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Mar 1, 2019

Union Tiles: The Mysteries of Onyx

It is the stone that throbs with life and inspires energy. Walk into the Union Tiles warehouse and be amazed at the beauty of a slab of onyx.

The band of wavy patterns that can be seen with colours of amber, ivory, honey and smokey grey fused together is undeniably impressive. Once lifted and the sun catches the slab and it is even more spectacular and looks like it is made of translucent, sparkly gemstones!

The magnificence of the colours dancing and fusing into one another whilst this soft, gentle warm enveloping light washes over you is truly energizing and certainly uplifting. So with all this beauty and mystery how is it made and where is it found?

Onyx: This is what most geologists would refer to as banded calcite. Onyx is not unlike agate and is considered a ‘soft’ stone. Calcite is the same mineral that makes up limestone, marble and travertine. As with travertine Onyx is formed literally on the surface as its formation comes from spring water or ground water that has an abundance of calcite dissolved in it.

As this water either bubbles or cascades or softly emerges out of the spring the minerals precipitate out and form a crust of calcite crystals. With time, as the water continues to flow and more minerals settle the variations in the layers begin to form.

The rate of flow of the water and other impurities assist in creating many of the variations in the layers. The most common colour found in the onyx is the rich honey colour caused by iron oxide. One can find beautiful layers of crystal in Caves or anywhere where there is underground water with mineral deposits.

Applications of Onyx:

Onyx was used as far back as biblical times for jewellery, bowls etc. Today onyx tiles are used in homes and commercial applications. Slabs of onyx are used for counter tops in bathrooms and as splash backs. Because onyx draws your attention, enhance this by making use of light when installing onyx and see an artist’s view of the mystic and the gentleness of this inspiring stone. Upmarket restaurants, resorts and especially health spa’s use onyx for its spectacular effect on light, creating ambience and a sense of the healing properties of this remarkable crystal.

Despite Onyx being the stone that creates dreams and fantasies one has to treat it like absolute royalty. On your counter tops make sure that you use Union Tiles SQT Stain Ban. Do not leave lemon, tomatoes or red wine on it. Rub it gently without any harsh soaps and you will keep the mystery and the glory of this stone forever.

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