Sardonyx is August's birthstone. Sardonyx is actually a layering of two different stones, sard and onyx. Sard appears from a dark orange to dark red to close to black. Onyx, although thought by many to only appear as black, appears in a range of colors from black to blue to white. Sardonyx has been used for centuries to create cameos, especially ones with religious images. In Ancient Egypt and Rome, men and women both wore sardonyx rings and sardonyx necklaces in an effort to possess whatever powers the profile on the wearer's cameo possessed.
In regards to the sard of sardonyx, the origin of its name has been disputed. Records from Pliny the Elder, an Ancient historian, conjecture that sard's name is derived from Sardis, an ancient city in the area of modern Turkey. Most today do not believe this. Some believe that sard comes from the Greek for “claw”, because the stone's reddish tones reminds one of flesh, while other believe the name originated from the Persian word for “yellow-red”.
No matter the origin of its name, sardonyx jewelry, with its contrast of red sard against black, blue, or white onyx, is the perfect accent to any outfit. Since sardonyx is August's birthstone, it is the perfect gift for any loved one born in August. But sardonyx's gorgeous and eye-catching contrasts, along with its fiery, summer red tones, make sardonyx jewelry the perfect gift for anyone this summer, including yourself!
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