Types of Stones

A fine-grained variegated chalcedony (a member of the quartz family, named in 1570), usually with colours arranged in stripes, blended in clouds or showing moss-like forms. Agates are generally formed by water seeping into cavities in volcanic rocks and depositing mineral salts in layers which over centuries have hardened into varied-coloured bands of chalcedony. These bands are often concentric, producing beautiful patterns. Named after the River Achetes in Sicily, agate is said to have been the eighth stone in the breastplate of the ancient high priest. In historic times, water in which it had been placed was used for cooking and drinking in order to alleviate sickness. Thought to protect the wearer from danger, encourage boldness and stimulate success, it has been used as a cure for insomnia, to ensure pleasant dreams and relieve stress. It is thought to be of assistance in childbirth as well as in the treatment of disease. It may alleviate eyesight, hearing and hair problems and assist in cases of poisoning. Agate is the zodiac gem for Gemini (21 May to 21 June).

 

A fine-grained variegated chalcedony (a member of the quartz family, named in 1570), usually with colours arranged in stripes, blended in clouds or showing moss-like forms. Agates are generally formed by water seeping into cavities in volcanic rocks and depositing mineral salts in layers which over centuries have hardened into varied-coloured bands of chalcedony. These bands are often concentric, producing beautiful patterns. Named after the River Achetes in Sicily, agate is said to have been the eighth stone in the breastplate of the ancient high priest. In historic times, water in which it had been placed was used for cooking and drinking in order to alleviate sickness. Thought to protect the wearer from danger, encourage boldness and stimulate success, it has been used as a cure for insomnia, to ensure pleasant dreams and relieve stress. It is thought to be of assistance in childbirth as well as in the treatment of disease. It may alleviate eyesight, hearing and hair problems and assist in cases of poisoning. Agate is the zodiac gem for Gemini (21 May to 21 June).

 

A variety of feldspar, which is the most abundant and common material known, amazonite can vary from a green jade colour to turquoise. It is formed in usually large crystals, some up to a ton in size, in the pegmatite stage of granite. Named in 1879 after the Amazon River. Amazonite is another of the sacred green stones that were valued by the ancient Egyptians. It is said to have been one of the stones used in the breastplate of the high priest and has been used in jewellery for centuries. Named after the Amazon River, this stone was worn by the South American Indians to protect them from poisonous bites. Because of its high copper content, amazonite is very healing and is a good stone to carry or wear for looking after one’s general health. Thought to be helpful for soothing the emotional processes and relieving worries and fears, Amazonite soothes irritating and negative energy and helps with communications concerning love. It can also help to promote clarity and balancing of the many aspects of one’s personality. Amazonite is a useful remedy for muscle spasms and can help correct calcium deficiencies and increase the body’s resistance to tooth decay and osteoporosis.

 

A 14th-century organic gem, amber is the fossilised resin from prehistoric pine trees. These now-extinct plants produced enormous quantities of resin which fell to the ground or filled large cracks and holes in the trees where it eventually became fossilised. It is hard and golden to yellow-brown in colour. Amber was one of the first substances used by men for amulets, medicine and decoration. It was brought to the foothills of the Alps from the Baltic coast and the distances covered to obtain it, vast for those days, give an idea of its importance. In ancient times it was ground or soaked and then consumed or drunk as a remedy for illness. It was used in fire ceremonies of ancient tribal healers and is still a sacred stone to both Native American and Eastern Indians. From medieval days, it was burned to clear the environment of negativity. Amber is considered to be healing, soothing and harmonising and to exert a positive influence on the endocrine system, spleen and heart. It has helped in the treatment of asthma, ear trouble, infection, malaria, rheumatism and cutting teeth. It is sometimes called Mindful Oneù because it not only remembers past centuries but helps with simple absent-mindedness!

 

A variety of crystallised quartz occurs in colours ranging from deep purple to pale lavender. The presence of manganese in clear quartz produces amethyst, while the amount of iron content varies the strength of the purple colouration. The name derives from the Greek word amethystos, meaning remedy for drunkennessù. The Romans believed this stone prevented drunkenness and used to drink out of amethyst-encrusted goblets; some belief the effect to be the same today if amethyst is placed in a glass of wine. Amethyst is thought to bestow stability, strength and peace, to relieve stress and to calm passion, emotional violence and anger. It is a powerful healing gem, having been used in treating disorders of the nervous system, digestive tract, heart, stomach, skin and teeth. It has also been helpful in the treatment of blood disease, burns and scalds, colour blindness, infections and oedema. An amethyst under the pillow can aid sleeplessness an amethyst placed on the centre of the forehead can relieve the pain of headaches and other disorders. Amethyst is the birthstone for February, symbolising sincerity, and the zodiac gem for Pisces (19 February to 20 March).

 

Ametrine, a combination of Amethyst and Citrine, both members of the Quartz family displaying beautiful hues of light to dark purple fading into the golden yellows of citrine. Most of the commercially mined Ametrine comes from Bolivia although there are deposits in Brazil and India. According to legend, Ametrine was first introduced to Europe by a Spanish explorer who received the mine as a dowry and gave these gems as gifts to his wife, Anahi. Today the mine in Bolivia is still named after the Spanish princess, Anahi Mine. Ametrine stimulates the Crown Chakra bringing mental and spiritual clarity. It assists in keeping a focused mind, dispelling any negative thoughts and fears. It is a great aid for the digestive system and metabolism.

 

Angelite is a variety of Anhydrite, a soft form of Gypsum with a hardness of 3.5 on Moh’s Hardness Scale. The original name, Anhydrite was given to the stone by A.G. Werner, a well-known German geologist, in 1804. The absence of water crystallization was Werner’s reason behind the name. The attractive light blue variety, Angelite, was found in Peru in the late 1900’s. Angelite is a strong stone for use on the Throat Chakra, bringing clear communication and expression. A Soothing and peaceful stone that has also been known to enhance one’s physic abilities. It will promote forgiveness by ridding one of fear and anger. Physically Angelite heals many throat problems such as infection and inflammation of the thyroid. It has also been said to help with weight loss.

 

Apatite came from the Greek word ’apatao’ (1780’s), which means ‘to deceive’ as it was often confused with Aquamarine, Beryl or Emerald. The typical colours of apatite range from tropical blues to shades of greens and yellows. Although colours such as pinks, purples and browns have been found. Hydroxyapatite is a naturally occurring mineral in apatite which is the main constituent of tooth enamel, this mineral is also found in bone. In ancient times it was believed to relieve toothache and cure tooth decay. It is useful to elderly people and those with bone conditions said to strengthen the bones of those who wore it. Apatite is said to promote self-confidence, vision and insight. When kept under a pillow at night it is said to stimulate lucid dreaming. The blue variety is also helpful when there is a need for clear communication and self-expression.

 

