Sardonyx PYc-12 - History

Sardonyx PYc-12 - History

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(PYc-12: dp. 640; 1. 186'; b. 27'; dr. 10'6" (mean);
s. 12.5 k.; a. 4 mg., 2 act.)

Sardonyx (PYc-12) (ex-Queen Anne), a steel, diesel engine yacht built in 1928 by Germania-Werft, Kiel, Germany, was purchased by the Navy at New York on 19 June 1941 from Mr. Alexander D. Thayer, Miami, Fla. Commencing conversion immediately, she was renamed Sardonyx on 18 July 1941 and was commissioned on 15 August 1941. Conversion, to a coastal patrol yacht, was completed in mid-October, and Sardonyx proceeded to New London for duty, under the National Defense Research Committee (NDRC), in support of experiments on the varied applications of electronics and underwater sound to naval warfare.

In January 1942, Sardonyx shifted back to New York, but, after a brief yard period, she returned to New London and resumed her work for the NDRC and the Navy's Underwater Sound Laboratory. Decommissioned and placed in service on 3 January 1944, she remained based at New London, conducting operations for the Underwater Sound Laboratory and escorting submarines in the area, through the end of World War II and into 1946. In the spring of that year, she was ordered inactivated, and, with the summer, she moved to New York, where she was placed out of service on 17 July 1946. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 29 October 1946, and, on 10 July 1947, she was transferred to the Maritime Commission and sold.

August Birthstones

Sardonyx combines alternating layers of sard and onyx—two types of the layered mineral chalcedony—to create a reddish zebra-striped gemstone with white bands.

Its name, similarly, combines sard (referencing the ancient Persian city, Sardis—in present-day Turkey—where the red stone was found) with onyx (from the Greek word of the same spelling, which meant “nail or claw.”)

Sard ranges in color from yellowish-red to reddish-brown, depending on how much iron oxide is present. Sard is easily confused with carnelian, another type of chalcedony that is slightly softer and lighter in color.

Sardonyx, like onyx, shows layers of parallel bands—instead of the chaotic, curved bands that compose agate, another type of chalcedony.

The finest examples of sardonyx, which display sharp contrasts between layers, are found in India. Other sources include Brazil, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Madagascar, Uruguay, and the United States.

Measuring 6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, sardonyx is widely available and relatively inexpensive as gems, beads, and jewelry. It is often carved into cameos, intaglios, and brooches to show the color contrast between layers.

As stated above Carnelian and Sard are both forms of microcrystalline Quartz. The only difference between them is their color. There is no clear definition from any gem lab on when one variety stops and the other starts, but we can try to define the difference. Carnelian is a mid toned, orange stone. The darker it gets, the browner it will begin to look and eventually it will be called Sard. The origin of the brown color comes from Iron impurities in the stone.

Sard and Sardonyx can be mined in Brazil, Germany, USA, Russia, and the best of the stones coming from India. Sard stones have been mined and used by men since the Bronze Age and it was named after the Ancient Turkish city Sardis. The colors can vary from black, white, gray, purple, brown, red , yellow , green and blue.

Sardonyx Jewelry

Beside cameo, sardonyx is made into just about any piece of jewelry, including pendants for fine rings, earrings and necklaces. The hardness of a sardonyx stone, which ranges from 6 to 7 in the Mohs scale, makes it quite a durable gemstone for jewelry-making. On the other hand, the affordability of the sardonyx gemstone makes the semi-precious stone a staple in beaded necklaces and bracelets, as agates are in general.

Sardonyx is the traditional birthstone for September, specifically in the Arabic and Polish calendar, as well as the month of August in the ancient Russian calendar. With this time-tested popularity, sardonyx is unlikely to give up its place among the much loved gemstones in the world of jewelry.


