mollusk with a shell that is iridescent on the inside; abalone is one source of
mother of pearl.
more about Abalone.
A dense, fine-grained variety of gypsum (calcium sulfate) that is sometimes transluscent,
streaked or mottled and often resembles white marble and onyx. It is also called
Mexican onyx, Algerian onyx, Gibraltar stone and oriental alabaster, depending
on where it was mined. It has historically been quarried in England, Italy, Algeria,
Egypt, Iran, and Mexico. In the United States there are important sources
in Colorado, Utah and Arizona.
Alabaster, or Translucent Orange Alabaster
A striking color is
semi-translucent to opaque salmon orange.
tree sap. Although amber is not a mineral, it is classified as a gemstone. Most
of the world's amber is 30-90 million years old. It can contain insects, small
vertebrates and other particulate matter. Amber is commonly a clear tan color,
but it may have greenish to goldish inclusions.
is the most highly prized purple variety of quartz and is the official birthstone
for February. The name comes from the Greek word amethystos, meaning "not drunken,"
because in ancient Greece amethyst was believed to protect the wearer from drunkenness.
With this in mind, wine goblets were often carved from it! Amethysts can fade
in sunlight, so minimize direct exposure to help maintain the rich purple color.
are an extinct group of cephalopods, or squid-like creatures that thrived in tropical
seas until becoming extinct along with the dinosaurs at the end of the Mesozoic
era. Their fossilized shells resemble tightly-coiled rams' horns and they were
named after the Egyptian god Ammon who was often depicted wearing ram's horns.
Antler is a hornlike, bony growth, usually branched, that grows in pairs on
the head of a deer, moose, elk, caribou, or other members of the deer family.
Because of its rich brown colors and ease of carving, antler is a preferred medium
of many carvers. Antlers occur on the heads of male deer and on some related species
of either sex. Antlers are a renewable resource, as they are shed each year and
grow more branches each season as the animal ages.
Tears - Apache Tears are a type of Obsidian that is often translucent
when held up to the light. They are formed when hot lava shoots into the air and
quickly solidified before hitting the ground. Apache Tears have many of the same
healing qualities as regular black obsidian. Obsidian is a grounding and protective
stone. It is used to clear away negative energies, helping to remove not only
negativity experienced in the environment, but also that of one's own emotions,
such as anger, jealousy, greed, and resentment. Obsidian is also used to free
energy blockages and relieve stress by bringing opportunities for positive change
into a person's awareness.
is the most common mineral in the pyroxene family. Because of the many variations
in its chemical structure it is really more of a group then a single mineral,
but it is still classified a single mineral. The name augite comes from from the
Greek word auge, meaning "shine" or "luster. However, only some augites look shiny,
most specimans have a dull appearance. It varies from translucent to opaque. Its
color includes combinations of black, green, brown, purple with streaks and spots
of greenish gray and light to dark brown. Augite is common throughout the world
including the American Southwest. It is said to bring out your intuition, tenderness,
gentleness and love. It helps you exercise self-control and understand your chosen
destiny. It stimulates creativity and success.
(Indian Jade, Sunstone)
Aventurine is a form of opaque or semitranslucent
chalcedony (quartz) that contains small flecks of various materials such as mica,
copper and iron. Aventurine comes in many colors: pink , red-brown, yellow, gray,
and green. It is a power stone that is excellent for attracting abundance and
wealth. It is known as the the stone of opportunity, chance or luck.
is a brilliant deep blue stone (hydrated copper carbonate) that gets its vibrant
color from its close association with copper-bearing ores. It is related to malachite,
a vibrant green gemstone that is often found nearby or within the azurite. When
they are found together, often near copper deposits in Arizona, they are called
is general term for any one of a number of semi-precious gemstones, such as jasper,
which are dyed and polished to a shiny black color.
translucent, semiprecious variety of the silica mineral chalcedony with physical
properties like quartz. Shades of red, orange, and reddish brown come small amounts
of ron oxide, or rust. Carnelian was used widely during Roman times to make signet
or seal rings for imprinting a seal with wax because hot wax does not stick to
Carnelian. Some of these rings have retained their high polish better than those
made from harder stones. Carnelian is mined principally in India, Brazil, and
- see Pipestone
with opal-like or pearlized variations in color raning from bright lavender to
violet to dark purple May have white, gray or black matrix (inclusions).
is a relatively "new" stone as it was first discovered in Russia in
1978 and acknowledged as a specific mineral at that time. Thus far, the Siberian
region is the only place it is found.