Apophylite is named after the Greek word, apophylliso, meaning ”it flakes off” which brings relation to the fact that it loses a large amount of water content when heated causing the crystals to flake off. Typically a secondary mineral is found in volcanic rocks such as Basalt. Bringing spiritual awakening, enlightenment and vision, Apophylite is often used in meditation. Most effective on the crown chakra but is often used on the third eye chakra as well. Apophylite is a calming stone, helping to soothe anxieties and worries, to ease restlessness and stimulate concentration by bringing peace of mind. A strong healer for the respiratory system, Apophylite can be helpful with asthma and lung disorders. It has also been useful in the treatment of eye disorders.
Aura Quartz is crystals, often clear quartz, that has been treated by bonding precious metals such as titanium, gold and platinum among other metals, to the surface of the stone. This process gives the crystals an iridescent metallic sheen. Bonding these precious metals to the quartz is sometimes done by a process which is called magnetron ionization, which uses the natural electrostatic charge of the crystal to bond with the metal molecules. This process is mainly done with the Titanium Aura Quartz, which is a violet-blue variety of Aura Quartz. Since only electricity is used in the process, the integrity of the quartz is maintained and does not become brittle or weakened. Another technique of bonding the metals is to place the quartz and a vaporized metal (often gold in this process, to create Aqua Aura, the light blue variety) in a vacuum chamber which is then heated to just under 900∞C. The colour that the clear quartz is coated with depends on what metal is used. Although these crystals are not completely natural and have been enhanced by man, they carry strong healing properties. Aura Quartz will promote vitality, confidence and creativity and also remove self-doubt, fear of change and liberate one from stress. Can be used on all chakras but is especially beneficial on the Throat, Third Eye and Crown Chakras. Aura Quartz has been known to be beneficial to the mind, stimulating concentration, memory and overall mental well-being.
A variety of Quartz is spangled with bright particles of Mica and Haematite. The most common colour is green, but other colours such as blue, red or yellow are found. Aventurine was named in 1811 from the French adventure, meaning chanceù. Aventurine is said to aid in the release of anxieties and fears, promoting emotional tranquillity and positive attitudes towards life. It is also thought to enhance leadership qualities and reinforce decisiveness. It is considered to be helpful in treating disorders of the heart, lungs, adrenal glands and muscular and urogenital systems. It has also been useful in the treatment of eyesight and hair problems.
Azurite is a solid deep blue mineral consisting of basic carbonate of copper. It is found in a variety of forms including massive pieces, nodules and crystallised clusters. Too soft to be used as an ornamental stone, azurite was used in ancient times (and even today) as a colour pigment. Although it is rarely available in a cut form the stone has a strong lustre when cut and polished. Named in 1868 from the French word azure meaning the blue colour of the sky. Known as a stone of heavenù, azurite was a sacred stone for the Native American Indians and was used to contact spiritual guides. The Mayans used the stone to awaken psychic abilities and promote the transfer of information through thought. In many other ancient civilisations, the stone has been a symbol of status. Azurite can help to reduce indecision and bring relief from troubling thoughts and worries. The stone is said to improve creativity and promote self-confidence. Thought to relieve any problems in the area of the larynx ì either physical or emotional ì azurite can help with laryngitis, sore throat and tonsillitis as well as public speaking, teaching, oral examinations, etc.
Named in the 14th century, this very hard mineral consists of a silicate of beryllium and aluminium. Beryl occurs in a number of differently coloured stones of which emerald is one. Colourless, it is named goshenite, golden it is called heliodor, pink is known as morganite, and the well-known blue variety is aquamarine. Many years ago, beryl was said to safeguard sailors (aquamarine) and travellers (emerald) and was used in the treatment of throat, tooth, jaw, eye and stomach complaints. Golden beryl is said to have been one of the stones used in the breastplate of the ancient high priest. It represents purity and promotes initiative and independence in thought and action. It has been used in the treatment of disorders of the heart, liver and spine and can also be helpful in treating concussion and damage to the cranial portion of the head. It has also been used in the treatment of eyesight problems as well as mouth and stomach complaints. Beryl is the zodiac gem for Scorpio (24 October to 21 November).
Bloodstone is a variety of quartz that occurs in massive formations. The colour is green with flecks of red, although in smaller pieces of the mineral the red may not appear. It is also called heliotrope which refers to turning towards the sun, inferring that the reflection of the sun is blood-red. It was named in 1515. Bloodstone was said by the ancient scholar, Pliny, to have been used as a mirror for viewing an eclipse of the sun. The red spots in the legend represent the blood of Christ wounded on the cross. Bloodstone is said to strengthen and oxygenate the bloodstream, enhancing physical and mental vitality. It will strengthen the heart, spleen and bone marrow and aids in balancing iron deficiencies. It is a powerful physical healer and reduces emotional/mental stress. It also stimulates the revitalization of friendships, love and other relationships. It helps to demonstrate unselfishness and idealism, to improve one’s talents and abilities, to enhance creative efforts and to support the decision-making processes. It has also been used in the rectification of failing eyesight, lung congestion and rashes and has been helpful in the treatment of bladder and stomach problems, haemorrhoids, inflammation and childbirth. Bloodstone is one of the birthstones for March (with aquamarine), symbolising courage, and the zodiac gem for Aries (21 March to 19 April).
Bronzite is from the pyroxene group of minerals along with enstatite and a closely related gem Hypersthene. Rather than a specific species, Bronzite is rather a variety of enstatite. A green to brown colour with a golden metallic glow. Found mainly in Brazil. A stone to promote self-control, Bronzite is also said to clear confusion helping those who struggle with being indecisive. Often used in meditation for reflection, easing the mind of past worries or uncertainties to bring peace of mind. Bronzite has been known to ease exhaustion and furthermore, to assist one with maintaining a healthy sleeping pattern. It will inspire a polite and gentle nature in yourself and those around you to, a strong stone that carries with it protective masculine energy. Bronzite eases the physical and even emotional discomfort we go through during life cycles, such as menopause and puberty. It will balance the bodies PH levels, help with muscle spasms as well as insomnia.
A widespread mineral. Crystals are relatively common and display a large variety of shapes ranging from short stubby crystals to long needle-like forms. As they are found in so many areas and are associated with such a wide variety of minerals, they are one of the most sought after minerals for collectors. Calcite is normally colourless or white but can be found in a number of colours when influenced by other minerals. Because of its softness, it is difficult to polish but its lustre can be enhanced through acid treatment ì but because it will dissolve even in mild hydrochloric acid, Crystals should never be cleaned in this substance. Calcite is used in the chemical and metallurgical industries, in the form of marble and travertine in the building industry, and Calcite rich Limestone is an essential ingredient in the manufacture of cement. The mineral releases electrical impulses when placed under pressure and is also an energy amplifier. All calcite is a good remover of stagnant energy. The material is difficult to carve because of the tendency to break along its cleavage lines. Said to provoke thought and improve memory and concentration. The best sources are Mexico and Madagascar.
A widespread mineral. Crystals are relatively common and display a large variety of shapes ranging from short stubby crystals to long needle-like forms. As they are found in so many areas and are associated with such a wide variety of minerals, they are one of the most sought after minerals for collectors. Calcite is normally colourless or white but can be found in a number of colours when influenced by other minerals. Because of its softness, it is difficult to polish but its lustre can be enhanced through acid treatment ì but because it will dissolve even in mild hydrochloric acid, Crystals should never be cleaned in this substance. Calcite is used in the chemical and metallurgical industries, in the form of marble and travertine in the building industry, and Calcite rich Limestone is an essential ingredient in the manufacture of cement. The mineral releases electrical impulses when placed under pressure and is also an energy amplifier. All calcite is a good remover of stagnant energy. This Namibian/Mexican Calcite is usually associated with the clear parallel cleavage crystalsù which double the image of whatever it is placed upon. It is therefore said to assist those with eye problems and to strengthen and clear vision and concentration. Also known as Iceland Sparù, this stone can also help with the double meaning of works and assist in communication during difficult and challenging negotiations.
A widespread mineral. Crystals are relatively common and display a large variety of shapes ranging from short stubby crystals to long needle-like forms. As they are found in so many areas and are associated with such a wide variety of minerals, they are one of the most sought after minerals for collectors. Calcite is normally colourless or white but can be found in a number of colours when influenced by other minerals. Because of its softness, it is difficult to polish but its lustre can be enhanced through acid treatment ì but because it will dissolve even in mild hydrochloric acid, Crystals should never be cleaned in this substance. Calcite is used in the chemical and metallurgical industries, in the form of marble and travertine in the building industry, and Calcite rich Limestone is an essential ingredient in the manufacture of cement. The mineral releases electrical impulses when placed under pressure and is also an energy amplifier. All calcite is a good remover of stagnant energy. The best source is Mexico where it occurs in relatively small dog toothù crystal shapes. Although calcite, being calcium carbonate, is used in the stimulation in bone, hair and feather growth, the green variety, in particular, is said to help pains, tears and breaks in muscles, tendons and bones. Removes infections from the body and alleviates mental fear. Soothes anxiety, calms turbulent energies, expands awareness and aids mental clarity.
A widespread mineral. Crystals are relatively common and display a large variety of shapes ranging from short stubby crystals to long needle-like forms. As they are found in so many areas and are associated with such a wide variety of minerals, they are one of the most sought after minerals for collectors. Calcite is normally colourless or white but can be found in a number of colours when influenced by other minerals. Because of its softness, it is difficult to polish but its lustre can be enhanced through acid treatment ì but because it will dissolve even in mild hydrochloric acid, Crystals should never be cleaned in this substance. Calcite is used in the chemical and metallurgical industries, in the form of marble and travertine in the building industry, and Calcite rich Limestone is an essential ingredient in the manufacture of cement. The mineral releases electrical impulses when placed under pressure and is also an energy amplifier. All calcite is a good remover of stagnant energy. Can occur in pieces up to a ton or more and therefore can be cut and shaped in many ways including large carving and spheres, bookends, lamps, etc. its bright colour symbolizes happiness and vitality in life. Good for the stomach area and associated with the 2nd Chakra. It helps the gall bladder, improves physical energy and expands awareness. The best source is Mexico.
A widespread mineral. Crystals are relatively common and display a large variety of shapes ranging from short stubby crystals to long needle-like forms. As they are found in so many areas and are associated with such a wide variety of minerals, they are one of the most sought after minerals for collectors. Calcite is normally colourless or white but can be found in a number of colours when influenced by other minerals. Because of its softness, it is difficult to polish but its lustre can be enhanced through acid treatment ì but because it will dissolve even in mild hydrochloric acid, Crystals should never be cleaned in this substance. Calcite is used in the chemical and metallurgical industries, in the form of marble and travertine in the building industry, and Calcite rich Limestone is an essential ingredient in the manufacture of cement. The mineral releases electrical impulses when placed under pressure and is also an energy amplifier. All calcite is a good remover of stagnant energy. This form of calcite is usually too soft for most jewellery, and lapidary production is limited to hand-held stones and shapes such as obelisks, points and spheres. It glows bright pink under ultraviolet light and is associated with fairies. Said to help relationships between mothers and their children, post-natal depression and the healing of sick bodies. The best material come from Peru.
