the onlooker. Really it’s one of the coolest gems to look at, simply for being the exact opposite of what you’d expect from a diamond.
Pearls come in many, many colors and black is just one of them. Ah but the nacre that forms a pearl does not let this beauty be just black, no, black pearls are more than black, they reflect a beautiful deep green sheen that may tinge golden or pink in the right light.
Also known as Tahitian black pearls, these beauties are not a durable or tough gem by any means. They score a 2.5-3.5 on the Mohs scale so you have to be incredibly careful when wearing them, or better yet relegate them to occasional or evening wear only.
But, they do have a dramatic effect, and just like black diamonds, they challenge tradition that states pearls are always white. You can find black pearls for about $500 a piece, so they do come at a premium.
Spinels are some very versatile gems, especially since they come in so many colors and for the longest time, red spinels were actually considered rubies. A black spinel is actually pretty rare, and it has a good Mohs rating of 8 out of 10. This makes it pretty good for daily wear, so it will do just fine in an engagement ring.
These spinels are completely opaque and hard to tell apart form a black onyx or black diamond at first sight, but they are far more durable than black onyx. You can find black spinel selling for anywhere between $250-400 per carat, depending on any flaws and its exact color.
Sapphires are every well known for being blue, so blue they have a whole shade of color named after them. But did you know sapphires can be such a dark blue it appears black ? It not a true black but more of a midnight blue, the darkest blue you could possibly imagine, and you can see flashes of this blue then you turn the gem in your hand.
These beauties are very resilient – a 9 on the Mohs scale – and they sell for an incredibly low price ! The reason for this low price is because sapphires are prized for their cornflower blue, and any shade of blue that get much too dark immediately gets disqualified and the price drops dramatically.
Rutilated and smoky quartz
Both rutilated and smoky quartz offer a fresh take on the idea of a black center stone. These gems are not 100% opaque, rather you can see clearer bits.
Rutilated quartz is a type of quartz with small titanium dioxide inclusions that look like bands that traverse the crystal. Sometimes they’re parallel, sometimes they intersect, and sometimes they form a very intricate pattern. Most of them are gold-looking but there are plenty of black rutilated quartz crystals and they are very easy to find.
Smoky quartz is exactly what it sounds like: a cloudy, dark brown to black crystal that looks like someone captured dense smoke within a crystal.
Both smoky and rutilated quartz are very affordable and make for an interesting center stone in an engagement ring, especially if you want to put a twist on the idea of a black center stone. Keep in mind that these gems rank a 7 on the Mohs scale, so they’re prone to scratching too.
I’m the main author for jewelrymaterialguide.com. I started this site after we did tons of research before our wedding and noticed that there is information about rings, jewelry, and so on that is really hard to find on the internet.