Last Modified: February 12, 2024

Onyx Gravel

Deluxe Golden Apricot Marble Aggregate

Close up of onyx gravel

By Ben Parrot - Landscape Gardener & Amateur Geologist

Classification:

Stone landscaping material and construction aggregate

Geological name(s):

Calcite

Other Name(s):

Onyx chippings, apricot marble chippings, onyx pebbles, onyx aggregate

Overview

Welcome to the only encyclopaedia for decorative aggregates and landscaping materials. Onyx gravel, also known as onyx chippings, is an premium and hard-wearing decorative aggregate known for its distinctive appearance and versatility in outdoor design. Featuring a spectacular gold colour with shade variations consisting of beige and apricot stones. Possessing naturally-occurring sparkle and marbling, these stones are a luxurious addition to any outdoor space.

This is a comprehensive encyclopaedia listing about onyx gravel, a hardscape and construction aggregate. It details the product's specifications, accompanied by photographs, and outlines its benefits, applications, and incompatibilities as a landscaping material. Additionally, this entry serves as a gateway to a wealth of DIY resources, with a list of comparable alternatives, articles offering design inspiration and fundamental principles, and a collection of straightforward, step-by-step instructions for constructing your own hardscaping features.

Onyx Gravel Specifications

material

colour

shape

sizes

fall safety

price

Marble

14-20mm

durability

fish friendly

eco friendly

degradability

ph

diy friendly

Non-degradable

Alkaline

Material

Metamorphic rock

Colour

Buff, gold and apricot deepening in colour when wet.

Shape

Angular

Peach orange chippings for garden

Size Range

10-20mm (0.4-0.8")

Onyx gravel 20mm

Fall Safety

Unsuitable for play surfaces

Price

High

Durability

High

Fish Friendly

No

Close up of onyx gravel

Eco-friendly

Yes

Degradability

Non-degradable

pH

Alkaline

DIY-Friendly

Yes

Onyx stones garden path

Benefits

Decorative aggregates like onyx gravel offer numerous benefits in garden and landscape design. They provide low-maintenance solutions, enhance a garden's appeal with their colours and textures and offer practical benefits like weed suppression and drainage improvement.

Onyx gravel is a highly decorative stone that has subtle sparkles when wet and will contrast beautifully with paving and other aggregates. It specifically adds an elegant, sophisticated look to any landscaping design. Its light colour contrasts beautifully with surrounding greenery and other aggregates, creating a visually striking effect. Onyx gravel also has subtle sparkles when wet, adding an extra dimension to decorative applications.

  • Inhibits weeds
  • Improves drainage
  • Hard-wearing
  • Eco-friendly, sustainable
  • Low-maintenance
  • Moisture retention
  • Versatile all-rounder
  • pH alkaline
  • Transform space fast
  • Unsafe for aquatic life
  • Root protection
  • Easy to lay

Applications

Onyx gravel is versatile, suited for applications such as garden paths and driveways, as an accent or feature in decorative borders, and as a pot plant topper. Its attractive angular shape and unique colouration make it a highly decorative stone, ideal for contrasting with darker-coloured aggregates or surrounding greenery. Any ground cover laid with onyx chippings will add light to any space due to its warm, reflective appearance.

In the following section, we list many common onyx gravel uses. Wherever there is a hyperlink beside an item, an article from Outdoor Aggregates about the topic is available.

Gravel garden witrh colourful plants

Inspiration and Informational Articles

DIY-Friendly How-To Guides

Need to work out how many stone chippings your  project needs? Try our free gravel calculator.

Other Applications

Some other excellent applications for onyx gravel include:

  • Base for terrace, patios or outdoor seating areas
  • Monochrome garden designs
Orange chips under garden leaves. Jpg

Unsuitable For

The following list represents the kinds of applications that onyx gravel may not be suitable for:

  1. 1
    Aquascaping due to the effect of the stone's alkalinity on the water pH.
  2. 2
    Erosion control: On steep slopes or areas with significant inclines, the loose nature of the gravel can make it prone to movement which can be problematic on slopes. A gravel grid should be in place as a minimum.
  3. 3
    Play surfaces

Similar Alternatives to Onyx Gravel

The following is a list of decorative aggregates which are alternatives to onyx gravel. They may offer you a more suitable variation on the primary colour, a more economical option, or a close substitute for cases where the base material may be unsuitable for the project you are creating, e.g. limestone is not fish-friendly, where slate is.

Name

Colours

Material

Size

Shape

Availability

Price

Red sandstone pebbles

warm red

Sandstone

10-50mm (0.4-2")

rounded

UK, USA,

pink, white, grey

3-20mm (0.1-0.8")

Angular

UK, USA, EU

buff, cream

6-20mm (0.025-8")

Angular

UK, USA

white, buff

Marble

3-20mm (0.1-0.8")

Angular

UK, USA, EU

white, pink, yellow

10-20mm (0.4-0.8")

Rounded

UK, USA, EU

apricot, white

Quartzite

10-20mm (0.4-0.8")

Angular

UK, USA, EU

Under £80

£80-£120

£120-£150

£150-£200

£200-£300

£300+

Maintenance

Building a raised garden bed

Onyx gravel are generally low maintenance, especially when a heavy duty membrane is installed underneath to suppress weeds, with most work limited to raking and the occasional removal of debris. It is recommended to occasionally power wash the product in order to maintain its original colour and prevent the buildup of algae or moss. Natural quarry materials may also have dust which should be washed off with water during installation. For areas with heavy foot traffic, such as paths or footpaths, replenishing the chippings may be necessary over time to maintain depth and coverage.

For more on how to clean gravel, read our article: how to clean garden stones.

Purchasing Tips

Ancient ruins in athens greece

When purchasing onyx gravel, consider the size options and quantity necessary for your project. Where available, it is cost-effective to request a sample to assess the stone's colour and quality against your design requirements. Our gravel calculator will give you a quick and unbiased estimate for your project needs just by taking a few measurements of the space. It is one of the best and easiest ways to order the right amount and helps avoid shortfalls or over-spending.

Purchasing a onyx gravel 20mm bulk bag or ordering in loose loads can offer better value than purchasing in smaller quantities. Therefore, calculating accurately can save both time and money. It is also important to consider the delivery aspects, including vehicle access to the site. Additionally, you should check stock availability and factor in VAT and transportation costs if applicable.

FAQs

Is onyx gravel suitable for driveways?

Yes, especially when combined with a stabilising grid for less weight and added durability.

Can onyx chippings be used in aquariums?

No, due to the effect of the stone's alkalinity on the water pH.

There are many wonderful types of gravel and aggregates available for your project needs. Check them out!

About the author 

Ben Parrot is a landscape gardener and amateur geologist. He is the founder of Outdoor Aggregates, with the mission to create the first encyclopaedia for decorative aggregates. From natural stone through to decorative bark, these aggregates are critical to garden and landscape design, universally.

The problem: There isn't any place where all the different types of decorative landscaping materials and construction aggregates can be found, nor are the specifications of each type readily available. So, enriched by his extensive experience, and inspired by the timeless elegance and raw beauty of stone and rock, etched by nature's artistry over millennia, Outdoor Aggregates was born.