A widespread mineral. Crystals are relatively common and display a large variety of shapes ranging from short stubby crystals to long needle-like forms. As they are found in so many areas and are associated with such a wide variety of minerals, they are one of the most sought after minerals for collectors. Calcite is normally colourless or white but can be found in a number of colours when influenced by other minerals. Because of its softness, it is difficult to polish but its lustre can be enhanced through acid treatment ì but because it will dissolve even in mild hydrochloric acid, Crystals should never be cleaned in this substance. Calcite is used in the chemical and metallurgical industries, in the form of marble and travertine in the building industry, and Calcite rich Limestone is an essential ingredient in the manufacture of cement. The mineral releases electrical impulses when placed under pressure and is also an energy amplifier. All calcite is a good remover of stagnant energy. Recently found in large pieces ideal for the manufacture of Spheres and Obelisks, etc. A powerful stone to help reach total relaxation in deep meditation. The best source is China.
A hard and tough translucent form of chalcedony (named in 1695) that usually occurs in a uniform colour of red, orange or red-brown. Known thousands of years before the birth of Christ, carnelian has been used extensively in jewellery ever since, particularly for signet rings, seals, cameos and scarabs because of its hardness and rich orange-red colour. Engraved with Arabic characters, it protected the wearer from tricks of the envious. Throughout the East, envy is feared, for it is believed that it will cause the envied to lose his possessions. It was the favourite stone of the prophet Mohammed and verses from the Koran have been found engraved on this stone. Carnelian is said to stimulate analytical capabilities and precision. It provides perceptiveness and awakens ones inherent talents and skills and also protects against fear and rage. It helps to alleviate sorrow and can also be used to dispel apathy and indolence. Carnelian has been used in the treatment of neuralgia and rheumatism, gall and kidney stones, pollen allergies and colds, and can aid in the relief of disorders of the spine, spleen and pancreas. It has also been effective in the treatment of infection, fever, blood poisoning and muscle spasms. Carnelian is the zodiac gem for Virgo (23 August to 22 September).
The terminology Cats Eye (named in 1599) sometimes refers to a variety of Chrysoberyl but more commonly to silicified asbestos known as Tigers Eye or Hawk Eye (both shown above). Cats Eye shows a light-coloured line that changes position as the gem is turned, giving it a resemblance to the eye of a cat. The colour range is endless due to the numerous stones in which it may occur. This mineral is said to represent happiness and serenity and to amplify one’s luckù. It can act to stimulate intuition and enhance awareness and can also be used in the treatment of eye disorders or to increase vision responses during night driving. In addition, cat-eye has been used to relieve headaches and pain associated with the nervous system as well as asthma and bowel cramps. Cats-Eye is Thursdays stone.
Named after an ancient city in Turkey near Istanbul (13th century), Chalcedony is a variety of quartz that can be transparent, translucent or opaque. There are many types and colours of chalcedony, some of which are covered in their own sections of this book including agate, bloodstone, chrysoprase, carnelian, jasper, onyx and sardonyx. Chalcedony was used for centuries to promote stability in the ceremonial activities of Native American Indian tribes and the Tibetans revered it as a symbol of the lotus flower. White chalcedony was given to nursing mothers to increase lactation. Stemming from the nurturing energy within the stone, chalcedony symbolizes benevolence, relieving hostilities, irritability and depression, and stimulating optimism and goodwill. The stone also promotes generosity, receptivity and responsiveness. Chalcedony is thought to bring relief from problems in the area of the throat and neck, both physical problems and those associated with using the voice, such as lecturing, etc. Chalcedony has been used to bring tranquillity to the nervous system and to dispel worrying thoughts. In addition, it is said to promote mental stability and cure various forms of dementia.
The most commonly seen is the Mexican massive material broken into small pieces and bleached to change from a coppery yellow to iridescent blue-green. This is a combination of quartz, pyrite and copper. Being a copper ore, it oxidizes easily. It provides inspiration, ideas and thoughts, helps bring happiness to those with constant worries and concerns, and improves prosperity.
Named after the Chara River in Yakutia (Russia) or possibly from the original word chary which means magic. Mineralogically this is a very complicated stone consisting of many minerals including potassium, calcium and sodium. It occurs in iridescent shades of purple with white and black swirls and patches. Although only first officially recorded in 1976, it was not long before carious mystical beliefs were attributed to it ì such as strengthening self-esteem, bringing peace and love generally accelerating spiritual growth. Said to relieve headaches, migraines, sleep disturbances and alleviate fears of the unknown, sickness and death. It warms the heart and changes loneliness to love.
Occurs in various shades of blue and green, often mixed with quartz and the green, black or brown of other associated copper-based minerals. Found in copper-rich areas of Peru, USA, Namibia and the African Congo. It crystallizes in the form of crusts, layers, druses and botryoidal configurations. Chrysocolla in its gemmy state is known as Gem-Silica ì a desired material for gem cutters. Known as the Women’s Stone as it is recommended for all gynaecological problems from puberty to menopause. It often helps in the hand whilst giving birth. Helps to allay fears in cases of emotional instability and brings greater inner strength. Chrysocolla is said to draw out negativity.
A fine-grained quartz (first recorded in the 13th Century) that derives its beautiful apple-green colour from the presence of nickel in the stone. Chrysoprase was called the Stone of Venusù by the Romans. In the middle ages, it was valued as a cure for restlessness, for making the wearer quick-witted and for imparting adaptability and presence of mind. It was also carried as a safety measure by those undertaking sea voyages. Chrysoprase is said to be a very inward-lookingù stone, helping with calming, balancing and inner metal healing while enhancing light-heartedness and joy. It can moderate superiority or inferiority complexes and is thought to encourage fidelity in business and personal affairs. It has been used in the treatment of disorders of the heart, to control bleeding, to increase one dexterity and to relieve frailty and infirmity. Chrysoprase is also thought to be helpful in childbirth.
A variety of quartz, the colour ranging from yellow to golden brown to burnt amber. It was named in 1748. Citrine is said to be one of those stones used in the breastplate of the ancient high priest. It is thought to stimulate both mental focus and endurance. It can help dispel fundamental levels of fear, brightening even the darkest corners of ones perceived reality and helping one to laugh without restraintù. It is very useful in assisting to penetrate problems and expedite solutions. It can also be helpful in the treatment of digestive and blood circulation.
Coral, the vacated housing of a marine animal, comes from the sea. The kind of coral traditionally used in jewellery is found in reefs in the tropical waters of Polynesia, off the coast of Japan and in the Mediterranean. Although red coral is most frequently used in jewellery, other colours include pink, white, black and blue. Coral was named in the 14th century. Coral was highly regarded as a symbol of vitality by the Tibetans and American Indians and was thought to be indispensable on bone formation, particularly for children. These beliefs applied particularly to red coral and it was even considered to be an indication of blood disease if the coral became paler when worn. In fact, red coral is believed to be useful for treating anaemia, circulation problems, menstrual disorders and infertility. Representing diplomacy and concurrence, coral is said to quiet the emotions and bring inner peace as well as promoting intuition, imagination and visualization.
A form of opaque, usually patterned, chalcedony which is found in massive formations. The mineral is usually stained by impurities and occurs in various colours such as red, green, brown or yellow. The popular red variety is fine-grained quartz, coloured by inclusions of haematite. The colours may be arranged in bands of red or a mottled mixture of many different patterns and colours. It was named in the 14th century. From ancient times this hard and durable gemstone was cherished for its beauty and mystical properties. The jasper mentioned in the Bible as one of the stones in the breastplate of the ancient high priest and in the wall of the New Jerusalem is believed to have been a dark green, opalescent stone. Jasper is believed to bring good health as well as courage and wisdom in undertakings involving risk. Because of its physical properties, engravers of ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt carved this stone into exquisite cameos, intaglios and scarabs. Jasper was considered a sacred stone by the Native American Indians. The jasper containing a yellow colour was used to assist and protect during times of travel (spiritual and physical), that contained the red colour was thought to induce health and rebirth, bringing fresh ideas to the holder and that containing the blue colour was used to connect one with the afterù worlds. Jasper can be used in the treatment of tissue deterioration of the internal organs and for disorders of the kidneys, spleen, bladder, liver and stomach. It can also be used to treat the loss of the sense of smell and is thought to soothe the nerves.
The name originates from the Town of Danbury in Connecticut USA where the material was first discovered ì although most material today comes from Mexico. It ranges from milky white to pink but can also be brilliantly clear in wedge-shaped crystals with parallel striations like those of topaz. It is light and fairly fragile. A powerful stimulant of the Crown Chakra assisting concentration and clear thinking. An all-body healer and gentle energiser. Danburite will help detoxify the body, calm the mind and increase self-esteem. It’s a very soothing stone that will minimize personal stress and increase your tolerance levels when living and working around difficult people ì and can be used in the treatment of hearing disorders and physical and mental abilities.
A native crystalline carbon that is usually nearly colourless, although white, black and various pale shades of pink, yellow, red, orange, green, blue and brown are found. All good gem diamonds are transparent and free of flaws, and colourless stones, known as white diamonds, are extremely valuable. Considered the hardest substance on the earth, diamonds are also widely used industrially. Named in the 14th century after the Greek word Adamas, meaning invincibleù. The diamond has traditionally played a part in history as a symbol of royal power. During ancient times it was commonly used as a talisman against cowardice and was valued as a stone to bestow invulnerability. The power of the diamond was believed to work only when the stone was freely given. In ancient times it was given to ensure love, promote harmony and dispel anger. It was first cut in the 14th century but it took until 1910 for the modern brilliant cut (a form of cut with numerous facets giving the stone a special brilliance) to develop. In Greek mythology, Eros, the god of erotic love, is said to have used arrows tipped with diamonds to stimulate people to fall in love with one another. The brilliance of diamonds was supposed to shine a light that kept negativity at bay. It symbolized durability, incorruptibility and invincibility. Amante de Dio (Italian for diamond) means òlover of God. The diamond stimulates clear mental sight and is said to amplify the full spectrum of energies in mind, body and spirit, inspiring innocence, faithfulness, abundance and serenity. It is also thought to be helpful in the treatment of poisoning. Diamond is the birthstone for April, symbolising innocence.
