Welcome, August, and your birthstone Sardonyx.
Sardonyx is a layered version of chalcedony—irregular bands of "sard" and "onyx." It is usually found in red or brown with white banding, though the gemstone can also be artificially colored to heighten or change its natural shade.
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.
Ancient Egyptians believed that sardonyx provided a protective benefit, hence they sometimes installed a stone in each corner of their homes. Roman warriors would carry the stone into battle, usually engraved with a likeness of the god Mars. In more recent times, English midwives would place a sardonyx between the breasts of a woman in labor, believing that the stone would ease the delivery process.
The inkwell above was made in Edwardian Scotland. It is one of many sardonyx items we have in our on-line store (please search the colloquial term "agate"). 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
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