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HOME : Beaded Necklaces : Hematite Necklaces : Hematite and Onyx Bead Necklace
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Hematite and Onyx Bead Necklace - FJ.7299

Collection: Jewelry
Medium: Hematite

Location: United States
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This necklace is composed of modern hematite and onyx beads.

One of the important ores of iron, the red ferric oxide hematite takes its name from the Greek word for blood, because when the surface of the stone is scratched it appears to be bleeding. The gem takes on several forms and colors, the most common of which are red and metalic-grey. Since earliest antiquity, hematite has been prized for its potent protective qualities. The Egyptians and the Persians in particular used the stone in a talismanic capacity. Because of its assoications with the blood, hematite is believed to alleviate hemorrhage, and to stimulate the iron in the human circulation system, thus relieving fatigue. In ancient Egypt, amulets made from hematite were used to protect the head from injury, and were frequently formed in the shape of a miniature headrest or pillow. It was also felt that hematite gave courage to the wearer, and warriors frequently rubbed the stone over their bodies before battle to make themselves invincible. According to a treatise on gems written in the first century BC by Azchalias of Babylon, hematite procures for the wearer a favorable issue of lawsuits and judgements. The gem's mysterious physical properties--it seems part stone, part metal--make it as appealing to the modern eye as it has always been throughout history.

A gem of contrasts, onyx is chalcedonic quartz frequently layered in different shades of contrasting color, most commonly polar opposites of black and white. Found in both the Old and new worlds, onyx were used by the Classical Greeks and Romans to carve cameos and other personal jewelry, and by the tribes of ancient Mexico to make masks and sacred ritual objects. Alexander the Great particularly favored onyx and many small cameo portraits of him survive from antiquity, when they were thought to bring good fortune of this fable ruler to the wearer. The gem is mentioned in the Old Testament Book of Exodus as figuring prominently in the breastplate of the High Priest. Its lustrous, rich polished surface—usually of deepest ebony black, rich green, or very pure white—makes it highly desirable stone for modern jewelry. The chief virtue of onyx as an amulet is that it seems to attract and absorb negative humors from the body of the wearer, causing relief from both physical pain and mental anxiety. Black onyx is especially thought to have unique properties, as black suggests both the presence of all colors and the absent of light. For that reason, it serves as a buffer from pain, a defensive wall against evil and illness. - (FJ.7299)


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