Cry for Help

The Crystal Gems head to the Communication Hub, only to discover that Peridot has repaired the structure in an attempt to contact Yellow Diamond. Soon, Garnet decides to fuse with Pearl, forming Sardoynx. She cheerfully greets him while ignoring an annoyed Amethyst. Sardonyx soon forms her hammer and disables the hub. She unfuses after finishing. Later, the Crystal Gems observe Peridot's message being broadcasted again, and go back to the hub where Sardonyx continually dismantles the structure.

Friend Ship

During their pursuit of Peridot inside a derelict Gem spaceship, the Crystal Gems fall into a trap. Garnet and Pearl are confined in an enclosed pit which gradually contracts. They eventually fuse together, and Sardonyx drills out of the pit with her hammer, after which she unfuses.

Back to the Moon

On the Moon Base, Doc and her squad of Rubies fuse together to fight the Crystal Gems after discovering their deception. Steven opens the airlock on the base, pulling the fusion partially through the door. Garnet and Pearl quickly form Sardonyx, who smashes her hammer into the Ruby fusion, forcing her to unfuse. As the Rubies are sucked out into space, Sardonyx and Amethyst watch in horror as Eyeball drags Steven out with her.

Know Your Fusion

At the Beach House, Steven and Amethyst fuse into Smoky Quartz to show Garnet and Pearl. The two Crystal Gems are surprised and overjoyed. As Smoky begins to demonstrate their yo-yo tricks, destroying parts of the house in the process, Garnet and Pearl fuse into Sardonyx. She is excited to meet Smoky, and suggests that they need a bigger "stage" to get to know each other. She takes them to her room in the Crystal Temple, where she hosts her show, Sardonyx Tonight. At the start of the show, Sardonyx asks Smoky questions, hoping to learn more about them and their abilities. Smoky admits that they "ain't exactly a deck of cards," not having much to talk about other than their yo-yo. Determined to learn the full extent of their repertoire, Sardonyx begins the next part of her show during which she has Smoky perform a series of tests. Smoky is compared to the other fusions in their tests involving archery, strength, and fire breathing. Sardonyx is disappointed to see them perform poorly on all the tests, after which Smoky begins to disparage themself. As she observes Smoky's self-deprecation, Sardonyx realizes that she had ruined their initial plan to impress Garnet and Pearl. She unfuses in dismay, prompting the room to begin falling apart.

Gemma Augustea

When you think of Roman art, the Colosseum and the ruins of the Roman Forum immediately spring to mind. You may also think of all the public sculpture that decorated ancient Rome, such as the portrait of Augustus from Primaporta (left) or the Ara Pacis Augustae. These public works of art functioned as political propaganda and advertised to all Romans the accomplishments of the emperor. In public art Augustus wanted to promote that he was a military victor, that he brought peace to the Roman Empire, and that he was connected to the gods.

Private art

But the emperor also commissioned small private works of art such as gems, and cameos. Unlike art in the public sphere, private art would not have been seen by a large audience. Instead, only a select few would have been granted access. If you were lucky enough to be invited to a dinner party at the emperor’s palace, he might display his gem collection or show off his large imperial cameos. However, despite the fact that private art would not have been seen by the majority of Roman citizens, the messages contained within these works would have functioned in much the same way as their public counterparts. So if you were at that dinner party with Augustus and he showed you a large cameo, that cameo would have advertised the emperor’s military victories, his role as the bringer of peace, and his connection to the gods.

Gemma Claudia, 49 C.E., 120 x 152 cm without setting, five-layered onyx and 18th century gold band (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna) Emperor Claudius (left), his fourth wife, Agrippina the Younger behind him, her parents are opposite, Germanicus, brother of the emperor, and behind him his wife, Agrippina the Elder

Cameos were a popular medium in the private art of the Roman Empire. While cameos first appeared in the Hellenistic period, they became most fashionable under the Romans. Typically cameos were made of a brown stone that had bands or layers of white throughout, such as sardonyx. This layered stone was then carved in such a way that the figures stood out in white relief while the background remained the dark part of the stone. Most cameos were small and functioned as pendants or rings. But there are a few examples of much larger cameos that were specifically commissioned by the emperor and members of his imperial circle, the most famous example is the Gemma Augustea.

