August has arrived—the final lap (or two) of the summer. And with it comes the month's birthstone, Sardonyx. Sometimes popularly called "Agate," sardonyx is created with alternating irregular bands of two stones: "sard" and "onyx." It is most commonly found with bands of white and red (or brown) and sometimes the stone is artificially colored to enhance or change the coloration of the banding. Sardonyx has always been popular in Scottish jewelry which itself (thanks to Queen Victoria) became popular throughout the rest of Victorian Britain and the Commonwealth.
Ancient Egyptians, and, later, Romans, believed that sardonyx bestowed a protective quality upon its wearers. Medieval English midwives used sardonyx to help relieve labor pains. New Age adherents tell us that the stone encourages integrity and good behavior.
The Edwardian Scottish brooch, shown above, is an oval cabochon of sardonyx surrounded by a simply-beaded silver band. Click on the photo above to learn more about it.
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