Charoite is said to accelerate spiritual
growth and increase the ability to love.
comes from the Greek chrysos meaning 'gold' and prason, meaning
'leek'. Its color is normally apple-green, but varies to deep green. Chrysoprase
is a gemstone variety of chalcedony and is cryptocrystalline, which means that
it is composed of crystals so fine that they cannot be seen as distinct particles
under normal magnification. Unlike emerald which owes its green color to the presence
of chromium, the color of chrysoprase is due to trace amounts of nickel compounds
in form of very small inclusions. It is the color of chrysoprase, rather than
any pattern of markings, that makes it desirable. The best known sources of chrysoprase
are Poland, Australia, Germany, Russia, Arizona, California, and Brazil.
is a semiprecious translucent yellow gemstone that is a variety of quartz. The
name comes from "citron", French for lemon. The yellow color is from the presence
of iron and the darker the color the higher the grade of citrine. It is valued
by some for its resemblance to topaz, yellow sapphire and yellow diamond.
is the main source of citrine but it is found in many parts of the United States
as well as in Madagascar, Spain, Uruguay and Scotland.
Coral, Red Coral (also called Red Branch Coral)
Red Coral is the
common name given to Corallium Rubrum and several related species of marine
coral. The distinguishing characteristic of precious corals is their durable and
intensely colored red skeleton, which is used for making jewelry. Other names
for Red Coral are Precious Coral, Ox Blood Coral, and Fire Coral.
coral is a collection of hundreds of tiny animals living together in a colonies
that resemble small leafless bushes growing on dark, rocky seabottom. The arms
of red coral, like other branching corals, wave in the tides and curents to collect
microscopic plankton upon which they feed.The original species is found mainly
in the Mediterranean Sea, while other species are native to the western Pacific,
around Japan and Taiwan. Most of the deep red coral is Italian Coral.
The coral skeleton is composed hard calcium carbonate, colored in shades of red
from pale pink to deep red. It can be semi-translucent to opaque. It is naturally
matte, but can be polished to a glassy shine. Red coral is frequently dyed to
enhance color and it can also be impregnated with resins or epoxies to fill surface
fissures and flaws. Reconstituted coral is made from natural solid material, or
coral fragments that have been pulverized into a powder, soaked in binding agents,
then pressed into a solid mass to be re-cut.
has been found in ancient Egyptian and prehistoric European burials. The Romans
believed coral could protect children from harm, as well as cure bites from snakes
and scorpions and diagnose diseases by changing colour.
Coral (Fossilized Coral, Agatized Coral,
Agatized Fossil Coral)
natural stone that is formed under certain geological conditions when prehistoric
corals and mollusks fossilize by being replaced with agate (a from of quartz)
from silica-rich ground water percolating through limestone.
The fossilized coral typically appears as small flower-like patterns in the resulting
stone. Colors of fossil coral range from white and pink to brown, gray, black,
yellow and red. Agate is fairly hard and very durable, so fossil coral is suitable
for all kinds of jewelry and carving. Fossil coral is the Florida State
bones sometimes undergo a natural process where the original bone material is
replaced with chalcedony, a fine-crystalled quartz. Rarely, some of this agatized
material has the color, clarity and other characteristics suitable for jewelry.
Dinosaur "gem bone" is from the Jurassic Age and is from 136,000,000 to 145,000,000
years old, It is found almost exclusively in a relatively small region in the
American Southwest called the Colorado Plateau, an area once teeming with dinosaurs.
It is illegal to collect dino bone on US state or federal lands thus making agatized
dinosaur bone more valuable.
ranges in color from brown to black with splotches of red, blue and bright yellow.