Gemma Augustea

The Gemma Augustea is divided into two registers that are crammed with figures and iconography. The upper register contains three historical figures and a host of deities and personifications. Our eyes immediately gravitate towards the center of the upper register and the two large enthroned figures, Roma (the personification of the city of Rome) and the emperor Augustus.

Roma is surrounded by military paraphernalia while Augustus holds a scepter, a symbol of his right to rule and his role as the leader of the Roman Empire. At his feet is an eagle, a symbol of the god Jupiter and so we quickly realize that Augustus has close ties to the gods. Augustus is depicted as a heroic semi-nude, a convention usually reserved for deities. Augustus is not only stating that he has connections to gods, he is stating that he is also god-like.

Roma and Augustus (detail), Dioskourides, Gemma Augustea, 9 – 12 C.E., 19 x 23 cm, double-layered sardonyx with gold, gold-plated silver (Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna)

Two other historical figures accompany Augustus in the upper register. At the far left is Tiberius, who will eventually succeed Augustus on the throne. To the right of Tiberius, standing in front of a chariot, is the young Germanicus, another member of Augustus’ family and a potential heir to the throne. Clearly the Gemma Augustea is making Augustus’ dynastic message clear: he hopes that Tiberius or Germanicus will succeed him after he dies.

Tiberius and Germanicus (detail), Dioskourides, Gemma Augustea, 9 – 12 C.E., 19 x 23 cm, double-layered sardonyx with gold, gold-plated silver (Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna)

Interspersed amongst the three historical figures of the upper register are deities and personifications. Directly behind Tiberius is winged Victory. Behind Augustus is Oikoumene, the personification of the civilized world, who places a corona civica (civic crown) on the emperor’s head. In the Roman Empire, it was a great honor to be awarded the civic crown as it was only given to someone who had saved Roman citizens from an enemy (and Augustus had certainly done just that by rescuing Romans from civil war). Oceanus, the personification of the oceans, sits on the far right. Finally, Tellus Italiae, the mother earth goddess and personification of Italy, sits with her two chubby children and holds a cornucopia.

Pax Romana

What does the top register mean, with its grouping of mortals, deities, and personifications? In short, everything praises Augustus. The emperor expresses his domination throughout the Roman Empire and his greatest accomplishment, the pacification of the Roman world, which resulted in fertility and prosperity. Augustus’ peace and dominion will spread not only throughout the city of Rome (represented by the goddess Roma), but also to all of Italy (represented by Tellus Italiae) and throughout the entire civilized world (symbolized by Oikoumene). And as to Tiberius and Germanicus, Augustus’ potential heirs, either will continue the peace and prosperity established by Augustus.

Lower register (detail), Dioskourides, Gemma Augustea, 9 – 12 C.E., 19 x 23 cm, double-layered sardonyx with gold, gold-plated silver (Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna)

The lower register is significantly smaller than the upper, but it nevertheless has plenty of figures in its two scenes, both of which show captive barbarians and victorious Romans. At the left, Roman soldiers raise a trophy while degraded and humiliated barbarians sit at their feet. At the right is a similar scene, with barbarians being brought into submission by Roman soldiers. While the upper register focuses on peace, the lower register represents the wars that established and maintained peace throughout the Roman Empire.

Roman soldiers and barbarians detail), Dioskourides, Gemma Augustea, 9 – 12 C.E., 19 x 23 cm, double-layered sardonyx with gold, gold-plated silver (Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna)

So even though the Gemma Augustea is a work of private art, the cameo nevertheless offers a political message and thus serves a purpose similar to public art. The Gemma proclaimed Augustus’s greatest accomplishment, the Pax Romana, his military victories, his connections to the gods and his god-like status, and his hopes for dynastic succession.


