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Hematite vs. Onyx — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman & Fiza Rafique — Updated on May 1, 2024
Hematite is an iron oxide mineral known for its metallic sheen and reddish streak, used mainly in jewelry and healing; onyx features banded layers, often in black and white, popular in carvings and decorative items.
Hematite vs. Onyx — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Hematite and Onyx


Key Differences

Hematite, primarily composed of iron oxide, exhibits a striking metallic luster that appeals to jewelry makers, whereas onyx is recognized for its smooth, layered bands, making it a favorite for intricate carvings and jewelry.
Hematite is often associated with grounding and protective properties in metaphysical beliefs, while onyx is believed to offer strength, stamina, and stability.
In the realm of industrial applications, hematite is a crucial ore of iron, crucial for steel-making, whereas onyx’s significance lies predominantly in ornamental uses due to its aesthetic appeal.
Hematite jewelry can show a range from silver to black tones, reflecting its iron content, whereas onyx is predominantly known for its deep black color, although it can also appear in white, red, and grey varieties.
The durability of hematite, with a Mohs hardness of about 5.5-6.5, makes it suitable for various types of jewelry, whereas onyx, with a similar hardness, is also durable but requires careful maintenance to prevent scratches.

Comparison Chart


Iron oxide (Fe2O3)
Silica, mainly chalcedony


Typically steel or silver-gray
Usually black, can have white bands

Hardness (Mohs)

5.5 - 6.5
6 - 7

Typical Uses

Jewelry, healing stones
Jewelry, decorative items

Metaphysical Properties

Grounding, protective
Strength, stamina, stability

Compare with Definitions


A mineral form of iron(III) oxide.
The metallic luster of hematite makes it popular in jewelry.


Believed to impart strength and support in challenging times.
Onyx pendants are popular among those seeking emotional strength.


Found in both earthy and metallic forms.
Metallic hematite is highly sought after for decorative purposes.


Typically polished to a high shine.
The high polish of onyx makes it stand out in rings and bracelets.


Known for its grounding properties in crystal healing.
Many wear hematite bracelets for emotional grounding.


A variety of chalcedony with parallel banded layers.
Onyx jewelry often showcases its unique banded appearance.


Characterized by a red streak when powdered.
Despite its shiny surface, hematite leaves a reddish streak when scraped.


Primarily used in carved trinkets and jewelry.
The onyx stone is favored for detailed carvings in decorative arts.


A common iron ore.
Hematite is processed to extract iron for use in steel-making.


Comes in a variety of colors, though black is most common.
Black onyx is more prevalent than its colored variants in the market.


Hematite (), also spelled as haematite, is a common iron oxide compound with the formula, Fe2O3 and is widely found in rocks and soils. Hematite crystals belong to the rhombohedral lattice system which is designated the alpha polymorph of Fe2O3.


Onyx primarily refers to the parallel banded variety of the silicate mineral chalcedony. Agate and onyx are both varieties of layered chalcedony that differ only in the form of the bands: agate has curved bands and onyx has parallel bands.


A black or blackish-red to brick-red mineral, essentially Fe2O3, the chief ore of iron.


A semi-precious variety of agate with different colours in layers
An onyx ashtray


(mineral) An iron ore, mainly peroxide of iron, Fe2O3.


A chalcedony that occurs in bands of different colors and is used as a gemstone, especially in cameos and intaglios.


An important ore of iron, the sesquioxide, so called because of the red color of the powder. It occurs in splendent rhombohedral crystals, and in massive and earthy forms; - the last called red ocher. Called also specular iron, oligist iron, rhombohedral iron ore, and bloodstone. See Brown hematite, under Brown.


(mineral) A banded variety of chalcedony, a cryptocrystalline form of quartz.


The principal form of iron ore; consists of ferric oxide in crystalline form; occurs in a red earthy form


A jet-black color, named after the gemstone.


Any of various lycaenid butterflies of the genus Horaga.




Chalcedony in parallel layers of different shades of color. It is used for making cameos, the figure being cut in one layer with the next as a ground.


Same as Mexican onyx.


A deep jet-black color.


Deep, jet-black.


A chalcedony with alternating black and white bands; used in making cameos

Common Curiosities

Is onyx a natural stone?

Yes, onyx is a natural stone, a variety of the mineral chalcedony.

How do you identify hematite?

Hematite can be identified by its metallic luster and red streak.

Can hematite be black?

Yes, hematite can appear black depending on its form and the way it’s processed.

Is hematite good for health?

Some believe hematite has health benefits, particularly in grounding and reducing stress, though these claims are not scientifically proven.

Where is hematite found?

Hematite is found worldwide, notably in Brazil, Australia, and the USA.

What is hematite used for?

Hematite is used in jewelry, as a pigment, and in the production of iron.

Does onyx only come in black?

No, onyx can also be white, red, and grey, but black is the most common.

What is onyx used for?

Onyx is primarily used for decorative items, jewelry, and ornamental carvings.

How do you care for hematite jewelry?

Keep hematite jewelry dry and avoid harsh chemicals to prevent rusting.

Is onyx expensive?

Onyx can vary in price, generally being more affordable than other gemstones like diamonds.

Can hematite and onyx be used together in jewelry?

Yes, combining hematite and onyx in jewelry can be aesthetically pleasing and is quite popular.

How do you care for onyx jewelry?

Onyx jewelry should be kept away from harsh chemicals and stored separately to avoid scratches.

What are the metaphysical properties of hematite?

Hematite is said to be protective and grounding.

Where is onyx found?

Onyx is found in various countries, including Brazil, India, and the USA.

What are the metaphysical properties of onyx?

Onyx is believed to offer strength and support emotional stability.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.

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