Alternative Names: None
Mineral Species: N/A
Mineral Group: N/A
Chemical Formula: SiO2
Crystal System: Trigonal
Colour: Orange to orange-brown; black, white, cream, green
Typical Appearance: Sard is an orange-brown or red-brown variety of chalcedony, sometimes referred to as brown carnelian. In sardonyx, this is be layered with onyx of black, white, or sometimes other colours. Sardonyx was a popular mineral for carving cameos, leaving a layer of white onyx on top of the ornament, and carving down into the sard layer for contrast.
Birthstone: Traditionally the birthstone for August in many texts.
Chakra Alignment: Root and Sacral, Root and Crown, or all three, depending on colour combination.
Element: Fire, earth and air
Origin of Name & Mythology: The name is a reference to the combination of stones - sard and onyx. Marbodus claims that the fiery brightness of the sard neutralises the dark, morbid thoughts black onyx can produce, rendering the stone neutral, so although beautiful there are no virtues. Contrary to this, and also in the 11th century, Hildegard von Bingen says it is purifying, strengthens understanding and knowledge, banishes wrath and stupidity, calms unwanted lust, and if worn after recovery from an illness, will prevent the wearer from ever suffering from that illness again. She also states that it furnishes strength to the five senses, and can be used as a remedy for each of these senses. In Christian symbolism, in Revelations XXI, sardonyx represents one of the foundation stones of the New Jerusalem, and is assigned by Andreas, Bishop of Caesarea to represent the apostle James.
Sardonyx carries the general qualities of chalcedony, together with the individual properties of sard and onyx. In modern symbolism, sardonyx is believed to bestow courage on its owner and bring balance and happiness into marriage and relationships, so it is often given as a wedding gift. If sardonyx is black and red-brown, it represents neutrality. This colour combination is also the most proctective of colours, and is very grounding, as well as being more calming and soothing than the white and red-brown variety. If the colour is white and red-brown, it symbolises purity. This version holds connection with the Crown Chakra and spirit, and seems to link into posture, so one is more "upright' when using or wearing it. When all three of the colours are present, especially if they are equally dispersed, it is symbolic of perfection.