Skip to Content

Does onyx absorb energy?

Onyx is a type of mineral that has been used for centuries in jewelry, carvings, and ornamental objects. In recent years, some people have claimed that onyx can absorb negative energy and protect against electromagnetic radiation from cell phones and other devices. But what does the science say? Let’s take a look at what onyx is, its properties, and whether it can truly absorb energy.

What is onyx?

Onyx is a banded variety of chalcedony, a type of cryptocrystalline quartz. It is composed of silica (silicon dioxide) crystals so tiny that they cannot be distinguished with a normal microscope. These microscopic crystals are arranged in straight, parallel bands which gives onyx its trademark striped appearance.

Onyx comes in a variety of colors like black, brown, red, and white. The most common type is black onyx, which gets its color from carbon impurities in the stone. The black and white bands in onyx create a bold contrast that makes it popular for statement jewelry and decor.

Onyx has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale, making it relatively soft and easy to carve compared to many other gemstones. But it is still durable enough for jewelry and ornamental objects. The alternating black and white layers also allow onyx to be carved into cameos that stand out against the background.

Metaphysical properties of onyx

In crystal healing and metaphysical communities, black onyx is believed to have a number of therapeutic effects. Some of the metaphysical properties attributed to onyx include:

  • Absorbing and transforming negative energy
  • Protecting against electromagnetic radiation
  • Blocking geopathic stress from the earth
  • Promoting emotional balance and self-confidence
  • Enhancing focus and wisdom
  • Bringing strength in difficult times
  • Connecting to Earth energies

Many believe that the black color of onyx absorbs negative energies from the surrounding environment. Holding or wearing onyx is thought to protect the wearer and transmute the absorbed energy into more positive vibrations.

Because of these purported properties, onyx is popular in jewelry, carvings, and home decor objects positioned around electronics. But is there any scientific evidence that onyx can actually absorb energy in this way?

Can onyx absorb electromagnetic radiation?

One of the most common alleged powers of onyx is protecting against electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation from devices like cell phones, laptops, and WiFi routers. However, there is no scientific proof that onyx or any other stone can absorb EMFs. In fact, this claim contradicts what physics tells us about how electromagnetic radiation works.

EMF radiation is made up of photons, which are particles of light that carry energy. Non-ionizing EMFs like those emitted by consumer electronics do not have enough energy to remove electrons from atoms and molecules like ionizing radiation can. Instead, they only interact with matter by being absorbed and then re-emitted.

For a material to absorb EMFs, it needs to have specific properties that allow the photons to be taken up by its electrons or lattice structure. Onyx does not possess semiconducting properties or any other characteristics that give it the ability to absorb non-ionizing EMF radiation.

Quartz and other silicate minerals are essentially transparent to non-ionizing EMF wavelengths like radio waves, microwaves, and infrared light. Experiments have shown that electromagnetic radiation can pass through onyx and quartz crystals almost completely unimpeded.

While onyx cannot provide protection by absorbing EMFs, it’s worth noting that simply having a physical barrier between you and the EMF source will block some small fraction of the radiation. But the same effect could be achieved with any material of similar density, like wood, plastic, or glass.

Studies on energy absorption in minerals

A few studies have attempted to investigate whether minerals like onyx can absorb what is sometimes called “negative energy” using photographic techniques. However, these studies have had flawed and inconsistent methodologies that prevent drawing firm conclusions.

One study in 1995 by controversial energy researcher William Tiller claimed to show that granite absorbed ambient radiation from the environment using a very unconventional form of photography. However, independent attempts to replicate the results have failed, and physicists have critiqued the methodology as invalid.

A more recent 2011 study published in the International Journal of Applied Engineering Research used Kirlian photography to visualize alleged energy absorption in onyx. Kirlian photography captures corona discharges or small electrical discharges from objects placed on photographic plates.

The images appeared to show decreases in discharge intensity around pieces of onyx over time as they supposedly absorbed energy. But multiple issues have been highlighted that cast doubt on the methodology and conclusions:

  • Kirlian photography is itself highly controversial and the corona discharges may be influenced by many variables unrelated to the stone’s supposed energy absorption.
  • There was no control to compare against that could demonstrate the reductions were due to absorption specifically by the onyx.
  • The study provided no proposed mechanism for how onyx could be absorbing ambient energy based in known science.

Due to the lack of plausible mechanisms, null results from multiple independent replication attempts, and physics principles contradicting the claims, there is no compelling evidence from these experiments that onyx or any other stones absorb negative energy or electromagnetic radiation.

Can onyx absorb geopathic stress?

Geopathic stress refers to alleged harmful energies arising from formations and disturbances in the earth’s magnetic field and underground water. Many alternative medicine practitioners believe geopathic stress can cause health issues and negative emotional effects in humans.

