Sardonyx combines alternating layers of sard and onyx to create a reddish zebra-striped gemstone with white bands. It is one of three of August’s birthstones.
Used as a stone of strength and protection in ancient times, sardonyx is associated with courage, happiness, and clear communication. Ancients believed that placing a sardonyx gemstone at each corner of a house would grant protection against evil.
Amulets and talismans made of sardonyx were thought to give the wearer a boost of energy. Ancient Romans would carve Mars—the god of war—or Hercules into the gemstone to promote courage.
Sardonyx was used in the Middle Ages to counteract the supposedly negative effects of onyx. It was believed that the latter gemstone brought out anxiety, sadness, and anger—and even demons. They felt sardonyx could balance it out.
Religious texts also reference sardonyx. For example, it’s used as the first foundation stone in the walls of New Jerusalem in the Book of Revelation.
Legend has it that sardonyx can help with depression, willpower, and confidence. It can help one find integrity, meaning, and happiness. Those who practice yoga have found it helps with meditation.
If you’re looking for sardonyx jewelry for yourself or for someone with an August birthday, find an American Gem Society jeweler near you.
NOTE: The above is intended to educate on the myth, legend, and historical lore of sardonyx and is not meant to be interpreted as fact.