Sardonyx, August's birthstone, has its beginnings in the Ancient world almost four thousand years ago. It is a combination of two stones, sard, which appears as orange and red, and onyx. The origin of the word sard is disputed. An Ancient historian, Pliny the Elder, believed the stone came from Sardis, a city in the Middle East. Today some believe it comes from the Greek word for “claw” while others believe it comes from the Persian word for “yellowish-red”.
Sard and onyx are layered, which makes sardonyx an excellent medium for carving intaglios and cameos. In Ancient Egypt and Ancient Rome, sardonyx necklaces and sardonyx rings with images of a particular god carved into them was popular; it was thought that the wearer could then possess whatever special power that god had.
While sardonyx has been traditionally used to create cameos and intaglios, sardonyx in and of itself, in its lively reds contrasted by blue or white onyxes, makes sardonyx jewelry that is both classic and modern in its breathtaking beauty. And while it is August's birthstone and therefore appropriate for a loved with an August birthday, sardonyx jewelry can make the perfect eye catching accessory for any loved one, regardless of birthday.