Dumortierite was first discovered in 1881 by a French mineralogist M.F. Gonnard, who named the stone after Eugene Dumortier, a French palaeontologist. The stone varies in colour from browns, blacks and white to the most sort after violet-blues. Found in the USA, Sri Lanka and Brazil among others. Known as “The Stone of Learning”, dumortierite helps with concentration and the ability to understand and retain what we have learnt. Dumortierite stimulates all intellectual aspects of the brain and is especially useful when learning a foreign language. Also believed to be a natural healer and helper for neurological functioning. It is a highly stimulating stone for the pineal gland, located behind the Forehead Chakra. The pineal gland produces hormones that affect ones sleeping pattern. Sleeping with the stone beside you can regulate sleeping patterns and has been known to relieve insomnia.
Named in the 14th century, this green form of beryl takes its colour from the presence of chrome in the stone. It is probably the most valuable of all precious stones. Known from as early as 2,000 BC, the emerald was very popular with the ancient Egyptians. It was named the fourth foundation stone in the wall of the new Jerusalem. It was said to heal inflammation, was used as an antiseptic and even used to cure major infections such as the plague, by rubbing the stone on a sore. The jewel of Venus, Roman goddess of love and beauty, emerald is known as a stone of successful loveù and is said to promote domestic bliss and to instil both sensitivity and loyalty in oneself as well as in others. It aids fertility, growth, honesty and self-discovery and is thought to be helpful if you are feeling vulnerable in a relationship. The emerald is said to solve complex problems by stimulating the brain and memory. It is considered to be an antidote for poison and to heal diseases of the eye and improve eyesight as well as being good for bones and teeth. Emerald is used as a cure-all, strengthening the heart, liver, kidneys and immune system and vitalising and toning the body and mind. It can be used to improve memory and to stimulate the use of greater mental capacity. Emerald is the birthstone for May, symbolising love and success, and the zodiac gem for Cancer (22 June to 22 July).
Derived from the Latin word to flowù as the mineral was easily melted and used as a flux in metalwork. The most common colour we see is translucent to transparent purple, white and/or green ì especially in the material from China or Mexico used for jewellery. It is an important industrial mineral with many uses such as in the manufacture of refrigeration gas, non-stick coatings, toothpaste, and fluxes for the metal industry. The stone is popular with cutters and collectors as it also comes in bright colours such as yellow and blue ì as well as more common greens and purples. It is a soft stone that can easily be scratched. An extremely soothing stone helping in concentration and learning, it allows the body to operate at maximum efficiency. Well known in medicine for strengthening the bones and especially the enamel of teeth.
The word Fossil comes from the Latin word fossilis, which is translated to ‘obtained by digging’. There are many forms of fossils, all sorts of creatures and plant life dated back millions of years ago. Some of the ones we love are mentioned below. Ammonites, an extinct group of marine life that are closely related to the Coleoidea (soft-bodied sea creatures), such as squids and cuttlefish. They are prized not only for their aesthetic, a typical spiral shell formation which is often beautifully polished, but scientific value as well. Trilobites, meaning ‘three lobes’, which is due to their bodies having three longitudinal lobes, the head, body and tail. They are from the group Arthropod, all of which have exoskeletons and became extinct shortly after dinosaurs, dating back as far as 250 million years ago. Orthoceras, translated to ‘long horn’ is from the group Cephalopod ‘head-feet’. An exclusively marine animal with a prominent head and a set of arms or tentacles. The fossils show off an elongated shell which is often in limestone. Shark teeth, many different species of sharks teeth come from Morocco. The most popular being from the Carcharocles chubutensis, which are large averaging to about the size of a medium-sized hand, and the Carcharocles Megalodon, these are sandy brown to white and a lot smaller in size. Both these varieties are direct ancestors of the Megalodon.
Derived from the Latin word (14th century) for pomegranate ì as garnets were thought to resemble the seeds of this fruit ì this is a brittle and more or less transparent silicate mineral. The term garnet covers a wide variety of chemically different stones of varying colours. The best-known garnets are the dark red varieties which have been used for thousands of years and were particularly fashionable during the Victorian era. Garnets have been valued as sacred stones by the Native American Indians, the Aztecs, the African tribal elders and the Mayans. Statues of Isis, the Egyptian nature goddess, often included garnets in her ceremonial belt, probably representing her blood and power. The loving powers of garnet tend to reflect the attributes of devotion and it is strongly associated with the balancing of the sex drive and emotional disharmony, bringing love, compassion and enhanced imagination. Associated with love and passion, the garnet has been known as a stone of commitmentù ì to purpose, to others and to oneself. The stone has been used in the treatment of toxicity, mental depression, heart trouble, inflammation and an underactive thyroid. Garnet is the birthstone for January, symbolizing constancy, and the zodiac gem for Aquarius (21 January to 18 February).
A man-made glass originally produced in Venice in the 17th Century, goldstone is now produced in China. Fine particles of copper give the stone its sparkly effect. Generally a red-brown colour, it is now also produced in blue and other colours. This material is one of the best synthetics used in the manufacture of jewellery and carvings. It is said to provide strength, creativity and self-confidence in one’s actions. Help reduce migraines and visual disturbances, assists the flow of blood, helps to detoxify the system and assists in the recovery from surgery or intensive chemical therapies. A magical stone for children will help them lose the fear of darkness as they hold a piece of the starry sky.
A man-made glass originally produced in Venice in the 17th Century, goldstone is now produced in China. Fine particles of copper give the stone its sparkly effect. Generally a red-brown colour, it is now also produced in blue and other colours. This material is one of the best synthetics used in the manufacture of jewellery and carvings. It is said to provide strength, creativity and self-confidence in one’s actions. Help reduce migraines and visual disturbances, assists the flow of blood, helps to detoxify the system and assists in the recovery from surgery or intensive chemical therapies. A magical stone for children will help them lose the fear of darkness as they hold a piece of the starry sky.
Around 50 AD, Pliny called this variety of iron ore Haematatis meaning blood redù on account of the colour of the powder or perhaps the water coloured by the dust after cutting and crushing the stone. High-quality Haematite ore is black, as is the jewellery made from it. In its purest form, it appears as glittering black crystal plates known as Specularite. Haematite has been called a stone for the mindù, helping one to sort out troubling issues on one’s mind. It can be helpful in the enhancement of mental attunement, memory, original thinking and technical knowledge. Although this stone stimulates mental capability, it also produces a calming influence. Dispelling self-limiting concepts promotes the realisation of one’s full potential. It is also capable of helping the body to remain cool; placed on the forehead it will draw out the heat from a fever. Haematite can be used in the treatment of leg cramps, anaemia, nervous disorders and insomnia and is said to increase resistance to stress. It has been known to assist in spinal alignment and in the healing of fractures. Placing pieces of Haematite on the base of the spine, on the area of misalignment and on the top of the spine is said to aid in the adjustment of the vertebrae. Although it is traditionally used in jewellery for mourning, it is today found combined with pearls in fashion jewellery.
A white opaque calcium borate with grey/black veining. The best-known locality is outside Los Angeles but the area has now become residential. Over the last 20 years, the material has become substituted by white magnesite from Zimbabwe similar in appearance which is now (although incorrectly) also known as Howliteù. Both materials look similar and both accept a dye easily. Howlite increases the ability to improve and strengthen memory and desire for knowledge. Said to assist in the growth and healing of bones and teeth and tissue on account of its calcium content. Helps balance the calcium levels. It is also an aid to dietary problems such as for overweight and anorexia. Used by those suffering from insomnia or fear of sleeping in the dark. When carried in one’s pocket, it helps to calm anger and soothe emotions.
The name Hypersthene is derived from the Greek word meaning “over strength”, which attributes to it being harder than hornblende, a mineral it is often confused with. Usually, a solid black colour, when Hypersthene catches the light it shows off unique silky reflections which can look like parallel stripes, this is referred to as chatoyancy. Hypersthene is known as a problem-solving stone and helps teach us to focus not on the problems we have, but on the solutions, we must find in order to eliminate these issues. For those of us who can be critical or judgmental towards others, Hypersthene will assist us in overcoming this. Inner strength and an open mind will be promoted by this beautiful gem. It will provide us with a positive attitude and confidence to achieve higher success in business.
Iolite is the gem-quality variety of Cordierite. The name Iolite is derived from the Greek word ‘ios’ meaning violet, although the sapphire-blue Iolite is the most common it is not limited to this and is also found in light gold to honey yellow colour. It has also been given the name ‘dichroite’, a Greek word that roughly translates to “two-coloured rock”. When observed from different angles, especially in polarized light, Iolite is a deep blue and then again clear and colourless from another angle, this optical phenomenon is known as pleochroism. The “Vikings Compass” is another interesting name for Iolite, when travelling on overcast days, the gem would help determine the direction of the light helping lead the way. A popular reference for Iolite is “water-sapphire”.Copious amounts of Cordierite are found in Australia, Brazil and Sri Lanka. However, the largest Iolite was found, weighing more than an incredible 24,000 carats, in Wyoming, US. Iolite works best on the Third Eye Chakra. A stone of vision, intuition and spiritual growth. Iolite is said to aid addictions such as alcoholism and can help to regenerate the liver and detoxify the body. When used in conjunction with Amethyst, Iolite can help one maintain sobriety. Thought to be helpful too, for any problems with the eyes, nose and easing a headache.
Technically there are two minerals comprising jade: jadeite (which is normally white to pale green, but sometimes bright green ì imperial jade ì or even blue/grey or pink) and nephrite from the Spanish (1657) piedra de la ijada, literally meaning lion stone from the belief that jade cures renal colic. Jade was used in ancient times for weapons, utensils and ornaments. It is one of the toughest minerals known and was probably the most revered stone in Ancient China, representing the five cardinal virtues of charity, modesty, courage, justice and wisdom. Almost all Chinese wore a piece of jade in one form or another to protect the wearer from illness and accidental injury. It was used by ancient primitive tribes as a sacred stone, assisting them in access to the spiritual worlds. Old writings suggest it protects the wearer from kidney problems and brings good luck in games of chance. It is a soft gentle stone and is believed to promote long and prosperous life. It is good for flexibility and tolerance a stone of friendship. Taken in a drink, jade can strengthen the muscles, harden the bones, calm the mind and purify the blood. It soothes, heals and balances, is good for asthma and heart, kidney and bladder problems.
A form of opaque, usually patterned, chalcedony which is found in massive formations. The mineral is usually stained by impurities and occurs in various colours such as red, green, brown or yellow. The popular red variety is fine-grained quartz, coloured by inclusions of haematite. The colours may be arranged in bands of red or a mottled mixture of many different patterns and colours. It was named in the 14th century. From ancient times this hard and durable gemstone was cherished for its beauty and mystical properties. The jasper mentioned in the Bible as one of the stones in the breastplate of the ancient high priest and in the wall of the New Jerusalem is believed to have been a dark green, opalescent stone. Jasper is believed to bring good health as well as courage and wisdom in undertakings involving risk. Because of its physical properties, engravers of ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt carved this stone into exquisite cameos, intaglios and scarabs. Jasper was considered a sacred stone by the Native American Indians. The jasper containing a yellow colour was used to assist and protect during times of travel (spiritual and physical), that contained the red colour was thought to induce health and rebirth, bringing fresh ideas to the holder and that containing the blue colour was used to connect one with the afterù worlds. Jasper can be used in the treatment of tissue deterioration of the internal organs and for disorders of the kidneys, spleen, bladder, liver and stomach. It can also be used to treat the loss of the sense of smell and is thought to soothe the nerves.