Dark yellow-gold and red dinosaur bone is also found, but is more rare. The coloring
of the specimen is due to impurities that were in the surrounding sediment.
A sedimentary rock comprised primarily of calcium and magnesium. It is a pinkish-yellowish
brown in color and has a pearly luster. Its bands and striations give it depth
This sedimentary rock contains abundant
fossils of tiny creatures including snails called elimia tenera. It was formed
millions of years ago along shallow lake edges in the Green River Formation in
Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. Sometimes called record keeper healing stones and
used to tap into past events.
Fish Rock is a form of serpentine. It is a very traditional
stone that has been carved since ancient times. It shines up very nicely. It is
usually a buff color with specks but can vary quite a bit.
Fluorite is the natural crystalline form of calcium fluoride (CaF2). The name
comes from the Latin "fluere" which means to flow. It's considered a
soft material to carve and it has a glassy appearance. The most common color is
deep purple but it comes in a variety of colors such as blue, green, yellow, pink,
rose and black. Some types of fluorite will glow under ultra violet light, hence
the name fluorescence.
Southern Illinois is the largest producer
of fluorite in the United States. The early Mississippian people acquired fluorite
from natural outcrops in southern Illinois and in Kentucky and used it for the
production of ornaments and statues.
green stone with some color variations. Darker shades can resemble some green
A shell of green variegated colors.
An iron ore consisting of ferric oxide in crystalline form it has a dark steel
grey color and polishes to a high luster. The term hematite is derived from the
Greek word for blood, likely because powdered hematite is reddish.
Stone - see Mellite
Also called White Buffalo Stone, howlite is snow white to milky stone often with
wide brown or black veins. Sometimes passed off as White Turquoise (Sacred Buffalo
Stone) and also dyed to imitate blue or green turquoise. But real turquoise is
a much denser stone and seldom has the wide veins that howlite does.
Ivory comes from the tusks of animals such as the
elephant, hippos, and walrus. Fresh ivory is hard, white and opaque. The importation
and sale of fresh ivory in many countries has been banned or severely restricted
over the past decades to protect the animals from which it is taken.
ivory is very old ivory (from 1,000 to 10,000+ years old) that has been buried
long enough to become cream-colored, yellowish or sepia. It is not fully mineralized
like prehistoric dinosaur bone so remains softer than stone and is easy to carve
and form for jewelry. Since fossilized ivory does not involve the killing of animals
it can legally be traded and is in full compliance with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife
A smooth green stone with even texture that has long been used for carving and
for jewelry.The term jade refers to two minerals: jadeite and nephrite. These
minerals are similar in appearance but jadeite has more intense color and translucency
so is more highly valued and thought to be the true jade. Colors of jade vary
from mottled green and white, to yellow, pink, purple, and black. The most valuable
form of jade, imperial jade, is emerald green and comes from Myanmar. Jade is
also found in California, Mexico, and Central and South America. Jade is an ancient
symbol of love and virtue. It is thought to protect the kidneys, liver, spleen,
heart, larynx, thymus, and thyroid. Ancient people thought that wearing jade would
increase body strength and add longevity.
Jasper comes from the Greek word, iaspis, which means "spotted stone."
A form of microcrystalline quartz, jasper derives its colorful patterns from other
minerals present, and is often named according to its pattern. Wild Horse or
Crazy Horse Jasper, for example, is a striking combination of white with brown
and small tan spots. It is generally opaque and has a dull luster but takes a
fine polish. It is mined in North Africa, Sicily, France, India, Venezuela, Germany,
the U.S.A. and elsewhere.
It it thought by some that jasper
has the power to drive away evil spirits and protect against bites of snakes spiders.
It supposedly gives a person courage.
Brown based stone with many swirls of darker brown to black.
In bigger pieces these swirls seem to make pictures.
Jasper comprised of naturaly broken fragments that reformed
into a solid rock.
known as elephant jasper, palm jasper, and coquina jasper. Some sources say it
is made up of fossilized snail shells and others say it’s fossilized palm.
