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Natural Onyx

Whether you have heard it called onyx marble, Mexican onyx, or Egyptian alabaster, if you have ever laid eyes on a slab of onyx, you will likely remember it for a long time. Onyx is referred to by geolosgists as banded calcite. In this Article we will consider some basic detail regarding onyx. As we do we will briefly look at its properties, see how it is used, and look at how to work with it. Finally, we will see some techniques for taking care of and maintaining magnificent natural onyx stone.

Why People Choose Onyx

Well, first, let's state clearly that onyx is rare. You won't see it everywhere you see ohter natural stone. nonetheless, you will probably see it if you have't already. And when you do, it will most likely be amazing. Onyx has a very intriguing appearance that draws people to it as a surface material. Anohter reason it gets chosen is because portions of it are translucent and light shines through the stone. This makes it an excellent candidate for backlighting. Yes, people choose onyx for the same reason they choose other natural stone materials, it is unique!

Properties of Natural Onyx

Onyx is considered a harder sotne that its relatives which are on the low end of the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. The material is made up largely of calcite (calcium carbonate). There are also bands of translucent or light colored minerals in the stone as well. These other minerals contribute to the hardness of onyx. The translucent bands are often a honey or yellowish color and the calcite is white or a very light cream color. Like its sibling stones, onyx is susceptible to acidic liquids. It will etch if it exposed to acid.

Working With Onyx

Onyx is a natural stone. That means it is a rock that has formed in the earth. So, cutting it requires tools made for cutting rock. Diamond blades for cutting stone like onyx are recommended for getting the best results. Diamond tooling is also a recommendation for working with onyx.

Natural Onyx Care and Maintenance

Caring for natural onyx takes the same practical attention as other natural stone materials. Putting a simple multi-faceted routine together will allow you to keep an onyx slab in good condition. Here are the four specific parts to maintaining onyx:

  1. Seal the stone periodically. Even though Onyx is less porous than its relatives, it still should be sealed. This will help keep it from absorbing liquids that could stain or discolor it.
  2. Clean natural onyx with a cleaner that is designed for use on natural stone. Using the wrong cleaner for natural onyx will breakdown any sealer that has been applied to the sotne prior to that cleaning. Using the proper cleaner retains the barrier created by the sealer.
  3. If the surface does get a stain, use a stain remover designed for both the stone and the stain. Many stains are removeable using a poultice powder.
  4. Onyx is, as mentioned previously, susceptible to etching. So having a container of etch remover on hand will allow you to remove etching that might occur. SInce sealer does not protect against etching, it is good to have etch remover handy.

As we have seen in this article, natural onyx is is a unique and elegant natural material that offers some very distinct characteristics. However, it is a natural stone and must be worked using the correct tool and cared for using the proper maintenance products. Doing these things will ensure that any onyx projects youare involved in will turn out the best they can.

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