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