Types of Stones

Agate

Agate

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 time, 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).

Agate Blue Lace

Agate Blue Lace

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 time, 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).

Amazonite

Amazonite

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.

Amber

Amber

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 and idea of it’s 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 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 positive influence of 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!

Amethyst

Amethyst

A variety of crystallised quartz that 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 drunkenness.

The Romans believed this stone prevented drunkenness and used to drink out of amethyst-encrusted goblets; some believe the effect to be the same today if an amethyst is placed in a glass of wine. Amethyst is thought to bestow stability, strength and peace, to relive 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).

Apatite

Apatite

Apatite came from the Greek word†'apatao'†(1780s), 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 tooth ache 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.

Beryl

Beryl

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 though 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).

Danburite

Danburite

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 the self-esteem. Its 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.

Howlite

Howlite

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 overweight and anorexia. Used by those suffering from insomnia or fear of sleeping in the dark. When carried in ones pocket, it helps to calm anger and soothe emotions.

Labradorite

Labradorite

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 ones 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 Saturdays gemstone.

Magnesite

Magnesite

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.

Mookaite

Mookaite

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 a 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 containing 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.

Pyrite

Pyrite

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 unusual 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 mirrors, 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.

Rose Quartz

Rose Quartz

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 asterated - 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 a 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.

Sugilite

Sugilite

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 it's 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 be holding the stone and allowing the negative energy of the discomfort to be released into the black manganese of the sugilite.

Tourmaline

Tourmaline

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 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 shaman 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.