Black onyx is sometimes touted as an absorber of geopathic stress when placed in a home or worn on the body. However, as with electromagnetic radiation, there is no scientific proof that onyx or any mineral can absorb ambient energy fields of any kind.

Mainstream science does not recognize geopathic stress as a real phenomenon, since there are no understood mechanisms by which disturbances in magnetic fields or underground water could cause harm to humans.

Controlled experiments attempting to link locations with supposed geopathic stress to sleep disturbances, chronic illnesses, or other conditions have yielded no repeatable, statistically significant results. Thus, the very existence of harmful geopathic stress remains unfounded, let alone whether onyx could provide protection by absorbing it.

Can onyx absorb negative emotions?

In mysticism and energy healing, black onyx is also believed to absorb negative emotional energy and transform it into positive energy. This metaphysical property is one reason it is often worn during times of grief, stress, or trauma.

Through mechanisms unknown to conventional science, some believe the black color of onyx literally absorbs and grounds out the vibrational patterns of negative emotions and energy from the aura or energy field surrounding a person.

However, modern psychology and neuroscience have found no evidence to support the existence of emotional energy fields around the human body that can be detected without instruments, let alone manipulated by external objects.

The idea that a stone could absorb human emotions also attributes properties to onyx that contradict what is known about matter and energy. Emotions are brain states produced by complex neurochemical and neuronal interactions in the nervous system, not free-floating energies.

A person’s emotional state can be affected by wearing onyx due its placebo effect and the psychological associations with the stone. But without mechanisms compatible with modern physics and biology, there is no reason to think onyx can literally absorb intangible human emotions.

Can absorption claims be tested scientifically?

The biggest challenge to scientifically evaluating claims about energy absorption in onyx is that the alleged phenomenon cannot be consistently measured or replicated.

For onyx to absorb ambient energy fields or emotions, there would need to be some objective way to detect the energy before and after introducing the onyx. However, no devices or scientific techniques currently exist that can quantify or detect the human biofield, emotional energy, or other subtle energies involved in these claims.

Additionally, the absorption is supposed to occur automatically as an inherent property of onyx. But if absorption cannot be consistently turned on or off under controlled conditions, then it cannot be falsified or rigorously tested.

Without measurable, well-defined phenomena and without falsifiability, the hypotheses do not meet the criteria of scientific inquiry. The scaffolding to build proper experimental tests simply does not exist for these metaphysical claims as currently formulated.

This does not necessarily mean the absorption claims are false or that new physics or physiology could not emerge to explain them in the future. But based on current science, testability appears fundamentally challenging.

Does onyx exhibit paranormal properties?

Some paranormal researchers have also attempted to test whether onyx exhibits psychic or paranormal properties, with mixed results.

For example, one study tested whether onyx could influence the decay rate of radioactive materials, a phenomenon sometimes linked to psychic abilities and paranormal occurrences. The researchers found no significant effect from the onyx under controlled conditions.

Other experiments have tested if onyx reacts to or influences psychic readings and divining rods. Outcomes were not consistent enough across trials to conclude onyx has unambiguous, reproducible paranormal powers.

Overall, mainstream science has found no convincing evidence that onyx or other crystals exhibits psychic abilities, paranormal properties, or the ability to absorb subtle energies through unknown mechanisms. Current physics cannot account for these types of phenomena.

The placebo effect of onyx

While onyx may not have demonstrable energy absorption powers, it can still have a psychological and placebo effect. The placebo effect causes relief of symptoms or perceived effects simply due to the belief that a treatment or object will work.

If someone believes onyx will protect and recharge them, reduce their stress, or absorb negative energy around them, then wearing or carrying onyx may provide real benefits due to the placebo effect. This effect is driven by expectations, conditioning, and neurobiological factors in the brain.

Onyx is also perceived as beautiful and luxurious, so it can simply lift someone’s mood through its aesthetic appeal. The ritual of wearing or placing an onyx stone can induce relaxation and mindfulness as well.

So while onyx does not have mystical powers of energy absorption, it can still enhance health, emotions, and mindset due to psychological and neurological responses in the wearer. The benefits are subjective and do not stem from any currently known scientific phenomena.


In conclusion, based on current scientific knowledge and physics principles, there is no evidence that onyx or any other stone has inherent powers to absorb various forms of energy like electromagnetic radiation, geopathic stress, or human emotions.

Claims of energy absorption by onyx contradict what is known about matter, energy, and the biological basis of emotions in the human body. Controlled experiments attempting to detect and measure this absorption have yielded null results.

While intriguing, these metaphysical claims remain scientifically unproven. More research would be needed to uncover unknown mechanisms that could account for energy absorption in ways that align with established laws of physics.

However, the ritual and belief surrounding onyx can produce placebo effects in wearers, providing tangible psychological and health benefits. Ultimately, objective proof remains elusive, but onyx continues to be prized for its beauty, meaning, and purported mystical properties.