A solid, durable type of lignite coal that originated
from wood. It is mined around the Acoma Pueblo region, among other places, thus
the name Acoma Jet, or Jet for short. It is very popular for carving fetishes.
It is also used for inlaying but usually not used in stone sets. It can range
from very lightweight to heavy.
is a variety of feldspar that is found in igneous rocks. In bright light it appears
sea blue, gold and green and in dim light it shows grey or dark green colors.
Polished labradorite is called labradorescence. The darker variety is known as
"black moonstone" which has a bluish inclusions. Originally discovered along the
coast of Labrador in 1805, it is now found in Newfoundland, other parts of Canada,
the Ukraine, the Ural mountains, and the USA. It is believed that Labradorite
gem stone brings joy and kindness and provide variety and good fortune. It energizes
and provide a balanced mental plane and also heals infections. It is said to raise
level of consciousness and act as a barrier against all negative energies.
Lapis is a deep blue stone often with gold flecking that
twinkles like stars. It can also be a deep blue black color. The most desirable
lapis is solid, deep blue with no white calcite spots and just a sprinkling of
glittering golden yellow pyrite. Such material is found only in Afghanistan (mined
there for over 7000 years) and Pakistan. A limited amount of lapis mined in the
western part of Colorado (Italian Mountain) that is deep blue with large amounts
of pyrite. Other places where lapis is mined include Egypt, Mongolia, Canada,
The name lapis lazuli is a combination of
the Latin word lapis ("stone") and the Arabian name azul, meaning "blue." Lapis
is one of the few rocks used as a gem and one of the first gemstones ever to be
worn as jewelry. A lapis gemstone won't fade in light but it is easily scratched
and chipped.; clean it only with a soft, dry cloth to maintain its shine. Major
mines are located in Afghanistan, Egypt, Canada and Chile.
ancient cultures believed that lapis lazuli contained magical powers. In the Middle
Ages, monks powdered the stone and kneaded it into dough with beeswax, resin and
linseed oil, for use in illuminated manuscripts. Today, people around the world
consider lapis lazuli to be a stone of awareness, able to impart knowledge and
wisdom. It is reputed to bring about harmony in relationships and to cleanse the
mind bringing about self-acceptance.
bluish-white form of lapis lazuli. This stone comes close to the color of faded
denim material, hence the name. Read
more about lapis . . .
is a rare blue variety of pectolite found only in the Dominican Republic. The
color can range from white to pale blue to green blue to a sea blue to deep blue.
It is a truly beautiful stone. Although discovered in 1916, it was not mined until
it was rediscovered in 1974. Its name is a combination of the name Larissa (daughter
of one of the rediscoverers), and "mar" which means sea in Spanish -
thus Larimar. The more intense the blue and the more contrast in the stone, the
higher and rarer is the quality. The blue color is photosensitive and can fade
over time if exposed to too much light and heat.
Lepidolite is a form of mica that is typically violet to pink color and sometimes
has flecks of sparkling mica. It is found in California, Brazil; the Ural Mountains,
Russia; and Africa.
Malachite, copper carbonate, is a secondary copper mineral found in oxidized copper
deposits. It is light to dark green, sometimes banded with darker and lighter
shades of green. The bands sometimes form concentric rings.
banded Malachite has been carved into ornaments and worn as jewelry for thousands
of years, and in some ancient civilizations it was thought to be a protection
from evil if worn as jewelry. Malachite is generally found with blue Azurite,
and sometimes the two may occur admixed or banded together, forming "Azure-malachite".
Most marble is compact limestone, 90% calcite or dolomite. The word "marble" derives
from the Greek marmaros, "shining stone". The color varies from white to black,
being sometimes yellow, red, and green, and frequently beautifully veined or clouded.
Marble can be polished to a high lustre and has been used for architectural and
ornamental purposes for centuries.
