Sardonyx makes a great gift for people born in
August who want something a little different than
the traditional peridot or spinel birthstone.
Readily available and relatively inexpensive,
sardonyx makes an affordable addition to anyone’s
The qualify factors of sardonyx are not as clearly
defined as other gemstones like diamonds, but
generally the 4Cs still apply. Ask an American Gem
Society jeweler for help selecting the best
The most attractive sardonyx shows a high contrast
between reddish layers of sard stone and white bands
of onyx. It may be translucent or opaque, seldom
showing flaws or fractures.
Sardonyx is widely available and moderately priced
in sizes up to 10 carats. The most common cut is
cabochon, though it is popularly carved into cameos,
intaglios, inlays, and brooches to emphasize the
contrast between layers.
Artificial and imitation sardonyx has been produced
from common chalcedony and plain agate as far back
as Roman times, according to writings from
first-century naturalist, Pliny. Some gems are also
stained with iron oxide pigment or treated with
nitric acid to enhance color.
These enhancements make stones less valuable than
natural sardonyx, so watch for imitations when
buying these gemstones. A certified American Gem
Society Jeweler can help you select a genuine
Find a jeweler near you if you are looking for sardonyx gemstone jewelry.