One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Onyx in which white layers alternate with sard.
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
Middle English: via Latin from Greek sardonux, probably from sardios ‘sardius’ + onux ‘onyx’.
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