Topaz is another August birthstone in Europe from the 1400s to early 1900s. Along with moonstone, topaz must have transferred from the next month. Besides November, topaz under the name chrysolite was birthstone for September. However, the name chrysolite applied to topaz and peridot alike. As peridot held increasingly stronger claim over the name chrysolite, the green gem must have pushed the other chrysolite over to the preceding month. Still, topaz did not linger in September past the 20th century, though the gem has held fast to November up to this day.

While most widely regarded as yellow, the transparent topaz also occurs in red, orange, wine and blue.



Spiritual healing with onyx gives one unwavering focus and willpower. It produces a strong connection with the earth, allowing one to stay well-grounded while looking to a higher power for guidance. This is an excellent crystal for stimulating extrasensory abilities. It provides protection from those who would attempt to cause psychic harm. It is also very good for regression into a past life to explore past life experiences. White onyx is ideal for delving into the angelic realm and the Akashic records.

Onyx meaning in Divination states: Happiness and good fortune are around the corner. A dream that involves onyx is indicative of a blissful marriage. A dream that has sardonyx in it indicates a stronger bond between friends.

Archangels are drawn to onyx when it is worn by people who are born at a certain time. Following are Archangels who are attracted to onyx:

  • Brown onyx will strengthen a connection to Mehiel if the owner was born between February 5 and 9. It will also attract Damabiah to people born between February 10 and 14 as well as Rehael to people born between October 4 and 8.
  • Black onyx facilitates a connection to Haiaiel or Hajael for people born between March 11 and 15. People born between May 1 and 5 could strengthen their connection to Haziel with black onyx. It also strengthens a bond between Hahaiah or Hahajah for people born between May 16 and 20 or Vasiariah for those born between August 29 and September 2. Sealiah is drawn to people born between November 3 and 7 when they wear or carry black onyx.
  • Scarlet onyx attracts Haamiah to people born between September 29 and October 3. Dark scarlet onyx enhances the bond between Daniel and people born between November 28 and December 2.

Onyx gemstones and figurines represent water energy in Feng Shui. They should be placed in the north of a room or home to enhance quiet strength, purification, regeneration, rebirth and new beginnings. Place a bowl of black onyx tumble stones in the north of a room that is often used for quiet reflection, meditation or prayer.

How to use onyx and sardonyx in spiritual healing:

  • Hold an onyx and sardonyx mala or prayer beads while praying or reciting a mantra. It is always best to use both for the best balance of energies.
  • Wear onyx and sardonyx bracelets, rings, necklaces and earrings. They will strengthen you throughout the day.
  • Put onyx and sardonyx tumble stones, palm stones or worry stones in your purse, wallet or pants pocket when you leave home. If you feel your confidence wavering, hold the crystals or rub them between your finger and thumb.


Onyx and sardonyx have multiple healing properties for the physical body. They are especially useful for improving nerve function and enhancing eye, ear and nose health. They are used to improve hearing, treat inner ear problems and help cure tinnitus. Onyx and sardonyx boost the immune system, enhance vitality and help thwart relapses after recovering from an illness. Both crystals are believed to enhance cell regeneration, reduce edema and improve digestive tract health.

Teeth and bones can be made healthier with the use of onyx. It is said to help alleviate disorders that involve the bone marrow and soft tissue.

How to use onyx and sardonyx:

  • Wear onyx and sardonyx jewelry that keep the crystals near the problem area. Earrings would be ideal for people troubled by tinnitus or any ear, nose and throat disorder.
  • Keep onyx and sardonyx stones in your pocket to alleviate digestive tract issues. A long pendant with an onyx or sardonyx crystal on it would help with stomach disorders.
  • Put an onyx or sardonyx crystal on the abdomen while lying down for improved digestion.
  • Take an onyx or sardonyx elixir.


The emotional healing properties of onyx are all about giving one emotional strength and fortitude. It is ideal for helping one deal with confusing or stressful situations. Onyx is especially useful for soothing anxiety and nervousness. It cools hot tempers, alleviates fear and improves one's self control. This black banded crystal also brings the mind back to a more rational state. People who tend to be flighty, nervous and lacking in confidence will be helped by onyx and sardonyx crystals.

