Featured bead: basic black onyx

June 23, 2009

They say the name comes from the Greek for “fingernail”.  I guess our featured bead does resemble the fingernails of some Gothic types I’ve known!

It would be a grave slight if I didn’t feature black onyx beads in this space.  These are a true standby for jewelry designers, with their lustrous gloss and their dark versatility.  They’re available in a huge range of styles!

Black onyx beads in a round, 4 millimeter style

Black onyx beads in a round, 4 millimeter style

If you’re shopping more to stock up your bead arsenal, with no particular designs in mind yet, try black onyx rounds like the 4-millimeter jobbies shown above.  By the way, that size is about 6 to the inch.  The smallest rounds that you’re likely to find are 3mm (or 8 to the inch); you can get bigger sizes like 6mm, 8mm and up.

Black onyx rounds are a classic bead for certain basics, like evening jewelry or the rosary market.  But they look great in higher-fashion environments too!  Check out this “Blackberry Necklace” design from Rings & Things’ ever-popular Design Gallery:

The Blackberry necklace, from our Design Gallery

The Blackberry necklace, from our Design Gallery

Don’t stop with the smooth rounds, though — faceted rounds of black onyx are some gorgeous beads!  Look at how these, in the 6mm size (4 to the inch), catch the light:

Black onyx, 6mm faceted round beads

Black onyx, 6mm faceted round beads

And other styles, like black onyx tube beads, have lots of promise:

4x13mm black onyx tube beads

4x13mm black onyx tube beads

I’ll leave you with one last inspiration.  One of my favorites in the Design Gallery is the Cute Cubes Squared necklace, which uses various black onyx beads in a dazzling way:

Cute Cubes Squared

Cute Cubes Squared

I’d love to hear about your own discoveries that you’ve made while designing with black onyx beads!

Leave them in a comment, below!

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4 Comments

  • Reply Tish June 23, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    I love working with onyx. It is a great accent to any piece with it’s wide range of colors and availability!

  • Reply Dave June 26, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    – I can see how you express the onyx inspiration, Tish – you’ve made some nice earrings with it!

    • Reply Tish June 28, 2009 at 1:23 pm

      Thanks Dave, it means alot that you took the time to drop by my site and see my work.

      • Reply Dave June 30, 2009 at 8:14 am

        – For any readers who haven’t visited your Justatish blog yet, let me recommend it! Always fun and worthwhile.

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