Black Onyx comes from the Quartz family of gemstones and it is usually dyed black. Historically, agate was used by the Greeks and Romans as a decorative, carveable stone to make cameos and seals. It was highly regarded by the ancients; it was believed to make the wearer agreeable and persuasive. It was also believed to produce strength, to protect the wearer from tempests, to guard from dangers and impart a bold heart. By wearing agate jewellery, a person could cure their insomnia and ensure they had good dreams! Agate was also very popular in Victorian times and was heavily used in Art Deco jewellery in the 1920s.
Also part of the Quartz family, Carnelian is composed of tiny interlocking crystals that make it ideal for carving and cutting – the Romans commonly used it for carved intaglios. They believed that the wearing of Carnelian would give people with weak, timid disposition the courage to speak boldly. The gemstone is also revered by Moslems as the prophet Mohammad always wore a silver ring with an engraved carnelian seal. The BUNNEY/UE studs are using natural material but, these days, much Carnelian is heated and dyed. The most sought after colour is intense red. It is one of July’s birthstones.