Silica silicon dioxide SiO2
Like agate, onyx is a banded variety of chalcedony differing only in that it displays parallel banding whilst agate displays curved bands. It is a cryptocrystalline stone consisting of fine intergrowths of silica minerals, quartz and moganite.
The word onyx comes from the Latin word of the same spelling with its root in a Greek word meaning claw or fingernail – so called because the mineral’s color sometimes resembles that of a fingernail – pink with white streaks.
Onyx was used in Egypt as early as the Second Dynasty to make bowls and other items of tableware. Sardonyx, a variant in which the colored bands are sard (shades of red) rather than black appears in the art of Minoan Crete, notably from the archaeological recoveries at Knossos. Onyx was known to the Ancient Greeks and Romans; the first-century naturalist Pliny the Elder described both types of onyx and various artificial treatment techniques in his Naturalis Historia. Slabs of onyx (from the Atlas Mountains) were famously used by Mies van der Rohe in Villa Tugendhat at Brno (completed 1930) to create a shimmering semi-translucent interior wall and the fascination with translucent stone materials continues to this day.
Exterior: External façades; Double glazed units; Curtain walling applications; Sunscreens; Balustrading; Signage
Interior: Backlit wall panels (entire walls or feature panels); Opaque wall panels, with glass face protecting the stone; Partitions / wall dividers; Work surfaces, counter tops, bar tops; Furniture; Light fixtures; Signage; Illuminated floors; Illuminated ceilings; Entrance halls; Exhibition stands; Indoor balustrades.
Typical panel sizes
2400 x 1200 mm
Other dimensions possible up to 3500 x 1500 mm, depending on the max dimensions of the stone.
Prices vary dramatically depending on the choice of stone, its availability, the panel thickness and panel size.
Interestingly, some of the striated, decorative materials are less expensive than the plainer stones. Extra Pure White Onyx is currently the most expensive material we supply. Typically, it is approximately 40% more expensive than ordinary white onyx, because it has little or no veining, ‘movement’ or inclusions of other minerals within it.
Prices range from between £900 and £1,750 per square meter for small/medium scale projects but commercial discounts are available for volume on larger orders, calculated on a project-by-project basis. Please contact Artifex London to discuss your requirements for Glass-laminated Onyx or Glass-laminated Marble.