Black AgateIdentificationOnyx

Full Guide To Black Agate vs. Onyx (This is the Difference)

In order to work with our crystals effectively, we need to understand their properties. With crystals that look similar or have similar uses, such as black agate and onyx it can be difficult to determine which one to work with. The answer should always be; the one that you are drawn to the most. However, if you are looking to find the difference in physical appearance as well as metaphysical properties, you’ll find your answer here.

Continue reading if you want to know more about the (physical) qualities of these stones, as well as how you can use them in your spiritual practice.

Also read: Agate vs Jasper: This is the Difference

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Black Agate vs Onyx – How To Tell The Difference?

In order to understand the difference between these two stones, we can look at the color, shape, pattern, clarity, and more. Below we’ll describe all these aspects in detail.

Chemical Composition

Both black agate and onyx are silicate compounds with chalcedony and quartz crystals. It is mainly a component of two or more elements. Onyx, on the other hand, is an oxide element with a high density of silica elements such as quartz and moganite. These two gemstones are the only ones classified to have layers of chalcedony.


Agates occur in many different colors. The black agate gets its color from chemical compounds of iron in the agate. Onyx mostly occurs in the color white and black, but can also occur in other colors such as gray and brown and different shades of black.

This color difference is caused by microscopic inclusions of oxide compounds of iron and manganese. When used to make jewelry, it is sometimes confused to be the black agate due to their big resemblance.

Also read: Banded Calcite vs. Onyx: This is the Difference

Pattern and Clarity

Black agate is usually a shiny gemstone with little or no visible eye inclusions. This makes it of high quality. It has a transparent to translucent surface with a vitreous luster. Its surface is streak free, containing no scratches or cracks. However, onyx is generally free from impurities, making it appear shiny with a dull, waxy luster. It is usually mainly opaque, transparent to translucent.

When polished, this gemstone appears glossy. The two gemstones have a similar crystalline structure known as the hexagonal crystal system.


These gemstones record the same rating on the Mohs scale of hardness, which is 6.5 to 7. However, they still behave differently. The black agate is a hard stone that does not break easily and is not prone to scratching and chipping. This gemstone is only scratched if it comes into contact with gemstones of higher hardness.

Onyx, on the other hand, is soft, fragile, and delicate to handle. They are prone to scratches and break easily.

Also read: Can Agate Go In Salt? (Blue Lace, Moss, Iris And More)


Black agate and onyx are cleaned differently. The black agate is believed to be easy to maintain, unlike the onyx. Use soapy water to clean it and wipe it with a soft cloth. Although it has a high resistance to reaction, avoid using cleaning agents or chemicals.

It should also not be left In the sun for long periods as it leads to discoloration. Onyx, on the other hand, is a delicate gemstone that should be handled with great care. First, it should not be soaked in water, as it is porous and absorbs liquid. Therefore, a soft and dry cloth should be used to wipe off the dust particles. The cloth can be moistened to make cleaning the gemstone easier.

Also read: Can Agate Go In Water? (Blue Lace, Moss, Iris and More)


Mexico, Brazil, and Greece are known as the largest producers of black agate. Currently, onyx is found in countries such as Australia, Canada, Germany, Madagascar, and Pakistan.



Both gemstones have a relative hardness, and thus they are durable and attractive enough to make jewelry such as necklaces, earrings, rings, and pendants. When you wear this jewelry, you can acquire some healing effects from them.

Home and Office use

Both black agate and onyx are known to be protective gemstones. They absorb all the negative energy in your home, bringing out a calming effect. It gives you the courage to face your fears, especially when conflicts are involved; they give you an emotional balance and help you to speak from your heart.

In the workplace, onyx opens your mind and allows your mind to explore, making you think critically and logically. This gemstone should be placed in the workplace after clearing your intentions and how you want it to assist you in your career.


Black agate is believed to be a remedy for many physiological functions of the body, such as respiratory issues, cramps, indigestion, and nausea. It is also perceived to treat various illnesses such as headaches, and drowsiness, improve blood circulation, and heal heart problems.

