What is onyx?

Onyx is formed from carbonate minerals that are dissolved when limestone or dolomite sediments come into contact with hot water.  Heat from recent volcanic activity causes a hydrothermal alteration and the dissolved minerals are then precipitated when these fluids reach the surface. The dripping water forms onyx deposits and impurities alter the colors.  Color selection ranges from whites to greens and from the brown hues that range from reds to orange – even pink.  Beyond the unusual circumstances in which onyx is formed, the end result is an exotic material with a depth of color that is simply striking. Unlike other materials, such granite and marble, quarries of onyx are comparatively small.  Onyx is found in only a single layer in the earth. This makes the Onyx deposits much smaller and rarer.


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