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Onyx vs Obsidian: Complete Guide to Understand the difference

Onyx vs Obsidian, looking for a difference to clear your head with all the troubling thoughts? Two of the most well-known black gemstones are Onyx and Obsidian. The textures are glossy, polished, and smooth, deep black, and make interesting accessories when used in jewelry.

But, with all their similarities in terms of composition, chemical properties, and value, Onyx and Obsidian are two very different Emerald Color Gemstones.

Here’s a quick Obsidian Vs Onyx roundup and you’re looking for variations before you buy them.

Onyx vs Obsidian
Credits:- Jovivi Store

Origin of Onyx

Onyx is an organic gemstone in regions like Yemen, Germany, Pakistan, India, China, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, and portions of the USA.

In Ancient Egypt, pottery was made, while in War it was associated by the Romans. In its normal condition, it is composed of silica and is normally triangular.

Origin of Obsidian

Meanwhile, Obsidian’s structure and history are very unusual. Obsidian is not a conventional gemstone, but rather a volcanic glass, created by fast-cooling lava.

Obsidian is thus discovered at the scene of volcano explosions, with areas of the western United States such as Argentina, Armenia, Mexico, New Zealand, and the Canary Islands. Obsidian is dated prior to the stone age and was used for objects like arrowheads.

ElisaRobyn who has a master's in Geology, a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, and a second master's in Jewish spirituality tells us " There are many geologic differences between Onyx and Obsidian, as well as different uses.
Onyx is a chalcedony, a variant of quartz, with alternating banded colors. Usually, this is black and white gemstone , though there is another variety as well i.e. red and black.
Onyx is used to transform negative energy and to build emotional strength during times of grief.

Obsidian is a volcanic glass that is found around basaltic volcanoes. The lava blows out of the volcanoes and cools quickly so that minerals do not have an opportunity to form. This glass is used in, interesting, to make scalpels in some countries, since it can be chipped into a very sharp clean edge. Spiritually obsidian is used more as a shield from negative energy and as a support for prophecy.

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Black Onyx vs Obsidian: What’s the difference

Emily Anderson working at elaborates on the difference between Onyx and Obsidian "While they might both be found looking like glossy black stones, onyx and obsidian couldn't be more different. Onyx is a silicon oxide mineral, formed slowly over thousands of years as circulating groundwaters gradually left behind the minerals that give the material its color and tell-tale banding. Obsidian is a volcanic glass, formed comparatively in an instant, as mineral-rich lava flows quickly cooled. The easiest way to tell the difference between the two materials would be to smash them onto the floor. Obsidian is really just like glass; it is brittle and fractures easily into many extremely sharp shards.

Onyx is hard but isn’t brittle. If you were to throw it on the same floor as the obsidian, the piece could survive without damage, or suffer very little. If it were to fracture it all, it wouldn’t cleave into sharp shards like obsidian. Honestly, it is rare to see people comparing onyx and obsidian because obsidian is so easily identified due to its natural tendency to be sharp and brittle. You’d be more likely to see people asking about Onyx vs other black stones like Tourmaline, or even how to identify real Onyx from dyed stones or glass.”

Difference of colors

Were it most often used in Black Hues – both Onyx and Obsidian – suitable for a formal occurrence and for a royal expression – you would be shocked to learn that the hues are different. That said, remember that almost all of the onyx and obsidian sold by or on Etsy by fine jewelers are most common in the black color family.


Onyx is black, white in the band, with some strong black colors. Depending on the gemstone, however, some tints of red, orange, yellow, and blue can also have several layers or undercurrents. Banded or black is the most common Onyx. Jewelry dealers also dye Onyx with a consistently black pigment that looks better than most color undertones.


Obsidian has a more diverse onyx in general, at least in principle. Sheen, snowflake, rainbow, and obsidian mahogany are among the varieties. Due to this, there is more selection, at least in principle, in terms of color. Obsidian the precious Gemstone may be found most in black and also in grey or brown colors Gemstone.

Unusual obsidian has shades of blue, green, or even red as startling. Silver or purple hues can also be seen. None of the obsidian sold as gems, though, are black.

