Sardonyx – The Ultimate Guide – (Meaning, Description, Uses & Properties)

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Sardonyx Birthstone

What is Sardonyx?

Sardonyx is composed of layers of the mineral Chalcedony, in alternating bands of Sard and Onyx, giving it a particularly beautiful striped appearance in hues of black, brown, and red. It measures between 6.5 and 7 on the Mohs scale for hardness.

Some Sardonyx appears clear. It is opaque and can be large or small. Tumbled stones are the most popular.

Chalcedony is a variety of Quartz and has many metaphysical meanings and properties.

Sardonyx has its own unique properties and also shares many of the qualities of Quartz.

The Origin: Where Is Sardonyx Found?

Sardonyx can be found in Brazil, India, Russia, and Asia Minor

The History & Lore of Sardonyx

Sardonyx History and Lore

Sardonyx has been used throughout its history for carving cameos and intaglios.

It is easy to work with, and for this reason, many ancient representations can be found carved into specimens of this stone.

In Ancient Rome, cameos of the goddess Venus were popular in brooches and necklaces and were worn by those hoping to attract a husband or wife.

Roman soldiers wore Sardonyx rings and talismans carved with the image of Mars, the god of war, in the belief that it would offer the wearer protection in battle.

Hot wax does not stick to Sardonyx, and for this reason, it was a popular stone for Roman signet rings and seals.

Sardonyx is a variety of Agate, which has been dyed to enhance its appearance for thousands of years.

The Romans practiced this art, and it is still popular today.

The art of dyeing Sardonyx, cutting and polishing the stone, along with other varieties of Chalcedony, is associated with the town of Oberstein in Germany to this day.

In the Middle Ages, Sardonyx gained a reputation for protection against evil and the forces of darkness.

It was connected with Onyx in the medieval mind, and Onyx was seen as a bringer of sadness, anxiety, anger, and even demons.

It was believed that Sardonyx provided a useful counterbalance to these qualities.

During the Renaissance, Sardonyx was much prized for its ability to confer eloquence upon those who were engaged in public speaking.

Orators and preachers were often found to wear necklaces of Sardonyx to aid them with their powers of eloquence and persuasion.

There are references to Sardonyx in the Christian bible in the Book of Revelation where it is described as being the first foundation stone used in the building of the walls of New Jerusalem.

Description of Sardonyx

Sardonyx Description

Sard is usually found in hues of red, dark orange, or brown, and Onyx can occur in any color.

Both are types of the mineral Chalcedony and appear in bands to create Sardonyx.

The sharper the contrast between the layers, the more desirable the stone.

Sardonyx measures between 6.5 and 7 on the Mohs scale for hardness.

How to Identify Sardonyx

Sardonyx bands should be straight, with a definite contrast showing in the stone.

If the bands are curved, the gem is most likely an Agate. Both are types of microcrystalline Quartz.

Both Sardonyx and Agates are often artificially cored to increase the contrast between the bands of color.

If you come across a stone with startling colors, such as neon pinks, blues, or greens it may well have been treated in a lab to “improve” its appeal.

The stone retains its properties, however, if you prefer brighter-colored stones then you may not mind buying a treated specimen.

Always ask the vendor whether the stone is natural or enhanced.

You may not get a truthful or accurate reply, but at the very least it may make them aware that you know what you are talking about!

Types of Sardonyx

The color combinations most often found in Sardonyx are red or brown paired with black, white, or green Onyx.

In addition to the generic metaphysical properties of the Sardonyx stone, the different colors have their own uses and applications.

Black Sardonyx

This color Sardonyx is excellent for absorbing negativity and cleansing the aura.

It is used in chakra balancing and aura integrity work by crystal healers because of its ability to draw off negative vibrations and transmute them into positive frequencies.

Brown Sardonyx

Sardonyx that appears to be mainly brown is good for grounding energy.

It can be used at the Base and Sacral chakras to bring scattered energies into harmony and balance.

Clear Sardonyx

This variety is relatively rare, but it is useful as a purifying stone for both mental and physical purposes.

Red Sardonyx

Red Sardonyx is one of the best choices for stimulating the energies of the Sacral chakra and bringing them into harmony and balance.

It also stimulates the metabolism and activates Kundalini energy at the base of the spine.

Sardonyx Birthstone Meaning & History

Sardonyx Birthstone

Sardonyx is one of the August birthstones, along with Peridot and Spinel. It is also a birthstone for Leo (July 22 to August 23).

As a birthstone gift, Sardonyx has a lot to recommend it.

No two stones are alike, due to the naturally occurring bands of contrasting colors it exhibits.

It can also be made into talismans, artifacts, and small statuettes, so you are not limited to items of jewelry if you are looking for a gift of Sardonyx.

Leo is ruled by the element of fire and its zodiac symbol is the lion.

Leos can have fiery tempers, be dynamic and forceful and exhibit excellent leadership qualities.

They tend to be passionate and love taking control of a situation.

Sardonyx is a good choice for Leo because it is primarily a stone for strength, courage, and protection.

The history of Sardonyx as a birthstone for Leo is an interesting one.

