One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Onyx in which white layers alternate with sard.
- ‘Early cameos are carved from hardstones such as onyx, sardonyx, or agate, while later a number of less expensive substances were used that were also easier to carve.’
- ‘Stones and metals fall under the rulership of planets, not signs, but through its association with Mercury, Virgo is often linked with agate, sardonyx and stones of diverse colours.’
- ‘Both the helmet decoration and the roundel have been identified in this way because of their compositional connections with a sardonyx cameo traceable in the fifteenth century to the collections of Pietro Barbo, and now in Naples.’
- ‘For example, the dragon serving as a handle to a lapis lazuli cup was borrowed from a sardonyx cup in the Louvre, embellished in about 1630 by a mount attributed to a Parisian goldsmith.’
Middle English: via Latin from Greek sardonux, probably from sardios ‘sardius’ + onux ‘onyx’.
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