When suffering the loss of a loved one, onyx will bring inner strength. It helps with the grief process, allowing one to cope with loss and move forward in a healthy way.

How to use onyx and sardonyx:

  • Wear onyx and sardonyx jewelry to bolster confidence and encourage forward progress.
  • Take an onyx elixir let the healing vibrations course through your entire body.
  • Keep onyx and sardonyx crystal tumble stones or worry stones with you for support in case you feel your emotional strength waver.
  • Keep an onyx or sardonyx figurine or a bowl of tumble stones on your desk at work.


( Revelation 21:20 ), a species of the carnelian combining the sard and the onyx, having three layers of opaque spots or stripes on a transparent red basis. Like the sardine, it is a variety of the chalcedony.

These dictionary topics are from
M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition,
published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely. [N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
[S] indicates this entry was also found in Smith's Bible Dictionary
Bibliography Information

Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for Sardonyx". "Easton's Bible Dictionary". .

a name compounded of sard and onyx , two precious stones, varieties of chalcedony or agate. The sardonyx combines the qualities of both, whence its name. It is mentioned only in ( Revelation 21:20 ) The sardonyx consists of "a white opaque layer, superimposed upon a red transparent stratum of the true red sard." It is, like the sard, merely a variety of agate, and is frequently employed by engravers for signet-rings. [N] indicates this entry was also found in Nave's Topical Bible
[E] indicates this entry was also found in Easton's Bible Dictionary
Bibliography Information

Smith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Sardonyx'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary". . 1901.

Cameo Artisans

Education of the Infant Bacchus, Sardonyx.
© Trustees of the British Museum.

Henry IV & Marie de Medici,
c.1880, Jasper.
© Trustees of the British Museum.

Portrait of Mrs. G. Steward.
© Trustees of the British Museum.

Born in Vienna – Hungarian parents

Vulcan's Forge Vulcan, his wife Venus, her lover Mars and Cupid with two Doves.
c.early 19th Century, Sardonyx.
© Trustees of the British Museum.

The Fall of Phaeton,
c.1876, Onyx.

Portrait of Bacchus
c.1840-50. Sardonyx.
© Trustees of the British Museum.

The Minerva of Aspasios (Styled after an engraved gem by a Greek artist, Aspasios.)
© Trustees of the British Museum.

Profile Bust – Possibly Horatio Greenough
c. 1850.
© Trustees of the British Museum.

Boston MA

Profile of Alexander
c. 1790, Onyx.
© Trustees of the British Museum.

Portrait of Queen Victoria
c.1855, Sardonyx.
© Trustees of the British Museum.

Portrait of Georg John, 2nd Earl Spencer
c. 1781, Cornelian.
© Trustees of the British Museum.

Laureate Head of a Youth, Intaglio,
c.1726-1775, Sard.
© Trustees of the British Museum.

Roman Bust (Vespasian?)
c. 18th century, Onyx.
© Trustees of the British Museum.

Portrait Bust of George III
c. 1816, Sardonyx.
© Trustees of the British Museum.

Alexandra, Princess of Wales,
c. 1870, Shell.
© Trustees of the British Museum.

Bracelet with Venus, Medusa & Hymen
c. 1850 Onyx.
© Trustees of the British Museum.

Henry Somerset, 7th Duke of Beaufort,
c. 1850, Onyx.
© Trustees of the British Museum.

Sketched his subjects’ first (sometimes from a photo taken by a nearby photographer who worked with Saulini.) Very talented hardstone carver (trained by his father Tommasso (1784-1864) continuing the family trade) also carved less expensive shell cameos. He used sculptures/statues as inspiration.

Helmeted Warrior (Minerva?)
c. 1900, Opal (attributed)
© Trustees of the British Museum.

Watch the video: Sardonyx