The zodiac sign is associated with a particular lion in Greek myth. This is the Nemean Lion.

This induvial was a super strong beast who would often terrorize the villagers who lived near his territory.

It was said that he kidnapped women and children in order to lure their menfolk to their deaths as they attempted to rescue their wives and children from his clutches.

The Nemean Lion was invincible, protected by his fur from arrows and blades, and many warriors from the tribes in his vicinity came to grief through his ferocious attacks.

Eventually, King Eurystheus tasked his cousin, Heracles, with killing the lion.

Heracles, known for his extreme physical strength, decides not to rely on weapons.

Instead, he lies in wait for the lion to return to his lair and strangles him with his bare hands.

Heracles is then aided by the goddess Athena to skin the lion, and he uses the pelt as armor.

Modern day Leos are more likely to want to identify with Heracles than with the Nemean Lion!

However, although undoubtedly ferocious and bloodthirsty, the lion of myth was also intelligent, crafty, and clear-thinking.

He certainly liked getting his own way, which is a trait that many Leos also share.

Leos are often outgoing, extrovert types who love to be the center of attention.

They are generous to a fault and will give their time, love, and money freely.

Leos are confident and have an unshakeable belief in themselves, which can make them great leaders, friends, and confidantes.

However, this same trait can also lead to arrogance and insensitivity to the needs of others.

Sardonyx helps Leos to find the happy balance between the extremes of which this star sign is capable.

Leos also show great determination and often set their sights and standards very high.

Their boundless optimism means that they often achieve them!

Sardonyx Treatment

Sardonyx Treatment

How to Clean and Care for Sardonyx

Sardonyx can be cleaned with warm water and mild soap.

It is quite hard and will take some wear, but it can still be scratched by harder stones.

So if you have a Sardonyx ring it is a good idea to remove it before undertaking manual tasks that may damage it.

It can be sensitive to heat, so avoid leaving this stone in direct sunlight for any length of time.

The dyed stones are more susceptible to fading than the natural ones.

If you wish to charge your Sardonyx you can use either the smudging or immersion methods.

Pass the stone through the smoke from a sage bundle to clear it of any negative vibrations it has absorbed and set your new, clear intentions as you do so.

Alternatively, you can immerse it in a bowl of brown rice overnight to bring its vibration back to its original state.

Buyers Guide: Tips & Advice

Sardonyx Quality Factors

Sardonyx is easily faked, due to the high demand for this stone.

Unfortunately, it is very difficult to tell whether the Sardonyx you are looking at is authentic or manufactured.

The best thing to do is stick to reputable dealers if authenticity is important to you.


When buying Sardonyx, you will probably have a preference for color.

The important aspect regarding the quality of the stone as it pertains to color is the crispness of the contrast between the colored bands.

These bands of color always occur in pairs, and on a good quality stone and they will be straight, not curved.

For example, in the red and white variety, a high-quality stone will exhibit a deep, vibrant, vivid red contrasting with a pure white band, Shades of yellow or gray in the lighter-colored bands should bring the price down.


Although Sardonyx is an opaque, or translucent stone, the clarity of any particular gem is still an important factor when considering the quality.

Good stones will not show visible watermarks or fractures.


Cabochon is the most common style of cut for Sardonyx.

This allows for smooth, polished, stones with a brightness that shows off their contrasting colors.

Sardonyx has been used to carve cameos, seals, and intaglios for centuries and these specimens can command a high price, especially if they are of historical significance.

Carat Weight

As with most gems, the carat weight of any stone is determined by other factors as well as the size of the piece in question.

For example, a large specimen of Sardonyx that presents with faded or weak colors will be less valuable than a small stone with crisp, bright color bands.

Sardonyx and Chakras

Sardonyx and Chakras

Sardonyx is a very beneficial stone for the Sacral Chakra.

This is the center that governs your creativity, your imagination, and your ability to experience the physical and sensual pleasures of life.

It is located just above the pubic bone about four finger widths below your navel.

When the Sacral Chakra is out of balance or blocked in some way, you may experience physical discomfort in your lower back and hips.

You may also find that you are susceptible to urinary infections and conditions affecting your reproductive organs.

Emotionally, when the Sacral chakra is closed down or restricted, we can feel low, demotivated, lethargic, and apathetic.

The hobbies and activities that used to bring you joy are no longer appealing, and you begin to fall into despair and a “what’s the point?” attitude.

Sardonyx can be helpful in cases like these if you use it in a chakra balance or aura cleansing.

It stimulates, activates, and opens the Sacral chakra and increases willpower, motivation, and self-control.

Red Sardonyx is especially beneficial to the Sacral chakra and can be combined with other red/orange stones such as Carnelian to bring warmth, life, and vigor back to an exhausted system.

Sardonyx is also an excellent grounding and earthing stone.

It can be used at the Base chakra to encourage the grounding and stabilizing of the energies of the chakras, the meridians, and the several layers of the etheric body.

Sardonyx Healing Properties

Sardonyx Healing Properties

Physical Healing Properties

Sardonyx is said to heal the lungs and bones. It also brings the sensory organs into balance and sensitizes them.

