Let us welcome August and its birthstone, Sardonyx.
Sardonyx is an agate variety of chalcedony, in which irregular bands of "Sard" are layered with irregular bands of "Onyx." In the natural state, sardonyx ranges in color from reddish to brownish with white, tan or cream layers shot-through. The gemstone can also be artificially dyed to create blues, greens or oranges.
New Age believers tell us that sardonyx encourages integrity and good behavior, a lucky coincidence since the stone will also attract people to whomever holds or wears it. Sardonyx is believed to boost happiness, optimism and confidence.
The Ancient Egyptians believed that sardonyx provided a protective benefit, hence they sometimes installed the stone in each corner of their homes. Roman warriors would carry the stone into battle, usually engraved with the likeness of the God of War, Mars. In more "recent" times, English midwives would place a sardonyx gemstone between the breasts of a woman in labor, believing that the stone would ease the delivery process.
The Edwardian Scottish agate pill box, shown above, is handsomely-crafted of two bevelled ovoids set into a decorated golden casing. Perhaps the pillbox will protect someone's medications while the sardonyx itself protects the holder. Click on the photo above to learn more about this very nice pillbox.
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques (www.mahlaantiques.com) or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248