Onyx was popular with the Ancient Greeks and Romans. The Greek Onyx was of a number of colors, but the Romans used the word to refer only to the black variety (which is what we usually call onyx today) and a reddish brown variety called sardonyx. Onyx has been often been used in making cameos both in ancient Rome down to more recent times because it's softness is conducive to carving. The black color of black onyx is often enhanced by a dyeing process because of its porousness. Black onyx and black clothing were worn by Queen Victoria of England after the death of her husband, Prince Albert. This made onyx very popular in England in the late 19th Century. It has remained a popular stone for jewelry to this day.
Handcrafted lampwork jewelry pieces complemented with onyx stones can be found on the web at BEADSHAPER and METAL JEWELRY SHAPER