In the Ancient Roman Empire, sardonyx was an especially treasured gemstone bead, and was often used by the elite for making wax seals. The sardonyx beads’ smooth texture didn’t stick to the wax, so it was a natural fit in that role. Romans also used its wonderful visual personality for ornament and high fashion: the esteemed general Publius Cornelius Scipio was reported to frequently sport large quantities of the stone.
With such an eye-catching visual personality, it’s easy to see why. Sardonyx is characterized by the brilliant deep red bands that distinguish it from normal black onyx. Both are members of the chalcedony family. Sardonyx beads are thought to help its wearer cultivate positive energies, while dispelling other negative or unwanted energies.