Also known as Gagatù, this is a fossilized form of bituminous wood which has not yet been silicified. It is very soft and easy to carve and was extensively worked in factories in the late 1800s especially in England and Germany. Today, most material is mined in Russia and Mongolia and it has made a resurgence in the fashion market. In the late 19th Century it was a popular accessory with the black clothing worn by the women of that time. Its origins go back to the Bronze Age (necklaces and bracelets containing jets have been found with other valuables in ancient burial sites). When burnt, it gives off a vile odour and is known as the Stone of Saturn. Black symbolizes resilience, self-control and preservation and is meant to dispel fearful thoughts and to protect the wearer against illness, disease and violence.
Although strictly speaking, Kunzite is the pink-lilac variety of Spodumene, other colours vary from white to yellow and green. The latter is referred to as Hiddenite. The colour in Kunzite is always stronger when looking through the C axis. The main sources are Brazil, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Kunzite is known as the Woman’s Stoneù and is said to relieve hormonal problems and ease pre and post-natal depression. It is said to strengthen the heart muscle and circulation, relaxes muscles, relieves tension headaches and because of its high lithium content, it is a remedy for nervous disorders.
A gemstone quality aluminium silicate, the word Kyanite derives from the Greek word ‘Kuanos’ meaning ‘deep blue’. The blue variety of Kyanite is the most common but other colours such as black, green, orange, indigo, white and rarely pink have been found. Similar to that of Cat’s Eye and Tigers Eye, Kyanite shows off lustrous reflections when turned, which is called chatoyancy. Kyanite is often seen in jewellery form but is also used in the production of industrial products such as mortars, brake shoe lining, pottery and electronic ceramics to mention a few. A strong healing stone, Kyanite can be used on all chakras. Especially beneficial for the higher chakras assisting with spiritual growth, intuition and lucid dreaming. Kyanite promotes clarity and clear communication. It is said to be a useful remedy for sore throats, headaches and help one maintain healthy blood pressure.
A type of feldspar with an uninteresting background colour but displaying an iridescence which gives the stone its value. The background colour is a dark smoke grey, but when light strikes it in a particular direction, it displays striking rainbow-coloured reflections (peacock blue, coppery red or dusky gold) known as labradorescence. The name derives (1814) from its main source, the Labrador peninsula in Canada. Labradorite is thought by some to symbolize the moon and the sun and has, in fact, been found to be a constituent of moon rock. Feldspar, and therefore labradorite, assists one to progress from old ways, encouraging unconventional and exciting new methods to attain one’s goals. Labradorite can also assist one to handle changes, promoting strength and perseverance. It has been known as the matriarch of the subconscious mind, facilitating the transformation of intuition into intellectual thought. It is said to be helpful in the treatment of disorders of the brain, to stimulate mental acuity and reduce anxiety and stress. It can assist in digestion, regulation and metabolism and has been used to clarify the eyes. Labradorite is Saturday’s gemstone.
A rich azure-blue in colour, lapis lazuli is a combination of minerals, primarily lazurite and Alcite, often with spangles of iron pyrites. The name comes from the Arabic word Lazaward (14th century) from which the English word azureù comes. The best quality lapis lazuli comes from Afghanistan, where it has been mined since antiquity. In 1271 Marco Polo discovered old Lapis mines in Afghanistan and from there it was exported to Germany, China, Russia and India. The ancient Egyptians, who often used it for their seals, probably also obtained their supplies from Afghanistan. It is a royal stone and was revered both in ancient Egypt and in Jewish history, as it was probably the òsapphire on the high priest’s breastplate. It was used in Egypt to temper the ill effects of acts on incest, like pharaohs, the rulers of ancient Egypt customarily married their eldest sister. For centuries powdered Lapis was used as a pigment in oil paintings. It was a favourite jewellery stone, said to promote friendship and goodwill and to guard against oppression and evil. It is also known as the stone of truth and integrity and is thought to enhance wisdom, inner vision and mental clarity. It can help one to overcome depression, enhancing feelings of serenity and self-acceptance, and is said to bring success in relationships and cheer to the user. Lapis can be used in the treatment of disorders of the throat, bone marrow, thymus and immune system and can help to relieve insomnia and dizziness. Lapis lazuli is one of the birthstones for December (with turquoise), symbolizing prosperity.
An attractive pastel blue and greenstone with white, also known as Blue Pectolite and supplied from the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean. It is relatively soft and was first named in 1916. Larimar represents peace and emotional harmony, helps to dispel anger and controls emotions, especially feelings of guilt. It is a stimulant for the heart, third eye, crown and especially the throat Chakra. It enables spiritual and psychological challenges to be met with a clear mind and confidence. Larimar is a calming stone carried at home to create a peaceful family environment and at work for clear rational thinking.
Lava said to be derived from the Latin word ‘Labes’ which translates to, “to fall”, is a form of molten rock that has been expelled by a volcano and becomes solidified once cooled after an eruption. Lava makes up the core of some planets including earth and in its liquid state reaches temperatures as hot as 1,200∞C. Often dark charcoal grey to black in colour, Lava has an interesting matt surface that is rough and nobly. It is incredibly light in weight and some substances even float on water. When Lava is cooled more rapidly, this is all dependent on the nature and whereabouts of the eruption, it forms Obsidian which is a volcanic glass. Lava stone was used quite extensively around the 17th to 18th century by talented masonries in Sicily, Italy for decorative and dramatic brickwork during the Baroque period. Although carrying gentle energy, Lava provides a strong sense of stability, strength and courage. It is a great help in assisting one with changes in life, bringing confidence and a positive attitude when taking on challenges. Since it comes straight from the earth fiery core Lava keeps one protected and grounded. Especially useful for the Root Chakra. Lava has been used in ancient times as a remedy for poor libido and infertility, as well as bringing one out of a depressive and self-destructive state.
Normally found as a pale lilac rock in massive pegmatites, this mineral is often associated with pink Tourmaline, Spodumene and Mica. Pink, Lepidolite-rich Mica can consist of very fine layers so compact that it looks like a solid piece of lilac stone. The pink colour is associated with the heart and purple with the brain used to soothe and clear either-or to bring peace between the two when in conflict with each other. A piece of Lepidolite under one’s pillow is said to clear the mind and assist in sleep. A strong healing mineral reducing the dependency on medicines, drugs and alcohol, it activates the heart and throat chakra.
Magnetite is a black oxide of iron in the spinel group and is also known in the gemstone trade as Lodestone. The colour range includes iron black and pale brown and the stone is strongly magnetic. It is found both in dark octahedral crystals and in amorphous lumps and can be attracted by a magnet from surrounding rubble. The name dates back to 1851. It is said that in 2634 BC the Chinese emperor Huang-it constructed a compass with the aid of magnetite and that in twelfth-century Europe the Vikings were using it for magnetic needles. Because of its magnetic power, it has been called the Hercules Stoneù. In days past it was particularly popular with men who used it to retain and strengthen virility. Throughout history, magnetite has been credited with the ability to cure rheumatism, general weakness, liver disorders, eye diseases, fractures, leg cramps, neuralgia and barrenness in women. Today it is also used to correct spinal damage caused by bad posture. Magnetite is said to promote tenacity, durability and endurance and to provide the answers required to get out of undesirable situations by enabling one to view things from a distance.
(Also see Howlite)All the material on the market over the last 20-years has come from Zimbabwe either cauliflower-shaped nuggets (known as Turqureniteù when dyed to look like Turquoise) or in massive white form with grey blotching (incorrectly known as Howliteù, especially when dyed blue). High in magnesium, this stone treats bone and teeth disorders. It helps prevent heart diseases by dispensing cholesterol, has a calming effect on nervous and stressed people, and stimulates new ideas and positive thoughts.
Magnetite is a black oxide of iron in the spinel group and is also known in the gemstone trade as Lodestone. The colour range includes iron black and pale brown and the stone is strongly magnetic. It is found both in dark octahedral crystals and in amorphous lumps and can be attracted by a magnet from surrounding rubble. The name dates back to 1851. It is said that in 2634 BC the Chinese emperor Huang-it constructed a compass with the aid of magnetite and that in twelfth-century Europe the Vikings were using it for magnetic needles. Because of its magnetic power, it has been called the Hercules Stoneù. In days past it was particularly popular with men who used it to retain and strengthen virility. Throughout history, magnetite has been credited with the ability to cure rheumatism, general weakness, liver disorders, eye diseases, fractures, leg cramps, neuralgia and barrenness in women. Today it is also used to correct spinal damage caused by bad posture. Magnetite is said to promote tenacity, durability and endurance and to provide the answers required to get out of undesirable situations by enabling one to view things from a distance
The name derives from the Greek (14th century) Malakhe, meaning “mallow”, a plant similar in colour. A carbonate of copper, malachite is opaque and always green. It has a striking colour stratification, varying from bright green to a very dark, even blackish green. The “stripes” are generally curved according to the outer surface of the stone. As far back as the Bronze Age, malachite was used for ornaments and jewellery but was also melted down to produce copper. It was highly valued for many centuries in Eastern Europe as an ornamental stone, especially in veneered form for tables and boxes. Malachite was also used in the treatment of cholera, colic, growths and other internal ailments. It is thought to stimulate instinctive and intuitive reasoning, promoting change that facilitates advancement. It is said to represent fidelity in love and friendship, loyalty in partnerships, and practicality and responsibility in business transactions. Malachite is helpful in the treatment of eye-sight problems, toothache, vertigo and menstrual disorders. It is thought to protect against and can be used in treating asthma, arthritis, rheumatism, tumours, growths, broken bones and torn muscles.
Moldavite belongs to the Tektite Group. Generally rough in shape in a pleasing green with a scarred surface and bubble-looking indentations. The most widely accepted theory behind the origin of moldavite is that it was formed by sand and rock particles melting as they shot through the atmosphere after a very large meteorite crashed into the earth’s surface. Everything around it vaporized except the minerals which boiled and came back as meteorite showers with the pull of gravity. Moldavite is found mainly in the Czech Republic and is one of the rarest varieties of Tektites. It was formed over 15 million years ago and is the only known “gem quality” stone of so-called “extra-terrestrial” origin. The mineral directs channelling and serves as a powerful tool for spiritual development and awareness. It is one of the most powerful of the “New Age” stones and facilitates the strong and clear connection between one’s consciousness and the higher planes of spiritual enlightenment. Moldavite works best for the third eye, the throat chakra and in the area of the crown chakra. It also acts as a healing balm for deep longings to “go home”. It helps one to understand one’s true purpose in life. Moldavite is a good healer where physical illness is caused by pollution (e.g. Asthma) and where cigarette smoking is a problem.