This gemstone emits healing energy to those who have just lost their loved ones and are going through tough grief times. This calming energy enables you to minimize stress and helps you to relax your mind and limit overthinking.

This gemstone is also a wonderful stone for motivation. It makes one have a great desire to achieve both short- and long-term goals. It helps you remain focused and believe in yourself.
Just like the black agate, this works well for grief. It makes you accept the fact that death is real and move on. It stimulates wisdom and gives you the ability to make good decisions that will guide you.

Furthermore, it promotes stamina, vigor, and self-confidence. It has vibrations that are powerful to protect and keep you safe.

Chakra Association

Both black agate and black onyx stimulate the root chakra. This chakra is said to be connected with the earth and makes you feel safe and secure. This chakra also works to balance your feelings in that it takes away all the negative energy such as rage and anger, relieves anxiety, and makes you fearless.

Moreover, the green onyx is linked to the heart chakra. It aids in the blood flow and keeps the arteries and veins in healthy conditions so that they work effectively. This minimizes the risk of suffering from heart failure conditions.


Also read: What Chakra Is Moss Agate? (Full Guide)

Zodiac Association

All agates are well known to be associated with the Gemini zodiac sign. However, the black agate is also associated with the Virgo zodiac sign. This gemstone is not a birthstone. Traditionally, it was believed to have to be a birthstone of May, but then it was replaced by the emerald. This gemstone symbolizes prosperity and victory in life.

Unlike black agate, onyx is a birthstone of December associated with the Leo and Capricorn zodiac signs. The Leo sign is connected to people who love to celebrate themselves and are also ecstatic about their royal status. A lion mostly symbolizes it. Capricorn is connected to people who are ambitious and hardworking.

These people are self-driven as they don’t like to waste time. Characteristics of the two zodiac signs go hand in hand with that of the onyx.

Element Association

The elements association of these two gemstones is very different as the black agate belongs to the fire element while the onyx is classified as a water and earth element. Black agate is classified as a fire element because of its protective nature.

It also ensures successful outcomes in all situations, either education, business, or relationships. The onyx is said to be a water element as it has a cooling effect on emotions, promoting inner peace, trust, and harmony. This creates good relations among people.

Also read: Red Agate vs Carnelian: This is the Difference?

Ruling Planet

As both gemstones are known to be protective stones, they are ruled over by planet Saturn. This planet is a symbol of peace, love, harmony, and calmness. It helps you to control yourself when you have extreme emotions, either positive or negative. This planet is connected to the ability to transform negative energy into positive energy, bringing out a positive outcome.

Numerical Vibration

Both gemstones have a numerical vibration, number 6. These gemstones use this vibration to protect you from all dangers and calm you down when you have an emotional breakdown. In numerology, the number represents harmony, happiness, and family.

The number 6 energies bring a lot of responsibility and service towards others. People who resonate with this number are nurturing, caring, and kind. They are often drawn to careers that involve helping others and value family time or spending time with loved ones.

Also read: Purple Agate vs Amethyst: This Is The Difference

Best Combinations

The black agate can be combined with the selenite to help you calm down. The selenite helps you find a space even when your surrounding environment is very noisy. Therefore, the two gemstones work together to make you mindful, enhance mental clarity, and take away confusion.

This gemstone can also be combined with the black tourmaline to clear all negative thoughts, enhancing deep sleep and peaceful days. The onyx and the black agate can also be combined, as they are both protective gemstones that will help you be safe at all times. They will also cool down your emotions, making you think straight no matter the situation.

Onyx can also be combined with black tourmaline to improve your concentration and focus. This combination helps you to have a longer concentration span and remain focused until you achieve your set goal. When onyx is combined with rose quartz, they work together to enable you to attract love with no difficulties or challenges.

Neat Crystal

I am a Crystal & Gem Specialist with 20 years experience collecting and analyzing crystals and gems. My main focus is on crystal and gem abilities to influence our human experience through energy caused by visual and physical properties of each. I also love to dive into the formation, chemical makeup, and rare impurities found within crystals - a Geologist in training. I started Neat Crystal as a place to jot down my thoughts, notes, and share my knowledge to help others.

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