There is no artist greater than our very own Earth for the sheer variety of materials and patterns we can bring into our homes. Onyx stone reminds us that natural materials are unparalleled in their artistry. In this case, the stone is a collaboration of three simple ingredients: water, minerals, and time.
In the commercial stone industry, onyx refers a category of stones that are made of layered bands of light-colored or translucent minerals. Most slabs of onyx are what a geologist would call banded calcite. This same material also goes by the names onyx marble, Mexican onyx, or Egyptian alabaster.
Onyx stone is commercially classified as a sibling to marble because these two stones have the same mineral content. Onyx is made of calcite, which is the same mineral that makes up limestone, marble, and travertine. In fact, banded calcite is a close cousin of travertine and forms in a similar way.
While granite, quartzite, and marble are all forged deep within the earth’s crust, onyx is born right on the surface. Onyx forms from spring water or groundwater that has an abundance of calcite dissolved in it. When this water emerges at the mouth of a spring, the minerals precipitate out and build a crust of calcite crystals. Over time, more water flows by and more minerals settle out. The variations between the layers are caused by differences in the water flow rate and small amounts of impurities. In its most pure state calcite is white or clear, but it’s easily tinted by minor amounts of other minerals.
Onyx typically comes in a wide range of yellow-orange hues due to the presence of iron deposits, but other common colors are white, brown, green and purple. The most common color of onyx is a warm honey color, which is caused by iron oxide. The flowing layers of onyx reflect subtle variations in the spring water, and add an artistic quality to the patterns and bands. Slabs of onyx are made by slicing down into the layers, revealing thousands of years of deposits.
Travertine is formed in the same manner as onyx. The main difference between travertine and onyx is that travertine has a porous, lace-like texture while onyx is In general, due to the high price and considering its characteristics, this stone is the most used in architecture and interior decoration. smooth and non-porous. Aside from that, the two stones are similar.
Onyx stone has intrinsic features and characteristics such as high density, lack of porosity, smooth and polished surface, very low water absorption, extremely high abrasability, light transmission and lack of heat absorption.
As you may have guessed, onyx is a somewhat fragile stone. It can become scratched and etched if used in a busy kitchen. Onyx countertops are best suited to parts of a kitchen that don’t see much heavy use.
High-end restaurants and resorts employ onyx bar tops to bring brilliance into a space, an effect that is made even more spectacular when the stone is backlit. Onyx is also used as a backsplash, vanity, or as accent tiles.
Onyx isn’t limited to slabs though. It can be formed into basins, lighting fixtures, or tabletops. One of the most extraordinary qualities of onyx is its ability to radiate light. Any application that takes advantage of this quality is sure to make a beautiful statement.
An onyx wall adds texture and high luxury to a room. If you’re on a budget or renting, consider onyx-patterned wallpaper instead.
The cool, smooth surface makes a great table or counter. Just remember to give it the same care you’d give marble since both stain easily. But Marble requires little less maintenance than onyx. For Sealing and Resealing of Onyx countertops you need to spend money as you will have to call professionals only to do the job. Even though onyx can’t be used everywhere, its appeal is universal.
Iran is the second country in the world to have onyx stone mines. Nazanz city located in Isfahan province has the largest share of onyx stone extraction. The types of onyx stones that are extracted in Iran are:
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