A form of opaque, usually patterned, chalcedony which is found in massive formations. The mineral is usually stained by impurities and occurs in various colours such as red, green, brown or yellow. The popular red variety is fine-grained quartz, coloured by inclusions of haematite. The colours may be arranged in bands of red or a mottled mixture of many different patterns and colours. It was named in the 14th century. From ancient times this hard and durable gemstone was cherished for its beauty and mystical properties. The jasper mentioned in the Bible as one of the stones in the breastplate of the ancient high priest and in the wall of the New Jerusalem is believed to have been a dark green, opalescent stone. Jasper is believed to bring good health as well as courage and wisdom in undertakings involving risk. Because of its physical properties, engravers of ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt carved this stone into exquisite cameos, intaglios and scarabs. Jasper was considered a sacred stone by the Native American Indians. The jasper containing a yellow colour was used to assist and protect during times of travel (spiritual and physical), that contained the red colour was thought to induce health and rebirth, bringing fresh ideas to the holder and that containing the blue colour was used to connect one with the afterù worlds. Jasper can be used in the treatment of tissue deterioration of the internal organs and for disorders of the kidneys, spleen, bladder, liver and stomach. It can also be used to treat the loss of the sense of smell and is thought to soothe the nerves.
A transparent or translucent feldspar of pearly or opaline lustre, named in 1632. the best moonstones, clear with a silky or blue sheen, or “adularescence” as this play of light is known, came from Burma and Sri Lanka, but are now rare. Once called the “traveller’s stone”, moonstone was used for protection against dangers of travel. It was also a talisman of good fortune and was said to keep that which was clear to one closer. According to legend, the brightness of moonstone increases as the new moon becomes full and Indians consider it sacred as it is believed that one can see into the future if the stone is held in the mouth when the moon is full. It is a “feeling” stone, enhancing understanding via intuition and emotion rather than via intellectual reasoning. It can be helpful in alleviating emotional tension and enhancing creativity and self-expression. it is said to promote ease in pregnancy and childbirth, to relieve the symptoms of pre-menstrual stress and change of life and to eliminate insomnia (an ancient remedy). Moonstone is one of the birthstones for June (with pearl and alexandrite), symbolizing health and longevity, and is Monday’s gemstone.
Mother of Pearl also known as Nacre is valued as a gemstone although it is not actually a mineral, but an organic gem. The smooth, iridescent substance is formed from the inside of a shell. Often Abalone shells and Oysters. In ancient times Mother of Pearl was among the first materials used to create decorative items such as boxes, jewellery, ceremonial items and even plates and bowls. To this day Mother of pearl is used to create many beautiful items one of which is a spoon-like utensil for caviar, so as not to spoil the taste with metal spoons. Mother-of-pearl is said to bring prosperity, intuition and faith. It has soothing and gentle energy, especially with young children. Children who are hyperactive and suffer from learning disorders will benefit from this material as it will bring calmness to a restless mind, relieve stress and bring focus. It is also a very protective gem, like a protective mother it will ward off negative thoughts and energies. Can also be helpful with fertility and promote healthy lactation when breastfeeding.
Obsidian is lustrous volcanic glass formed in the flaming core of the earth and transported to the surface in volcanic eruptions. Also called lava glass, obsidian is fairly fragile. Although the colour range and related names are varied, it is generally deep black, black with white flecks (snowflake obsidian), dark green or brown. The name derives from Obsianus Lapis (1601) meaning the stone of Obsius, its supposed discoverer. Obsidian was a valued trading material amongst North American Indian tribes who used it to make arrowheads and to deepen their insight during rituals and celebrations. Obsidian is a protective stone, calming internal and external energies and shielding one from the causes of physical and emotional harm as well as negativity. Because of its ability to bring people “down to earth”, it is a useful stone for those who become lost in daydreams. In addition to stimulating digestion, obsidian is thought to strengthen the skin, hair, nails, bones and spine. Snowflake obsidian, probably the most popular, is the black obsidian with inclusions of a white material (phenocryst) whose structure when polished resembles a snowflake. Snowflake obsidian is thought to promote sensitivity to the most vital powers in the universe – love and beauty. A “stone of purity”, it brings balance and purity to the body, mind and spirit. it can be used to smooth the skin and to clear the eyes as well as in the treatment of disorders of the veins and skeletal structure.
A translucent chalcedony usually consisting of straight, parallel bands and coloured black and white in alternating layers (14th century). Onyx is said to have been one of the stones used in the breastplate of the ancient high priest. For hundreds of years, it was carved to produce cameos as the contrast between the different coloured layers heightened the relief. It has been used to alleviate grief, promote self-control and wise decision making and bring happiness and good fortune. It is considered to be useful in the treatment of heart trouble, ear/hearing problems, watery eyes, hair problems and disorders related to bone marrow. It is thought to relieve stress by enhancing self-control and inspiring serenity. Onyx is the zodiac gemstone for Leo (23 July to 22 August).
A quartz mineral valued for its iridescence and showing variations in colour from white to black and in transparency from transparent to opaque. Numerous types are known, but usually, only the transparent and translucent varieties are used as gems. Opals contain between 1% and 21% water. The name derives from the Latin word Opalus meaning “stone” or “jewel” (14th century). The ancients believed that the storm god, jealous of the beauty of the rainbow god, broke the rainbow and that pieces of the rainbow falling to the earth became a part of the opal. In spite of the superstition that it brings bad luck, opal has been used as a gemstone for many centuries. In the Middle Ages, blonde maidens valued opal necklaces as they believed they helped their hair to keep its colour. Opals were also believed to help women to relax during childbirth. The native American Indians and the Australian Aborigines have used opal to invoke visions and it is known as a “stone of happy dreams and changes”. it is thought to disperse infections and alleviate fever, purify the blood and the kidneys, regulate insulin production and improve eyesight. Opal is one of the birthstones for October (with tourmaline), symbolizing hope.
Opal glass is also known as Opalite, is a man-made gemstone that was first produced in Venice during the 16th century. It has been used to create a wide variety of objects such as carvings, jewellery, dinnerware, lamps and vases. It comes in a variety of colours; pink, green, yellow, white and the most popular today is opaque to translucent blue. Opal glass signifies purity, even physically purifying the blood and kidneys. Other healing uses include easing childbirth, stress, fevers, infections and stabilizes mood swings. Opalite is also a stone for communication and attracting positive light and energy into one’s life.
Pearls are valued as gemstones although they are not actually minerals, but organic gems. They are the result of a minute particle of foreign matter, such as a fine grain of sand, entering the shell of a mollusc and being coated with the same material that covers the inside of the shell (called nacre, or mother-of-pearl). Eventually, the grain of sand is transformed into a pearl. There is a wide colour range including white, black, grey, pinkish-white, and yellow-white. The name dates back to the 14th century. Many explanations for the origins of pearls were advanced in earlier times, some of them very poetic. According to the old Eastern legend, quoted by the ancient scholar Pliny, oysters rose to the surface of the sea beneath the moon’s rays, opened their shells and were fertilized by drops of dew. It was not until the 15th century that a Dutch scholar recognized the true origin of pearls. Today most pearls are “cultured” – the same kind of oyster is used in a controlled environment to produce the pearls. A round bead or a chip of the Mother-of-Pearl shell is introduced into the oyster which reacts by coating nacre over the foreign body to form a pearl. Because the pearl is formed as the direct result of irritation, it is thought to hold the key to how we can overcome oppression and pain, an example of how to turn insignificant into the sublime and beautiful. the pearl is thought to signify faith, charity and innocence and to enhance personal integrity. It has been used in the treatment of digestive disorders and is thought to increase fertility and ease childbirth. The pearl is one of the birthstones for June (with moonstone and alexandrite), symbolizing health and longevity.
The gem variety of the mineral olivine, usually green and yellow-green, was named (1706) from an old French term of unknown origin. Generally, the greener type tends to be called peridot and the yellower type, chrysolite. Although known in biblical times, the source of peridot was the subject of great speculation until the 19th century. One theory was that the gems were from meteorites containing olivine found in Mediterranean countries. it was only early this century that the ancient source was discovered to be the island of Zebirget (known in English as St. John Island) on the Egyptian shore of the Red Sea. Peridot (or olivine, as it is also known) is said to have been one of the stones used in the breastplate of the ancient high priest. It is thought to reduce stress, accelerate personal growth, stimulate the mind and open new doors of opportunity and abundance while banishing lethargy and laziness. it can also help to heal a “bruised” ego by controlling anger or jealousy. It is a good antitoxin stone, cleaning most organs and glands, and an excellent healing stone, acting as a “tonic” to strengthen and regenerate the body. Peridot has been used in the treatment of ulcers and disorders of the heart, lungs, spleen and intestinal tract. It has also been used in the birthing process, thought to stimulate contractions and facilitate the opening of the birth canal. Peridot is one of the birthstones for August (with sardonyx), symbolizing married happiness.
Pietersite is found only in Namibia in gem quality and to a lesser extent (and quality) in China. It is formed from asbestos, the same family as the tiger’s eye with the same fibrous structure. However, whereas the tigers’ eye fibres run in one direction, in Pietersite there is no particular formation or direction as the varying shades of golden brown, orange, blue, silver and grey all interact. Flashes of chatoyancy are seen when the stone is rotated. Also known as Tempest Stone, it is a great energizer on physical, mental and spiritual levels. it promotes the attitude that anything is possible and assists in finding the energy to achieve one’s goals.
The classical colour is light apple green (from South Africa) but the material which is attractive yellow to yellow-green (from Australia) and yellow-green with dark Epidot needles (from central Africa), is now also on the market. Named after Governor Prehn who discovered it in South Africa in the 19th century, this material usually crystallizes in a nodular form on other materials such as chalcedony, basalt or limestone. A rarer crystallized form is in bright green plates. A good Feng Shui stone for bringing order to a cluttered household, encouraging the letting go of possessions. It enhances the visualization process and encourages deeper levels of meditation and dreams. A healing stone for disorders of the bladder, kidneys and bloodstream.
A common mineral consisting of iron disulphide found in blocks, gravel and crystals, pyrite is a pale brass-yellow or golden-yellow colour with a metallic lustre. The paler coloured variety found in unusually shaped crystals is known as Marcasite. Named in 1588. Plates of polished pyrite have been found in old Inca caves, and although assumed by some to be mirrored, these plates may have been used for their mystical powers. Because of its golden sparkle, pyrite was sometimes mistaken for gold by inexperienced prospectors causing it to become known as “fool’s gold” around 1872. Pyrite is thought to be a very protective stone, helping to ward off negative vibrations on the physical and emotional levels. Simply having a piece of pyrite in one’s possession can shield one from physical danger. thought to symbolize the warmth and lasting presence of the sun, this stone encourages the recall of warm and happy memories of love and friendship. Pyrite is believed to promote the discovery of hidden talents and to be a useful stone for those who are indecisive. The stone has been helpful in treating bronchitis, disorders of the lungs, tonsillitis influenza as well as in reducing fevers and inflammation.