Marble is often named after
the location of the quarry, such as Egyptian Marble, Parian Marble from Greece
Carrara Marble from Italy, Proconnesus Marble from Turkey, Macael Marble from
Spain, Makrana marble from India, Danby Marble from Vermont, and Yule Marble from
Marble (also called Mexican Onyx and Oriental Alabaster)
is a type of calcite, which is one of the most common minerals present in the
earth's crust. Onyx Marble is basically a banded variety of marble resembling
onyx. It is somewhat translucent and banded colors include shades of yellow, pink,
red, gray, and green. Calcite alabaster is often found as stalagmites deposited
on the floor and walls of limestone caves. Its formation in successive layers
gives the banded appearance that this marble often shows on cross-section. Onyx
marble is quarried, among other places, in Mexico, California, Arizona, Utah,
Colorado, and Virginia.
Marble (or Picasso stone) is a carbonate rock of diverse natural colors
such as gray, brown and black and with seemingly randomly oriented transecting
black veinlets. Much of Picasso Marble comes from Utah.
also called honeystone, is an unusual mineral being also
an organic chemical. Like jet, it is found in deposits of brown coal or lignite,
and its formation is partly the result of vegetable decomposition, which is very
unusual for gemstones. It is a translucent crystal, which can be polished and
faceted to form striking gemstones. Honeystone somewhat resemble amber in appearance
and is typically found in crystals of gray, brown to reddish, and more rarely
yellow or honey-coloured. It was named from the Greek , "melis" for honey. It
was discovered in 1789 at in Germany and since has been found in Russia, Austria,
the Czech Republic, and Hungary.
Shell comes from several melon-shaped mollusks of the genus "melo". Also called
bailers or boat shell because early seafarers used large specimens of these shells
to bail water from their boats. Melon shell comes in various pastel shades of
cream to light brown. Commonly found on beaches and sandy ocean bottom in the
southwestern Pacific. They also are often by-products of the seafood industry
because the snails are harvested for meat.
Stone (Mohave Royal Blue)
in the Mojave Desert in California this stone is a natural admixture of green
and blue colored minerals swirled together in a quartz matrix in varied patterns.
Pure copper, silver and gold are scattered through the stone.
white translucent shell, sometimes has a little striation. MOP is the common name
for iridescent nacre, a blend of minerals that are secreted by oysters, abalone,
and other mollusks and deposited inside their shells, coating and protecting their
bodies from parasites and foreign objects. Mother-of-Pearl is said to stimulate
intuition, sensitivity, imagination, and adaptability and help with clarity in
decision making. Mother of Pearl stirs and awakens the primordial memory of your
origin in the infinite ocean of divine love and stirs this memory in every cell
of your physical body thereby producing an overall calming effect as it gently
stirs the life energy of your cells. Like waves lapping the shore, this stirring
is steady, relaxing, and rhythmical.
Read more about Mother
Mother of Pearl
Outside edge of certain mother of pearl (mop) shells.
Clear yellow to yellow -gold colors, used mostly for inlay work.
Clear pink shell. Can vary from deep pink to pale pink,
has translucent quality.
shells are mollusks found mostly in warm tropical seas. These snails are carnivorous
sand-burrowers, feeding mostly on bivalves and carrion and are known as some of
the fastest burrowers among snails. An olive shell is smooth, and oval-shaped
with various muted but attractive colors, and often patterns.The shell surface
is extremely glossy because in life it almost always covered and protected by
is mined as a striped variety of agate, with white, black, brown or red alternating
bands that are parallel and regular. Treatments using heat, sugar, and/or acid
can turn onyx a uniform color, most commonly black, green, purple or blue. White
onyx occurs naturally and can also be achieved by bleaching.
Onyx may chip or scratch rather easily and it is used mainly in settings, not
for carvings or inlay work.
The main sources of onyx are
India and South America, but it is also found in China, Brazil, Madagascar, Mexico
and the U.S.A.
Mexican Onyx: see Alabaster.
stone with interior fracturing of light which results in a play of color. Opal
is October's birthstone and is believed to make the wearer less self-conscious,
thereby encouraging spontaneous action and awakening one's psyche.