Difference of hardness

Hardness on the Mohs scale indicates how often a substance is susceptible to scratching on the wall. The Mohs scale is 1 to 10, with a minimum durability of 1 and a maximum scratch resistance of 10. Onyx vs Obsidian hardness.

This is a vital consideration because it can influence the easy scratching of your jewelry which can be carried out every day. Read the Onyx vs Obsidian hardness


Onyx is 7 in hardness and it is equal to Quartz. . Onyx is likely to scratch anything like glass with this hardness rating, but other objects, such as scissors, coins, and fingernails, do not lead to scratches.


It’s a little less difficult to observe. It has a hardness value of 5 for most obsidians, while 6 is frequent for observatories in basalt glass. Steel can scrape, but anything like a fingernail can tolerate it.

It can be troublesome for those who prefer to be less vigilant though usually thought wearable for daily use.

Difference in Toughness

Toughness and toughness are frequently mistaken, but in fact, they are distinct. If hardening tests the susceptibility of a gemstone to surface scratches, hardness shows us how easy it is to chip. A vital consideration whether you are like me – a little tormented or simply busy – is that too.

The most brittle gemstones may be chipped if they simply scratch on a counter. The toughness also tests the probability of breaking or cracking the gemstone. The strength is measured from Excellent to Poor (least likely to be chip) (most likely to chip). Read below Onyx vs Obsidian toughness


Onyx is more delicate than other gemstones it includes proper safety and thus needs to be in form of a clean gemstone, and may be needed during careful handling or maintenance. It can chip immediately if it hits, and it can even be sensitive to water.

The easiest way to care for onyx is to ensure it is regularly cleaned and stop wearing it during high or potentially risky activities, though you can wear it every day.


Based on variety, obsidian tiredness differs. However, most obsidian is easy to chip or crack– both onyx and obsidian need to be vigilant but above all obsidian, along with a lower rating of hardness than onyx.

Difference in Transparency

Transparency changes the overall look of the jewelry. Transparency is simply a measure of the way light impacts the stone–how it receives or reflects light. Opaque means that a gemstone absorbs light and that much light is mirrored transparent.

The more clear and precious the diamond’s depth and many gemstones, although it does not necessarily mean that it is the most attractive in any case – it also depends in certain cases on personal taste.


Onyx is considered invisible because it seems to be solid in color and absorbs light mainly. In most situations, you tend to see a lot in terms of the light that reflects it.


Obsidian, on the other hand, will range from opaque to translucent with more choices for customers. Obsidian, though, is more traditional than invisible and would therefore be more economical. It is more common.

Flora Head of Marketing at Our Pcb shares that”

“Both onyx and obsidian have similar price ranges and a beautiful piece of jewelry featuring these stones can be bought for around $50-$200. Of course, the jewelry setting and quality of the stone will affect the overall price either way”

Must read : Get the Gemstone Education


Jewelry to buy?

  1. Genuine Onyx Earrings in 925 Sterling Silver

2. SilverStarJewel Black Onyx Earrings

3. Anemone Unique Black Onyx Jewelry for Women 

4. NOVICA Obsidian .925 Sterling Silver

5. JOVIVI Natural Black Obsidian Crystal Necklace

6. Obsidian crystal Amulet pendant necklace with bead chain for wen or women

What is onyx stone good for?

Black Onyx is a strong protective stone that absorbs and converts harmful energies and helps avoid personal energy drain. Black Onyx supports the production of mental and physical strength and endurance, especially in periods of tension, confusion or sorrow.

Can you wear Onyx every day?

It is ideal for daily wear. You can quickly clean an onyx ring and you can wear it all day because the stone is tough. With almost every other item of jewelry, an onyx ring looks amazing. You should rock a diamond stub with your onyx ring or even a turquoise belt with a Saphire necklace.

Is Obsidian worth anything?

Obsidian isn't a costly pillar. This means you can search on Amazon for a slice of obsidian at $2 or $100 based on how well it is processed. Like all gemstones, the worth of a stone, including obsidian, is increased with excellent cutting and polishing.


Diamond Education

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