Last update 09/25/2011:
Abalone is the U.S. term for Paua shell. Abalone is becoming more rare due to more strict harvesting regulations. Paua shell worldwide is also known as a sea opal.
Blue Lace Agate -
Originally called the Stone of Ecology. And while it is not Chalcedony, it can be also called Blue Chalcedony Lace. It was discovered in Namibia by a farmer Mr. George Swanson. Like its namesake for the clouds, the metaphysical properties are calming and reaching ones higher spirituality. It has been used as a protective stone and as a healing stone for arthritis, digestive issues, and eczema. It's calming and communicative attributes are perfect for easing tension during public speaking or during difficult discussions.
Is the modern November birthstone and for June, the Planetary stone for Virgo, and the accepted gem for the 13th and 17th wedding anniversaries.
Citrine brings happiness, optimism, and is used by healers to increase self esteem. It promotes creativity, helps personal clarity, and eliminates self-destructive tendencies. It is very energizing and helps one take care of undone tasks.
The clear diamond is one of April's birthstones. While the diamond is rated a 10 on the Moh's scale for hardness, it is more like a 40 plus. However, even though it is hard, does not mean it's not easily fractured. The clear diamond is also known for it's light diffraction into a beautiful rainbow of colour. While there are a handful of gemstones with more "fire" they cannot split light as a diamond. Diamonds are found all over the world. Man made diamonds can be almost as costly as nature made due to the process to create them.
While clear diamonds are common, they are found in all colours. With red and purple diamonds being highly rare. Many of the coloured diamonds are treated to enhance the colour. The treatment will depend on the colour. Not every diamond can be treated. It must contain certain elements unique to that colour. For example; a blue diamond contains the element Boron, while a green diamond contains Uranium.
Garnet (Rhodolite) -
Has been fashioned into jewelry since the Bronze Age. Some think it's name originated from the pomegranate, which is similar in colour, shape, and size. It's January's birthstone as adopted by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912. It is also the stone for the Zodiac sign Aquarius. Garnet may be given as a gem on the 2nd and 6th wedding anniversary.
During the Middle Ages primitive cultures believed that the red stones would stop bleeding. Many early cultures believe that garnets are helpful in preventing and curing blood disorders and infections. It is also used as the stone for passion and courage.
Hematite (Iron Oxide) -
Is a wonderful "grounding" stone. Hematite means blood in Greek and has been made into amulets to stop bleeding. This is why it is paired with Turquoise (for trauma) in jewelry. The stone has many other uses, including aiding in relationships.
Iolite (Dichroite, Cordierite, or Water Sapphire) -
Is Greek for ios, meaning violet. Its pleochroism makes it violet-blue from one angle, water clear from a different angle, and even honey yellow from another. It has an intriguing history dating back to the days of the Vikings sourcing it from Norway and Greenland to use as a polarizing filter on cloudy days to find the sun.
Its metaphysical properties; are intuition and awareness. It is best combined with peridot or citrine to resolve debts. It is said to be worn by Shaman to increase clairvoyance.
Jadeite, Lavender -
It is also called Jade, but Jade is different in composition. Both are soft and suitable for carving while being an extremely hard stone on the Moh’s scale. Metaphysically, this colour stone is used for love, serenity, beauty, gentle energy healing, tranquility, and to soothe the spirit by achieving balance.
Jasper (Chert) -
January babies, this is one of your birthstones. It is also one of the stones for Leo. It is a part of the quartz family of stones. Quartz alone makes up 12% of the earth's upper crust. Jasper means the supreme nurturer and is mostly used for warriors to gain courage. This stone has been used metaphysically since medieval times in rosary's, since it was believed to drive out evil and cure insanity. It is soft enough to carve and tools of early man are found to date its early use in civilization. In fact, early Egyptians carved passages from "The Book of the Dead" into amulets to ensure safe passage into the next world and to increase intimate energy. The Bible states that Jasper is a direct gift from God and would be a foundation stone in the New Jerusalem. In ancient European times and with some Native Americans, it is believed that Jasper is a powerful rain stone or a strong healing stone.
Whatever you believe, Jasper has been a part of almost every culture for a variety of reasons for thousands of years.
Natural opalite is much harder than glass and does not scratch easily. It comes in a variety of colours, depending on the adjacent minerals. The most common form is dendritic opal. If you want to know if your piece is glass, and don't wish to scratch at your opalite, look for tiny air bubbles in the bead.
I recommend anybody that loves gemstone jewelry educate yourselves about gemstones prior to a purchase of that stone. There are so many synthetics on the market for many stones. For example; Alexandrite, Tanzinite, and Sapphire are valuable and commonly reproduced.
This is one of June's birth stones and rapidly increasing in value. A pearl is not measured by weight, but by size, shape, color, and luster. The white pearl symbolizes purity and innocence, which is why they are sewn to bridal gowns. They also represent feminine wisdom, serenity, honesty, in general. Certain natural colored pearls have extended meanings. For example; pink is specific for the heart chakra and helping a woman feel pretty.
This milky lime garnet makes a great surprise gift for January birthdays. Garnets come in a huge variety of colours, some flawless without inclusions and others (like Phrenite) with desired inclusions. In the metaphysical world, Phrenite is used to bring Divine insight and enhance ones insight.
This quartz is another birthstone for January. It is often found in the shape of a heart, since it's the stone for universal love. This stone restores harmony to your mind and is good for the skin.
Tiger Eye -
This stone is a member of the quartz family and displays a unique luster called chatoyancy. Chatoyancy is the reflective nature of the fibrous strands within the stone. Because of this, it is said that the stone is good for deflecting negativity. The metaphysical beliefs will vary; depending on culture. It is good for health and spiritual well being by lessoning the chaos in one’s mind and allowing a person to empathize. Legends also say it is great for business. It is also the planetary birthstone for Gemini and the stone for the ninth wedding anniversary.
This stone is carried in the pockets of some emergency room nurses, since it is good for trauma. The Navajo believe it draws out negative energy and it best worn at the feet, while others use it at the level of the heart for healing. The amount of blue green colour is determined by the amount of copper in the stone.
* Caution: Do not be fooled by dyed Howlite sold as Turquoise.