A mineral consisting essentially of manganese carbonate, rhodochrosite is most commonly found in ore veins and sedimentary deposits of pyrite and manganese ores. It is generally light to dark pink with white stripes and veins. The name derives (1836) from the Greek word Rhodocros, meaning rose coloured. Sacred for the Incas, rhodochrosite was known as “Inca stone”. It has also been called a “stone of love and balance” and is thought to awaken a need to give and receive tenderness and love. It is said to promote creativity and reduce tendencies towards avoidance or denial, helping one to accept and integrate new ideas or information. It can help with any problems concerning the heart, both emotional and physical – it is said to be useful for those who wish to heal old emotional wounds and for stabilizing the heart and pulse rate. Rhodochrosite has been useful in treating problems associated with the respiratory tract, digestion, circulation and liver as well as cancer-related diseases and stress situations.
A rose-red manganese silicate, usually veined with streaks of black due to the oxidation of manganese. It is commonly mined in very large blocks. The name comes (1823) from the Greek Rhodon meaning rose. Although mined mainly in British Columbia, Canada, other sources are Australia, China and Madagascar. However, the Russians of earlier years were known for their rhodonite carvings. The sarcophagus of the Russian emperor Alexander II (1818 – 1881) was carved from a single block. Rhodonite has been called a “stone of love”.It is said to help one achieve their greatest potential, to dispel anxiety and promote coherence during chaotic encounters. It has been used in the treatment of emphysema and can also be helpful for inflammation of the joints, light sensitivity, streptococcal throat infections, heart disorders and arthritis.
A clear, transparent form of quartz that has not been coloured by the presence of other minerals. The purestù of all quartzes, crystal is named from the Greek Krystallos (13th century) meaning ice. Because quartz transmits heat it is cool to touch and crystal was originally believed to have been ice that had lost its ability to melt. Quartz crystals have been used for religious purposes since ancient times when priests used them to render negative energy impotent, to destroy black magic and to dissolve enchantments and spells. Quartz is said to have been one of the stones used in the breastplate of the ancient high priest. Quartz crystals have been used extensively by many cultures for diagnostic healing. During the days of the old waysù, people as widely dispersed as Native American Indians, African tribes, Egyptians, Mayans, Aztecs, Australian Aborigines, Romans, Celts, Scots and Tibetan Buddhists relied on quartz crystals to recognize the origin of disease. Romans used crystals to reduce fevers and to relieve pain in medieval times they were held against the tongue to alleviate fever as well as diminish thirst. Numerous healing properties have been ascribed to quartz in general and rock crystal in particular since ancient times and it is, in fact, used more frequently today for healing and diagnosis than any other stone naturopaths, faith healers, Clairvoyant and psychic healers commonly use crystal.
Generally, as the name suggests, a very delicate soft pink, rose quartz is always somewhat milky rather than transparent and varies in colour from an off-white pink to a warm rose-pink colour. The pink colour is created by the inclusion of manganese and sometimes titanium in the quartz rock. Until recently, rose quartz was thought to be found only in massive forms – in large deposits and veins – but it has now also been found in Brazil in small deposits of crystal form. While Namibia and South Africa are the main sources of the stone used today in jewellery and gemstone products, deep pink varieties are also found in Brazil and Madagascar. Some rose quartz specimens are asteriated – that is showing star of light reflected in the stone caused impurities. The early Chinese used rose quartz for carvings of the Goddess of Peace as the colour was thought to reflect her gentleness and wisdom. Today the stone is used extensively in the manufacture of necklaces, pendants and small sculptured ornaments. Its colour is often imitated in glass, but air bubbles – usually clearly visible under a lens – easily prove that it is not genuine. Rose quartz is said to produce restful cooling energy that will restore calmness, balance and clarity to the emotions, and is considered excellent for healing emotional “wounds”. Not surprisingly, because of these properties, it is also used to relieve burns and blisters caused by heat. It is also considered helpful in releasing impurities in the cells of the body, and when placed on the reflex points or the acupuncture/acupressure points for the heart and lungs, it is thought to be particularly beneficial to these organs.
A red form of corundum, second only to diamond in hardness. The red colour is caused by the presence of chrome, and the name derives (14th century) from the Latin Rubrum meaning “red”.Ruby and sapphire, the blue form of corundum, have a very long history of recognition as precious stones. Although it is likely that they were found much earlier, the first written references to ruby deposits come from the 6th century AD and mention Burma which is still the main source. Rubies were worn by Burmese soldiers to protect them against wounds in battle. The ruby is said to have been one of the stones used in the breastplate of the ancient high priest and during the Middle Ages was regarded as the “Lord of gems and the most precious of the twelve stones God created”. It is thought to improve one’s success in controversies, encouraging gentleness and discouraging violence. It has been said that as long as one retains a bit of ruby, wealth will never depart and that it will protect against unhappiness, distressing dreams and lightning. The ruby has been used in the treatment of fever and some heart disorders and can be used to decrease the length of time for toxins and chemicals to exit the body. Ruby is the birthstone for July, symbolizing contentment, and the zodiac gem for Capricorn as well as Wednesday’s gemstone (star ruby).
A mineral (named in 1803) that consists of titanium dioxide, usually with a little iron, rutile is typical of a reddish-brown colour, but sometimes deep red or black, with a brilliant metallic or diamond lustre. In times past, rutile has been said to represent both the lovely hair of Venus and the “sweet-tipped” arrows of love. Because of the belief that it repels negative energy, the stone is thought to be useful for healing – it brings awareness of the reason for a disease so that one is able to correct the problem. Rutile has also been helpful in stabilizing marriages and other relationships as well as emotional and physical imbalances. It has been used in the treatment of bronchitis, to promote lactation and to put a “sparkle” in the eyes.
A transparent rich blue form of corundum named in the 13th century, the blue colour caused by the presence of titanium. The deposits of sapphire in Sri Lanka have a history of several thousand years. In antiquity, the robes of important Indian priests were adorned with sapphires. It is also said to have been the “Stone of Kings”, worn to protect them against harm and to have been one of the stones used in the breastplate of the ancient high priest. Sapphire is said to be helpful in freeing one of the unpleasant or unwanted thoughts and in bringing joy and peace of mind by making one more receptive to beauty and intuition. It has been used in the treatment of disorders of the blood, combating excessive bleeding and strengthening the walls of veins, has relieved insomnia and nervousness and has also been helpful in treating boils. Sapphire is the birthstone for September, symbolizing clear thinking, and the zodiac gem for Taurus (20 April to 20 May), as well as Tuesday’s gemstone (star sapphire).
Named in the 14th century after the ancient city of Sardix (the capital of Lydia, now in Turkey), which was a centre for trade in the mineral, this variety of onyx contains layers of clear red or reddish-brown carnelian alternating with layers of white chalcedony. Sardonyx is said to have been one of the stones used in the breastplate of the ancient high priest and is named as the fifth foundation stone in the wall of the New Jerusalem. It was used widely in early Egyptian days in talismanic rings, seals and cameos and is said to bring happiness in marriage. It is known as the stone of virtueù, thought to stimulate virtuous conduct throughout the many phases of one’s life. It has been used to encourage self-control, diminish hesitation and provide courage, and protect the wearer from poisonous snakes. It has been helpful in the treatment of infection and in the alleviation of pain. Sardonyx is one of the birthstones for August (with peridot), symbolising married happiness.
Selenite is a variety of gypsum. A very soft mineral with a hardness of only 2 to 2.5 on Moh’s Hardness Scale. The name derives from the Greek god, Selene, goddess of the moon, for its moon-like glow. White is the most common colour, but orange or peach colours are becoming popular as well. Selenite is found in every continent in the world but most commercial gems are mined in Morocco, Madagascar, Utah and Mexico, where the mine ‘Cave of Swords’, forms large and beautiful blade-like sheets of Selenite. A light-hearted and gentle stone, Selenite has a direct impact on the emotional body, drawing out blockages and dispelling negative thoughts. To bring a sense of peace to the home, Selenite should be displayed at the entrance of one house giving guests and owners alike a sense of upliftment upon entering. Also said to keep the mind balanced, relieve stress and soothe uneasy breathing.
A very modern discovery that only came onto the market at the turn of the 21st century, Seraphinite is mined in the Lake Baikal area of Eastern Siberia – one of the world’s coldest and most remote areas. The stone is deep green with feathery inclusions of silver-coloured iridescent patterns. A premier healing stone of the New Age, it is the tool most suited for bringing the physical body into line with the universal Light energy. While the green colour gives Seraphinite a special affinity with the Heart Chakra – and thus a powerful gem for the development of compassion – it can also be used on any chakra or any other part of the body to enhance and harmonize energies. This all-around purifier can be used to cleanse auras, chakras and energy meridians, and all healers can benefit from this stone both by wearing it and using it on their clients.
A form of quartz in colours including transparent light grey, brown, dark brown and black, smoky quartz occurs on the massive or crystal form. Dark smoky or black quartz can be created by irradiation of ordinary rock crystals. It was named in 1837. Used in the past in tribal ceremonies to provide protection from negative forces, smoky quartz is still considered to be a protection stone that is thought to provide a barrier of protective energy around the user. The stone is believed to heighten survival instincts and to improve insight in “challenging” activities as well as promoting creativity in business and enhancing perception and learning. Smoky quartz has been useful in the treatment of addictions such as smoking, alcoholism and drugs. It is also thought to be helpful in dealing with fear and mood swings, as well as depression and even schizophrenia. it is a stone with strong healing powers being used to strengthen the skin and connective tissue, the muscular system, and in the treatment of infections and cancer-related diseases. Smoky quartz has also been used to promote personal pride and joy in living.
Sodalite occurs in sodium-rich nepheline – syenite igneous rocks as an attractive blue material often with white streaks. Commercially viable quantities are mined in Brazil and Namibia. The host rock is quarried on a large scale for floor and wall tiles and purer, better grade material goes to the gemstone industry. Sodalite is a member of the feldspathoid group of minerals – whose chemistry is close to that of alkali feldspars but low in silica content. Modern writings refer to its medicinal influence in the thyroid area, the treatment of digestive disorders and beneficial effects on blood pressure. it is said to have a calming effect on the mind especially when decision making is required, bringing clarity and decisiveness to one’s thoughts. Useful in group situations providing a commonality of purpose enhancing the realization of dependence and trust in others.
Spirit Quartz, also known as cactus or porcupine quartz because of its unique formation, is found only in the Magaliesberg Mountains in South Africa. Tiny faceted crystal points surround a single large terminated point. The most common type of Spirit Quartz is a variety that can vary from pale lavender to a deep purple, Amethyst Spirit Quartz. Although Citrine, Smoky and Clear Quartz are also found. Spirit Quartz opens and activates the Crown Chakra helping to align and bring balance to all Chakras. It will encourage insightful, lucid dreams. To improve dream recall keep your Spirit Quartz on your bedside table. A gentle and loving healing stone, this special crystal is said to bring peace, understanding and forgiveness to relationships. By promoting self-love and acceptance, Spirit Quartz will release one from their insecurities, from their anger and frustration. A word to perfectly describes Spirit Quartz is harmony. It is a stone that promotes all factors of love and acceptance, comfort and joy. Spirit Quartz heals one from the inside out, detoxifying the body. It has been especially helpful for skin conditions and allergic reactions. It will revitalize the body and mind bringing new positive energy.