It is good for the immune system and brings vitality and renewed vigor to a body coping with physical exhaustion.

Athletes may find Sardonyx useful in helping them to recover from strenuous activities more quickly.

It is supportive of the organs of elimination, the liver, kidneys, lungs, adrenals, and skin.

It is also said to aid in the absorption of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

Sardonyx is of benefit to the organs of the lower part of the body, especially the bowel and large intestines.

It can help to ease lower back pain and help to clear up urinary tract infections.

Mental & Emotional Healing Properties

Sardonyx brings lasting happiness and stability to partnerships and marriages.

It attracts good fortune and builds friendships. Psychologically, Sardonyx supplements willpower and strengthens character.

It is a stone of integrity and promotes virtuous living.

Sardonyx brings happiness and a sense of joy to those who have “lost their way” or are battling depression.

It promotes self-confidence and teaches you to honor your feelings and stand by your beliefs.

It is a good stone for treating anxiety and apathy, helping to restore optimism and hope.

Sardonyx can provide the strength and support you need to make healthy changes in your mental and emotional life, allowing you to see the truth about potentially damaging relationships you may be holding onto through fear or early conditioning.

Sardonyx allows you to let go of the people you may have attracted into your life who are challenging you in unhelpful ways.

When you make a decision to allow these people to drop away from your life, use Sardonyx to help you to set crystal clear intentions to attract only those who are aligned with your spirit and your principles.

Sardonyx helps those who are stuck in attitudes of victimhood or martyrdom to break free and to live their lives as they know, deep down, they want to live.

Mentally, Sardonyx helps you to absorb the information you need from your perceptions of the world around you.

It encourages you to look at life in different ways and from a different perspective to see if there are advantages to be gained from what, on the surface, may seem to be a hopeless situation.

Sardonyx helps with organizational skills too.

If you feel that your time and energies are always scattered and that you rarely stay on track with projects, tasks, and responsibilities, Sardonyx will help you to set structures and boundaries in place and to schedule your time productively.

​Metaphysical Properties

Sardonyx Emotional and Metaphysical properties

Sardonyx represents courage, bravery, and protection. It is also a stone of happiness, integrity, and clear communication.

Sardonyx has a reputation for increasing your charisma and “presence” among others, which can be useful if you are naturally shy and do not like to blow your own trumpet.

Sardonyx has been used for gridding properties and land for thousands of years, and these qualities are still useful today.

You can place Sardonyx at each corner of your dwelling to protect you from the effects of crime, and you can use it to grid your garden to encourage the growth of healthy plants.

Sardonyx also protects against the forces of evil and darkness.

It was believed amongst the ancients that wearing a piece of Sardonyx around the neck would protect the wearer from the ill-wishing of neighbors and enemies.

Combined with Tiger’s Eye, it offers powerful protection from curses and black magic.

Spiritual Healing Properties

Sardonyx is said to help you to find meaning in your life.

It encourages you to investigate and understand your motives and to face the truth about yourself on a soul level, even when this truth is unpleasant.

It then provides the courage and strength you need to make worthwhile changes in your attitudes and behavior.

Sardonyx promotes an attitude of gratitude, which in turn render you friendly and helpful to others.

If you are wondering how you can serve your Divine purpose, spend some time in meditation with this stone.

And make a list of all the things you do that make a difference in other people’s lives, no matter how small.

Sardonyx is a popular crystal with anyone who practices Yoga, Qigong, Tai Chi, or meditation.

It enables your mind to filter out external influences and distracting thoughts and helps you to focus solely on the present.

It is used by many in mindfulness practices, bringing peace and tranquility to the here and now, regardless of what is going on in your life.

How to Use Sardonyx

Sardonyx Uses

As Jewelry

Wearing Sardonyx jewelry is an excellent way of giving yourself a boost of protection and shoring up your courage throughout the day.

As Sardonyx is easy to carve, you may find small charms, cameos, or talismans that you can carry with you.

In-Home and Office

Place tumbled stones of Sardonyx in your home or workplace to cleanse the atmosphere and bring the freshness of the outdoors into buildings and enclosed spaces.

Use Sardonyx to “grid” your garden to help your plants fight off pests and diseases.

Sardonyx placed in the Career corner of your home can help you receive a promotion or find a job.

Best Crystal Combinations with Sardonyx

Sardonyx and Carnelian

Pairing Carnelian with Sardonyx is excellent for clearing, cleansing, and activating the Sacral chakra.

It disperses blocked or negative energies from this area and allows you to get back to the sensual delights of your five senses.

It is also a supportive combination for instilling confidence in public speakers and can help writers to overcome writer’s block.

Sardonyx and Pyrite with Smoky Quartz

Pairing Pyrite and Smoking Quartz with Sardonyx can be used to give your manifestation work an extra burst of energy. 

Place them in a grid, or together in a small carry pouch to manifest wealth, health, and good fortune.

Final Thoughts & Conclusion

If you are looking for protection and strength, Sardonyx is the stone for you.

It promotes willpower, integrity, and bravery.

It also brings in vibrations of joy and happiness and is excellent for promoting harmony between individuals and groups of people working together.


American Gem Society | Gem Select | GIA

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