8 Interesting Facts About Onyx Marble


Since onyx marble has limestone-like properties like calcite, it is neither onyx nor marble, but a combination of the two. Therefore, its various properties give the stone its unique characteristics. Due to its characteristics, this stone is still classified as marble, but it is not used in a similar way. Most onyx marble suppliers don’t tell buyers many interesting things about this stone.

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Table of Contents

I. Some interesting facts about onyx marble

1. Onyx marble has many names

In the commercial stone industry, onyx refers to a type of stone made from layered bands of light-colored or translucent minerals. Most onyx slabs are what geologists call banded calcite. This material is also known as onyx marble, Mexican onyx or Egyptian alabaster.

Onyx marble is commercially classified as a sibling of marble because the two stones have the same mineral content. The same mineral that is used to manufacture limestone, marble, and travertine is also used to make onyx marble. In actuality, banded calcite forms similarly to travertine, making it a close relative.

2. Onyx marble is the product of spring water

While granite, quartzite and marble are all formed deep in the earth’s crust, onyx is born at the surface. Onyx marble is formed from springs or groundwater where large amounts of calcite are dissolved. As this water emerges from the spring, the minerals precipitate out and form a shell of calcite crystals. Over time, more water flows through and more minerals precipitate out.

The differences between the layers are caused by differences in water flow and small amounts of impurities. In its purest state, calcite is white or clear, but is easily stained by small amounts of other minerals.

Iron oxide is the reason behind the warm honey color that is most commonly seen in onyx. The flowing layers of onyx reflect the subtle changes of the spring water and add an artistic quality to the patterns and bands. The onyx slabs were created by slicing layer by layer, revealing thousands of years of sedimentation.

Onyx marble can also form within caves or other openings in bedrock. Veins of banded calcite can be found in fractured limestone and even in volcanic rocks. Basically, beautiful crystal structures can form anywhere mineral-rich groundwater flows through them, and all it takes is a chance discovery of an underground reservoir.


3. Onyx marble is looser than ordinary marble

Onyx marble combines the properties of onyx with those of marble. Real onyx stone is composed of silica and comes in different varieties. Twice as shiny as marble and softer than marble, onyx marble is an excellent choice for lighting and interior decoration, but has higher maintenance requirements in frequently used areas due to its luminous quality.

Compared to regular marble, onyx marble is usually looser. Onyx marble is a limestone formed from the mineral calcium carbonate, but its internal structure is relatively open, making it more susceptible to penetration and damage. This looseness makes onyx marble relatively fragile, more susceptible to the effects of chemicals, and requires more care and maintenance to maintain its beauty and structural integrity.

4. Onyx marble has unique patterns

Contrary to typical marble, onyx marble comes in a large number of veins and patterns. Among them, moiré is the most common unique pattern of onyx marble. Other pattern types are water, lava, and several other intricate designs.

It can also be found in earthy colors that look like soil and smoke. Some special variants may have blunt lines. It is very difficult to obtain these stones with a vein-like pattern because they are not true marble.

5. Onyx marble can come in different colors

Relative to ordinary marble, onyx marble usually has more colors. The color of ordinary marble is mainly affected by the minerals and impurities in its ingredients, and is mainly white, gray, pink, etc.

Onyx marble, on the other hand, is known for its colorful appearance, showing a rich variety of colors, including but not limited to red, green, blue, yellow, pink and brown. This diversity is due to the mineral and ore composition in onyx marble, as well as the special conditions during its formation.

6. Uses of onyx marble

As you may have guessed, onyx marble is a somewhat fragile stone. It may become scratched and etched if used in a busy kitchen. Onyx countertops are best suited for parts of the kitchen that are not used frequently.

High-end restaurants and resorts use onyx bar tops to add sparkle to the space, and the effect is even more spectacular when the stone is backlit. Onyx can also be used as a backsplash, vanity, or decorative tile.

However, onyx marble is not limited to slabs. It can be made into a basin, lighting fixture or tabletop. One of the most extraordinary qualities of onyx is its ability to glow.

Although onyx marble cannot be used everywhere, its appeal is universal. This stone will tug at your heartstrings. As we pass by it, few of us stop to admire the patterns and changes in light. Onyx reminds us that the artistry of natural materials is unparalleled. In this case, stone is a combination of three simple ingredients: water, minerals, and time.


7. Onyx marble is mainly used in commercial environments

Since this marble is considered an innovative product, it is mainly used in commercial places to add value. Onyx walls or floors are not common, but fragments of this stone can be used to highlight or make something eye-catching under lighting. Commercial venues such as hotels, bars and restaurants use onyx marble as table top or wall decoration.

Sometimes it is also used as an accessory for floor lamps to create a unique atmosphere. The mist gives off an amazing ambience that is usually only experienced in hotel restaurants.

8. Onyx marble requires proper maintenance

The sophistication of onyx marble makes it an excellent choice for decorative projects rather than the usual interior decoration projects. Because it is more complex than typical marble, it requires more maintenance in terms of polishing and sealing. This regular maintenance encourages people to use it as furniture rather than as a full-blown interior. It is commonly used to lighten stairs, wall areas, reception countertops, bathroom and kitchen countertops etc.

In terms of maintenance, using mild detergents, regularly sealing the surface to prevent liquid penetration, and avoiding contact with acidic substances are all important steps to keep onyx marble in good condition. Because of its unique transparency and gorgeous appearance, onyx marble is a very beautiful building material, but ensuring proper care is essential for it to maintain its long-lasting beauty.

II. Conclusion

In the strange world of onyx marble, we discover a magical stone that connects earth and art. Its colorful appearance, translucent effect and unique texture make this marble a shining jewel in the world of architecture and design.

The application possibilities of onyx marble in design are endless. Whether it is high-end architecture, fashion retail spaces, or sculptures of works of art, they can all shine with a unique artistic glow under the charm of onyx marble.

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