Whiter stone with much fracturing of light. Can be also bluish
or reddish color. Similar chemical composition as natural opal.
These were the earliest recognizable animals and were able to swim
and crawl. Orthoceras ranged in size from a few inches to over six feet long.
When they died, their shells fell to the ocean floor and after being covered by
sediment, were transformed into stone.
Shell is the most colorful type of all abalone shells and is found
only in the waters of New Zealand. Its color variations include greens and pinks,
purples and blues, gold and crimson. Paua shell is iridescent - the color changes
when viewed at different angles - like Mother of Pearl shell but more brilliant.
The striking colors are from light being refracted within the crystal layers,
much like the iridescence found in opals. Paua shell was traditionally used by
Maori for the eyes of their carvings and is regarded by New Zealanders past and
present as a taonga or treasure.
also known as catlinite, is a form of clay called argillite with a high
iron content that colors it a deep red to pale orange. Pipestone was discovered
in southwestern Minnesota by the Sioux Indians, who consider it a sacred material
and use it to carve pipes and other ceremonial objects. It is easy to carve because
of its lack of quartz.
In 1936 George Catlin, American artist
and writer, visited the Sioux and collected samples of the red stone for analysis
and which was subsequently named Catlinite in his honor. Pipestone National Monument,
a 282 acre area near Pipestone, Minnesota, was established in 1937. It is quarried
only by American Indians.
There is a general confusion on
whether or not Pipestone National Monument is the only site containing catlinite.
Other sites given are Rice Lake, Wisconsin; Garretson, Wisconsin; Norton, Kansas;
and South Dakota. Many of these sites produce an argillite pipestone, but of a
different composition than that in Minnesota. Some of the stone from these areas
are often misrepresented as catlinite, but do not have the special carving abilities
of genuine catlinite.
pyrite is an iron sulfide with a metallic luster and brass-yellow hue. Also called
fool's gold, brass, brazzle and brazil. In jewelry, pyrite used as a gem is improperly
termed "marcasite". Marcasite, a cousin to pyrite, has the same chemical formula
buta different and very unstable crystal system that makes it unsuitable for use
as a gem., thereby making it a separate mineral.
Quartz is a
crystalline mineral that come in many forms, including amethyst, aventurine, citrin,
opal, rock crystal, tiger's eye, rose quartz,and many others.
most varieties of transparent quartz are valued most when they show no inclusions,
some are valued chiefly because of them! The most popular of these is known as
rutilated quartz. Rutilated quartz has a network of needle-like inclusions of
rutile crystals (titanium dioxide) that looks like a frozen meteor shower. The
term rutile means "reddish" in Latin. Rutilated quartz is also known as rutilite,
golden rutile quartz, venus’ hair stone or cupid’s darts. It is usually cut as
a cabochon (rounded dome) rather than faceted.
of the most desirable types of quartz. The unique color is from iron and titanium
in the natural stone. Most rose quartz you see, however, has been dyed to give
it uniform color. Rose quartz, natural and dyed, is photosensitive and will fade
in sunlight. It is mined in Brazil, Madagascar, India, Germany and several parts
of the U.S.A.
This stone is believed by some to bring gentleness,
forgiveness, compassion, kindness and tolerance, to raise self-esteem and to remove
fears, resentments and anger. Some also say rose quartz can heal and release childhood
traumas, neglect and lack of love. It helps with family reconciliations and eases
overwhelming or unreasonable guilt. Rose quartz is also used to benefit the heart,
circulatory system, fertility, headaches, kidney disease, migraines, sexual dysfunction,
sinus problems, throat problems, depression, addictions and ear aches.
beautiful multicolored stone chosen for carvings by Zuni artists. Some experts
say it is a natural occurring stone from a mine in Chihuahua, Mexico. Others say
it has to be man made because of its vibrant colors. We have done research on
the subject and can not say which is true. What we do know, is that it is beautiful,
eye-catching, and most importantly, Zuni artists choose to use the material for
A beautiful mineral with crystal like qualities that make it seem
like it is lit from within. Pink and white bands and neighboring other colors
of the manganese ore make for a variety of patterns and color combinations. The
name rhodochrosite means rose-colored.
