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Native American Jewelry Blog tips and iinformationSTONES, SHELLS etc.
USED IN
AMERICAN INDIAN JEWELRY
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Abalone
A mollusk with a shell that is iridescent on the inside; abalone is one source of mother of pearl.
Read more about Abalone.

 

alabaster horse fetishAlabaster
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 alabaster horse fetishsources in Colorado, Utah and Arizona.

    

 Salmon Alabaster, or Translucent Orange Alabaster
A striking color is semi-translucent to opaque salmon orange.

amber honeybee pinAmber
Fossilized 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.

amber ringAmethyst
Amethyst 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.

ammonite horse carvingAmmonite
Ammonites 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.

Hand made Native American Indian Owl fetish carving

Antler
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.

argite bear carvingApache 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.

Augite (Spotted Serpentine)argite bear carving
Augite 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.

Adventurine turtleAventurine (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.

 

Azuriteazurite bear carving
Azurite 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 Azurmalachite.

azurite bear carvingBlackstone
Blackstone 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.

carnelian ringCarnelian
A 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 Australia.

Catlinite - see Pipestone

Charoite
charoite cabochon braceletPurple 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).
It 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.

Chrysoprase (chrysophrase)
Cryptoprase eagle fetish carvingChrysoprase 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.

Citrine
charoite cabochon braceletCitrine 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.
Brazil 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.

red branch coral bracelet

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.

Red 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.

Coral jewelry 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.

fossil coral braceletFossil Coral (Fossilized Coral, Agatized Coral, Agatized Fossil Coral)
A 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 Rock.

Dinosaur Bone
Sterling Silver Navajo RingsDinosaur 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.

Dino bone 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.

dolomite bear carving

Dolomite
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 and interest.

 

Native American horse fetish carved from elimia agate.

Elimia Agate
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 horse carvingFish Rock
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.

fish rock horse carvingFlourite
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.

gaspeite horse carving pendant

Gaspeite
Pea green stone with some color variations. Darker shades can resemble some green turquoise.

 

Green snail
A shell of green variegated colors.

Wild Horse jasper pendantHematite
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.

 

 

Honey Stone - see Mellite

howlite stone

Howlite
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.

Authentic Vintage Navajo Onyx bolo slideFossilized Ivory

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.

Fossilized 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 Service regulations.

Jade horse head on Apache medicine bagJade
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.

Wild Horse jasper pendantJasper
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.

Picture Jasper
Brown based stone with many swirls of darker brown to black. In bigger pieces these swirls seem to make pictures.

Native American Indian hand carved bear fetishBrecciated Jasper
Jasper comprised of naturaly broken fragments that reformed into a solid rock.

Fossil Jasper
Also 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.

acoma jet horse carving

Jet (Acoma Jet)
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.

Labradorescence bear carvingLabradorite
Labradorite 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 lazuni cabochon pendantLapis lazuli
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, and Chile.

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.

Many 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. denim lapis bear carving

Denim lapis
A light bluish-white form of lapis lazuli. This stone comes close to the color of faded denim material, hence the name. Read more about lapis . . .

Larimar
Navajo Larimar pendantLarimar 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.

Hand made Native American Indian Jewelry; Navajo marble bear carvingLepidolite
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 bear carvingMalachite
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.

Polished, 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".

Hand made Native American Indian Jewelry; Navajo marble bear carvingMarble
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 Colorado.

Onyx marble bear carvingOnyx 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.Picasso marble bear carving

Picasso 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.

Picasso marble bear carvingMellite, 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.

Melon Shell
melon shellsMelon 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.

Mohave Stone (Mohave Royal Blue)
Mojave Stone Navajo  pendantMined 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.

Mother of Pearl
Sterling Silver Navajo RingsClear 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 of Pearl.

gold lip mother of pearl turtle carvingGold-lip Mother of Pearl
Outside edge of certain mother of pearl (mop) shells. Clear yellow to yellow -gold colors, used mostly for inlay work.

 

pink mussel fetish necklacePink Mussel Shell
Clear pink shell. Can vary from deep pink to pale pink, has translucent quality.

 

 

Olive Shell
olive shellOlive 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 a mantle.

Onyx
onyx cabochon braceletOnyx 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.

opal inlay butterfly pinOpal
Blue 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.lab opal inlay dragonfly pin

Lab opal
Whiter stone with much fracturing of light. Can be also bluish or reddish color. Similar chemical composition as natural opal.

 

orthocera bear carvingOrthocera
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.

red branch coral braceletPaua 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.

Pipestone
Hand made Native American Indian Racoon fetish carving
Pipestone, 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.

Rhodochrosite pendandt and earringsPyrite
Iron 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.

Native American Indian quartz bear totemQuartz
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.

Rutilated Quartz
rose quartz twin bear carvingWhile 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.

Rose Quartz
rose quartz twin bear carvingOne 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.

Rainbow Calsilica
rainbow calsilica turtle carvingA 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 their carvings.

Rhodochrosite pendandt and earringsRhodochrosite
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.

ricolite rabbit carvingRicolite
A type of fine grained serpentine that has colored banding.

 

Serpentine
serpentine horse carvingThe 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.

snowflake obsidian watchSnowflake Obsidian

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 pendantSpiny oyster
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 for coral.

soapstonr horse carvingSoapstone
Soapstone 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 smoking pipes.

Sugilite
An 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.

Sodalite
sodalite bear carvingSodalite 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
Hand made Native American Indian Buffalo fetish carvingA 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.

Each 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.

Tagua 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.

In 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.

The indigenous 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.

Using 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.

Tiger Eye ring

Tiger 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”.

Tortoise 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.

Zuni Horse Fetish with birdTravertine
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).

Turquoise - (see page 1)

Unakite horse on Apache medicine bagUnakite (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.

Varacite
Turquoise look-a-like, very similar chemically, generally light blue/green with a lot of matrix.

Tiger Eye ringVerdite
Verdite 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.

white buffalo turquoiseWhite 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 green turquoise.

Picasso marble bear carvingWild 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.

Zebra stoneZebra stone horse carving
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 success.

 

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