A rose-pink to the red form of quartz. The stone gets its colour from needle-like inclusions of iron oxide. In some cases, these coloured inclusions are so fine and few that they can only be seen by the microscope, and others have so many of these inclusions that the stone itself looks completely pink. Strawberry Quartz is mostly found in Russia and neighbouring regions as well as Brazil. Strawberry Quartz carries all the properties of Clear Quartz or Crystal with enhanced attributes such as unconditional love, gratitude, joy and fulfilment. A gentle and calming stone. Physically this form of quartz heals the heart and lungs.
A recently discovered mineral, sugilite was named after Professor Sugi who discovered it in Japan in 1944. The first discovery of gem-quality Sugilite was made 3200 feet below the ground in Wessels Manganese Mine in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. A single pocket yielded about 10 tons of gem material, and no other sources have yet been discovered. Although sugilite is one of the most popular of the “new age” stones, the best material is very rare and even the lower qualities are limited. The colour ranges from deep purple to light violet, frequently with black flecks. The material is either formed against or mixed with hard Black Manganese from which it cannot always be separated. it is also associated with other Manganese Minerals which causes its variation in colour. Although this stone is a relatively recent discovery, there are few stones with greater healing powers. it has been particularly helpful for those suffering from cancer, immune deficiency and addiction. Because of its strong balancing and nurturing qualities, it is ideal as a protective stone for sensitive people. Sugilite can be used to eliminate hostility, anger, abrasiveness, jealousy, and prejudice – in fact, all negative traits! Thought to be a wonderful stone to wear or carry, it gives one a feeling of being free and encourages confidence and inspiration. Sugilite can be used to relieve headaches as well as soothing all types of discomforts and feelings of disorder simply beholding the stone and allowing the negative energy of the discomfort to be released into the black manganese of the sugilite.
A brilliant variety of oligoclase (a type of feldspar) flecked with minute scales of haematite. The colour range includes grey, green, yellow, brown, orange, pink, peach and red. It usually shows brilliant reflections due to inclusions of haematite or goethite. Some material, e.g. from Oregon USA, has inclusions so fine that the stone is clean enough to facet. More commonly most material from India and Tanzania is opaque with various degrees of orange to red shimmer. In ancient Greece sunstone was thought to represent the sun god, bringing abundance to those who carried or wore it. It was often used as an ornament on goblets and plates and was believed to counteract the effects of poison and enhance strength. In ancient India, it was believed to give protection from the destructive forces of other realms. it was also used by the ancients in the treatment of rheumatism.. one sat in the sun surrounded by a circle of sunstones to achieve relief. Sunstone has been used by the Canadian Indians in rituals of the “medicine wheel” and it has been reported that in these ceremonies during contact with the spirit guides, the stone has emitted a golden glow. It has also been used to moderate fearfulness, reduce stress, enhance vitality and encourage independence and originality. In healing, sunstone has been found useful in the treatment of chronic sore throats, stomach tension and ulcers. it has been helpful in treating cartilage problems suffered by athletes and aching feet and spinal problems have been relieved by physical contact with a large specimen.
This is a variety of Zoisites first promoted and made famous in the 1960s by Tiffany’s in New York. The colour after being enhanced by heat is a beautiful violet-blue and the Crystals can be cut into fair-sized stones and set with precious metals and diamonds. This century the popularity of this beautiful but expensive stone has overtaken most other gemstones. Tanzanite is said to activate the energies of the heart, throat, third eye and crown chakras and unveils the various plains of consciousness allowing communication with the inner worlds. It is said to facilitate one’s understanding of the universe and see beyond the mental barriers inhibiting access into the depths of space and time. Believers in the power of this magical stone use it with confidence for many healing processes. It is said to be especially effective for eye problems, skin disorders and for bringing back out of comas.
Tektites resemble tear-shaped pieces of obsidian but occur far from any volcanoes. they differ in shape, pattern and composition from obsidian, or from any moon rocks. One theory is that they are “glass” meteorites composed of pure silica. The exact nature and origin are, however, still under dispute. They are generally found in small, black, pear-shaped or cylindrical pieces, rounded on the ends and with bubble-like indentations. Tektites have powerful energies – and encourage the accumulation of knowledge and increase insight and comprehension. They increase the memory of desirable events and inhibit the recollections of unfortunate experiences without losing the message of the lessons to be learnt therefrom.
A usually yellow-brown stone (named in 1891) formed from seams of fibrous asbestos which through the ages have been transformed into quartz. Its unique silky reflections, called chatoyancy, are caused by light bouncing back from the asbestos filaments. Unknown to ancients, the tiger’s eye is a relatively recent discovery found in workable quantities in South Africa. It is thought to help eliminate the “blues” and to bring brightness and optimism to the user. It has been used to stimulate wealth and to enhance the stability required to maintain it. Tiger’s eye has a smooth appearance and is said to produce soothing vibrations, bringing calmness in times of turmoil. It has been used in the treatment of asthma, disorders of the eye, the throat and the reproductive system and can also be used to strengthen the alignment of the spinal column and to facilitate the mending of broken bones.
Today the most common and most affordable Topaz is produced in various shades of blue in a laboratory-controlled procedure. Clear natural Topaz, mainly from Brazil, is eradiated to brown colour and then heated to make blue (sold under names such as “Swiss Blue”, “London Blue” and “Sky Blue”). Good natural blue is rare as is the pink “Imperial Topaz”. Other varieties in the market are a smoky “Golden Topaz” and the colourless materials called “Silver Topaz”.In earlier times the name topaz mainly referred to a gemstone now called olivine extracted on an island then known as Topazos or St. John in the Red Sea. It was probably also given to other yellow stones which were indistinguishable from one another without adequate knowledge of chemistry and mineralogy. Topaz is said to have been one of the stones used in the breastplate of the ancient high priest and was the ninth foundation stone in the wall of the new Jerusalem. Topaz is considered quite precious by the African bushmen, being used in ceremonies for healing and for connecting with spirits. the stone is believed to bring health and wealth and to protect the holder against danger. In healing it is said to “activate” the lungs, preventing colds and tuberculosis, to improve eyesight and relieve stress. Some say that if you put a topaz under your pillow at night it will soothe the nerves and energize the body during sleep. Topaz is the birthstone for November, symbolizing fidelity, and the zodiac gem for Sagittarius (22 November to 21 December).
A clear to the milky form of quartz with needle-like black tourmaline inclusions. Also known as Tourmaline Quartz. Found mainly in Brazil. Tourmalated Quartz combines the healing benefits of both quartz and black tourmaline making it an incredibly balanced stone. The soft and soothing energies of the quartz reduce fear and nervousness bringing tranquillity and calmness. The black tourmaline needles provide one with strength and self-confidence, keeping us grounded and providing not only mental but physical protection as well. Thought to be a good stone for the lymphatic and digestive systems. Also helpful in reducing fevers.
Apparently derived from the Sinhalese Turamali (1759) referring to mixed-colour gems of unknown identity, this is a stone of variable colour that makes a striking gem when transparent and cut. the pink (rubellite), blue (indicolite) and the more common green are the most popular varieties. Judging from excavations and written descriptions, its diversity of colour made the tourmaline very popular as a precious stone in ancient times. it was valued as a “teller stone” in ancient Eastern Indian culture, providing insight during times of struggle and “telling” who and/or what was the cause of trouble. It has been used by shamans among the African, Native American and Aboriginal tribes and is thought to bring healing powers to the user and to provide protection from danger. Tourmaline can stimulate communication and cooperation between opposing forces and has been used to encourage self-confidence and reduce fear and nervousness by promoting understanding. it is a tranquil, calming stone thought to be good for the lymphatic and digestive systems. Tourmaline is one of the birthstones for October (with opal), signifying hope.
A pale blue, greenish-blue or pale green opaque gemstone, sometimes permeated with brown stains from iron compounds. The sky-blue variety, often referred to as robin’s egg is the form most desired for jewellery. Turquoise was named in the 14th century. The name of the gem apparently relates to the fact that it was brought to Europe from the Eastern Mediterranean by Levantine traders, generally known as Turks. Found in neckwear and bracelets recovered from old Egyptian tombs, it has been valued as an ornament since ancient times. Native American Indians valued it as a protective stone as well as a bestower of goodness and used it extensively to bring rain. It is sacred to the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico, symbolising strength and power. In ancient times it was used to heal eye problems, especially cataracts, and in medieval times it was used as a cure for malaria and heart complaints. It is still considered by many to be a master healer and is said to help in the absorption of nutrients, strengthening the entire anatomy and stimulating tissue regeneration. It is particularly good for the throat and lungs, and because of its high copper content, is a conductor for healing and good for rheumatism and arthritis. The stone is believed to enhance creative expression, peace of mind, communication, friendship and loyalty. Turquoise is one of the birthstones for December (with lapis lazuli), symbolizing prosperity.
While generally thought of as a deep-green in colour, Verdite is found in an almost infinite variety of shades of green, sometimes mottled with yellow, red, white and light-green patches. The only known deposits of this relatively soft stone are found in South Africa in the Barberton district where the first gold in the country was discovered and where some of the world’s oldest outcrops of rocks, 3500 million years old, can be found. Verdite holds a great place in African life, both ancient and modern, as a stone used to produce traditional animal and other ornamental carvings and as an ingredient in preparations for improving fertility. Verdite is considered a good medium to assist in linking with the spiritual world. It is believed to cleanse the blood, reduce toxicity and improve oxygenation within the body. It is also thought to soften abrasive character traits and – not surprisingly, considering its value in African fertility – to treat genital disorders.
Found in a variety of forms including a pink ornamental stone (Thulite) a bright green stone with black inclusions of Amphibole and red opaque rubies (Ruby in Zoisite) and colourless to grey, brown with crystals (Tanzanite). Ruby in Zoisite, also known as Anyolite from the Masai word for green, is found near Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in massive form. It’s in demand as a carving and ornamental stone in which the Ruby crystals from a pinhead to first size can be highlighted. Because of differences in hardness (Onsite is 6 and Ruby 9 on Mohs’ Scale), it is difficult to work and is only tackled by specialized craftsmen – making it expensive. It helps to achieve altered states of consciousness and to stimulate and energize mental processes. It improves awareness of our individuality without losing sight of our societal role. The combination of Ruby in Zoisite has a stabilizing effect on the heartbeat and assists in the treatment of cardiac disorders. It calms the body and channels energy towards logical thinking.
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