A type of fine grained serpentine that has colored banding.
state rock of California, serpentine is a gemrock with wide diversity in color
and character, from green to yellow, with browns, black and whites. It can be
bi-colored, streaked, mottled, banded or spotted and it has a slippery, snake-like
surface (hence the name). It is composed of several minerals including minor amounts
of chrysotile a somewhat benign form of asbestos.
In the rock
industry the scientific term “marble” is also applied to serpentine rocks that
can be polished to a high shine. But , technically, “marble” and “serpentine”
are two different rocks. Scientific terms (in this case “marble”) can have a different
meaning in industry. Dark green serpentine “marble” is frequently referred to
as verde antique.
It is said to help one find inner peace,
calmness, and a long life; instills in the bearer a respect for the elderly and
wards off snake bites.
Obsidian is a shiny volcanic glass that
forms above ground when lava cools rapidly. It is similar in composition to the
magma from which granite forms underground. Obsidian forms in many colors but
is usually black. Snowflake obsidian contains small white or gray crystal impurities
that resemble snowflakes. It is also called flowering obsidian.
Spiny oyster, not surprisingly, is an oyster that is covered
with spines. It is found along the Atlantic coast of Baja California and Baja
Mexico. It varies from vibrant red shading into oranges and purples, with definite
striations and variation of the colors. Red spiny oyster has been used as a subsititute
is a very soft stone composed primarily of talc. It is gray to green in color,
has a soapy feel (hence the name) and is notable for its high degree of resistance
to acids and heat. Soapstone is easily cut with a knife or other sharp tool, making
it a popular material for centuries as a soft medium for carving and for making
opaque stone with a waxy luster ranging in color from pale grayish lavender to
deep purple, sometimes with black matrix, reddish brown or yellowish blotches.
Sugilite was discovered in Japan in 1944 by geologist Ken-ichi Sugi, from which
it gets it name. It is also known under the trade names of "Royal Lavulite" and
"Royal Azel". It is also found in South Africa, India and Canada. Sugilite is
sometimes confused with charoite.
is a rich royal blue mineral that together with hauyne, nosean and lazurite is
a common constituent of lapis lazuli. A light, relatively hard yet fragile mineral,
sodalite is named after its sodium content. Well known for its blue color, sodalite
may also be grey, yellow, green, or pink and is often mottled with white veins
or patches. The more uniformly blue material is used in jewelry, where it is fashioned
into cabochons and beads. That with more veining, patches and mottling is used
in carving for interest. Although very similar to lazurite and lapis lazuli, sodalite
is royal blue rather than ultramarine. Sodalite also rarely contains pyrite, a
common inclusion in lapis. Sodalite's poor cleavage may be seen as incipient cracks
running through the stone.
tagua nut (also called vegetable ivory) is from the Tagua palm tree (also called
ivory nut palm) from South America. The scientific name means "Plant Elephant"
which refers to the hard white seeds which resemble elephant ivory.
fruit pod is covered in a horned husk that is about the size of a grapefruit.
Inside there are 4 to 9 seeds the size of a hen's egg.
is naturally an ivory color and can be toasted to a rich golden brown or deep
mocha. It is extremely hard, takes on a high polish and absorbs dyes readily.
the 1920s over 20% of the buttons produced in the US were made of tagua, imported
into the US from South America.
Care of tagua includes not
getting it wet such as in a shower or swimming pool. Every year or so, buffing
with beeswax will enhance is natural shine.
people of South America use Tagua to represent the feminine because of its great
magnet-like romantic energy. Each member of the tribe was given a tagua pendant
to wear around his or her neck. The natives believed that persons wearing tagua
would live in harmony and always be loved by their family and friends.
Tagua Nuts for carving is ecologically sound. It is a excellent substitute for
illegal elephant ivory so prevents elephants from being killed for the ivory in
their tusks. And its economic viability provides an alternative to cutting down
rainforests for farming. Tagua Palm stands are a valuable sustainable, renewable
resource not only for the tagua ivory but as a source of food and construction
wood. The nuts are harvested from the ground without any harm to the tree.
