Sardonyx is August's birthstone. It is a combination of two materials, two types of chaledony to be exact, sard and onyx. Sard appears in various oranges and reds, and can be translucent with spots of white. Onyx, appears in almost every color. The most popular colors of onyx to use for sardonyx are white, black, and blue, because they create a contrast which is ideal for creating reliefs and cameos.
As far back as Ancient Greece, sardonyx necklaces and sardonyx rings with carved images of various gods. Pliny the Elder, an Ancient Roman historian, believed that the word sard came from sardis, an Ancient city which was at the time located in the vicinity of what is now Turkey. However, most experts today believe the word is derived from the Persian “sered”, because sard was used to create religious objects and official government seals in Persia.
Sardonyx is still used to create cameos today. But people are also appreciating sardonyx by itself. With its eye-catching contrasts of orange or red with blue or white, sardonyx jewelry has become a popular and bold accent to one's wardrobe.