Eye (Tiger's Eye, Tigers Eye, Tiger Eye Quartz)
A form of quartz
that displays chatoyance (chatoyancy), which is a narrow band of wavy or silky
sheen that changes its position when the polished gem is turned in the light.
This opal-like iridescence resemble the eye of a cat or tiger. A gemstone best
shows chatoyance when it is cut as a cabochon (smooth, domed shape) rather than
faceted like a diamond. Tiger Eye is usually amber to rich brown in color. A similar
stone with a gray-blue color is known as “hawk’s eye”.
shell comes from the shells of the larger species of tortoise and turtle,
mainly the hawksbill turtle. It is valued for its beautiful mottled yellow and
brown appearance and for its durability. It was used in the manufacture of a wide
variety of items such as combs, inlays in jewelry and furniture, frames for spectacles,
and guitar picks. The trade of tortoise shell was banned worldwide in 1973 and
since then many materials have been used to imitate it, including stained horn
and plastic. Tortoise shell can still be found in items made before the 1970s.
A porous rock that formed of calcium carbonate. It occurs near hot mineral springs
when water that is rich in calcium comes to the surface and cools, releasing the
calcium to form, often in the shape of ornate columns. Pure travertine is white,
but often is brown to yellow due to impurities (other than carbonate minerals).
(also called epidotized granite, epidotized quartz)
A stone comprised
of clear quartz, green epidote and pink feldspar. It commonly appears a mixture
of salmon pink and olive green but other shades of green are also seen. Unakite
was named for the Unakas Mountains, where it was discovered, in the Blue Ridge
province of eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina. It is also found in
Virginia and other southeastern states as well as in Michigan and South Africa.
Unakite is believed to aid self-awareness, balance and centering as it helps unify
a persons emotional, spiritual, mental, and spiritual aspects. It is useful for
uncovering fraud and finding the truth in others and in oneself. It is said to
benefit the heart, circulatory system and female reproductive system and is a
good stone to wear during pregnancy.
Turquoise look-a-like, very similar chemically,
generally light blue/green with a lot of matrix.
is a semi-precious stone found only in South Africa. It occurs in a range of changing
patterns and shades from golden brown to rich emerald greens and blues. It is
very smooth and solid and is relatively easy to carve. Ancient tribesmen crafted
Verdite into jewelry and witchdoctors made a preparation from the powdered stone,
which they believed increased fertility.
Turquoise (Sacred Buffalo Stone) was discovered at the Dry Creek turquoise
mine on the Shoshone Indian Reservation near Battle Mountain, Nevada in 1993.
To date, this is the only place it is found. White turquoise is as rare as the
sacred white buffalo, which is why the Shoshone Indians named it Sacred Buffalo
Stone. It is white with black and/or brown matrix and many experts say it is technically
not turquoise. This is because turquoise, by definition, contains copper (it is
a copper aluminium phosphate), which is what gives turquoise its characteristic
blue color (presence of iron will shift the color toward green). Although Sacred
Buffalo Stone resembles turquoise in hardness and will polish to a high shine
like turquoise, it has no copper, thus no blue color. Howlite
(White Buffalo) is a softer more porous black and white stone that is commonly
passed off as Sacred Buffalo Stone. Howlite is is also dyed to resemble blue or
Horse Magnesite ( Appaloosa Stone) is a natural Gemstone
from an Indian Reservation near Bisbee, AZ. It is a milk chocolate- to-dark chocolate
colored stone, with bold patches of white, shadow hues, and lots of lined matrix.Since
it appears to be much harder than other magnesite (ivoryite or howlite), most
experts consider it to be a jasper deposit mixed with the turquoise.
A black and white stone from the vicinity of Prescott, Arizona. It is said
to bring out your intuition, tenderness, gentleness and love. It helps you exercise
self-control and understand your chosen destiny. It stimulates creativity and
to page 1, Turquoise