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Gemstone Information



Agate is one of the world’s most common stones, but don’t let its common occurrence lead you to believe it is anything less than special!  This little gem is found all over the world.  The main areas include Africa, Asia, Brazil, Egypt, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Nepal, and the USA.  The name Agate comes from the river Achetes in Sicily, where it was first noted in ancient times.  Agates have been discovered with Neolithic artifacts and were used before 3000 BC.  No doubt, it is because of their rich colors and striking beauty that they were used for jewelry making in ancient India. 

There are many varieties of Agate such as Blue Lace Agate from South Africa and Romania; Ellensburg Blue Agate from Ellensburg, Washington; Fire Agate from Mexico, and Holly Blue Agate from Holly, Oregon, just to name a few.  It comes in on the Mohs scale between a 7 and a 9.  It is readily available and in such an array of colors that it is easy to see why it was one of the first stones in history to be widely used by man for jewelry and ornamental purposes.

Its common availability may also be the reason it has become a stone with a multitude of meanings and attributes.  Agate has been said to bring good sleep and good dreams.  It is also thought to have a calming effect, to improve focus and perception, and to increase stamina.  Agate is thought to be one of the most powerful emotional healers with claims of imparting a zest for life to its wearer; igniting passions; decreasing one's tendency to fret or worry over petty situations; reducing mood swings and calming one’s mind and heart.  It is even said to help the wearer let go of anger and resentment and see the real truth in situations.  Dreaming of Agate is said to signify a safe journey and, if you are a Gemini, wearing an Agate ring on either hand will bring you wealth. 

…Doesn’t sound so common anymore, does it?

See our: Agate Beads



While Amazonite deposits are found in India, Madagascar, Namibia and Russia, the name Amazonite was derived from the Amazon River in Brazil where we find important deposits of this lovely blue green stone.  Though a relatively soft stone, ranging between a 5 and a 6 on the Mohs scale, it is widely believed to be a “Stone of Courage” and thought to impart strength to its wearer.  It is assumed that it was this stone that gave the Amazon women warriors their legendary courage and strength.

Amazonite was also found in Egypt and was used to make jewelry and amulets as much as 4000 years ago.  The seventh chapter of the Egyptian Book of the Dead was engraved on an Amazonite slab and an Amazonite scarab ring was found with Tutankhamen’s treasures.  Assyrians associated Amazonite with the god Belus.  It was also used to decorate clothing and to make jewelry in pre-Columbian days in South and Central America.

Amazonite is known as the “Stone of Truth” and the “Stone of Harmony” and is said to awaken compassion and to assist those searching for truth to see both sides of the situations they face.  It is thought to assist with cell regeneration and healing after a trauma, to ease the pain of gout and arthritis, and to strengthen brittle hair and nails. 

It is also said to motivate lazy teenagers.  If this claim could be verified, we could call Amazonite the “Stone of Miracles” as well. 

See our: Amazonite Beads



Amethyst is found worldwide.  Countries of origin include Brazil, Russia, Canada, Sri Lanka, India, Uruguay, Madagascar, Germany, Austria, Namibia, Zambia, and the USA.  It is a variety of quartz, although it must be purple to be classified specifically as Amethyst.  The reason for this is rooted in this story of regret:

"Sometimes we all say or do things that we regret.  The story of the god Bacchus is a tale of such remorse. Bacchus’s feelings were hurt and so he decreed that the first person he met would be eaten by his tigers.  The unfortunate person happened to be the young maiden, Amethyst, who was on her way to worship at the shrine of the goddess, Diana.  To protect poor Amethyst from being eaten by tigers, Diana transformed her into a clear, transparent crystal.  Then Bacchus, feeling regretful of the whole situation he had created, poured his wine over the stone as an offering and the gem turned purple.  This is how the lovely purple quartz, Amethyst, got its name.  The Greeks believed that Amethyst would prevent intoxication, calm anger and relieve frustration, enable forgiveness and give one the strength and resolve to admit when we are wrong."

Amethyst is a beautiful gem that ranges in color from light lavender to deep purple.  Some Amethyst even has a mauve tint.  The most valuable variety of Amethyst is colored deep medium purple with rose flashes.  Cape Amethyst includes bands of milky white quartz.  Green Amethyst is a falsity since the term “Amethyst” refers only to the purple variation of quartz.  Amethyst is found in geodes and alluvial deposits worldwide.  The purple coloration of the quartz is produced when manganese is present.  The intensity of purple in any given Amethyst is a result of the amount of iron contained in the stone.  It has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale.

Amethyst is also believed to be a good talisman to ward off drunkenness and bring back sobriety after a drinking binge.  While we here at Happy Mango Bead Company NEVER overindulge, we do love a good Happy (Mango) Hour and we are still testing the validity of these claims.

See our: Amethyst Beads



Ametrine, also known as trystine or bolivianite, is a naturally occuring variety of quartz.  It is a mixture of amethyst and citrine with zones of purple and yellow or orange.  Almost all commercially available Ametrine is mined only in Bolivia.  The color variation is due to there being a temperature gradient across the crystal while it forms, causing different oxidation states of iron within the crystal.

See our: Ametrine Beads



Apatite gets its name from the Greek word for “to deceive” because of the variety of colors and conditions in which it can occur.  It gets mistaken for other stones quite often.  Apatite is a common mineral with enormous deposits in the Kola Peninsula, Russia, Germany, Austria, Portugal, Bahia, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, India, Canada, and the USA.  Large deposits mined for industrial use exist in Nauru, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, and Israel.

Apatite is a calcium phosphate mineral with a hardness of 5 on the Mohs scale.  It is the main source of phosphorus and it is essential in the manufacturing of phosphate fertilizers.  It is very important in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.  Apatite can be found in many colors including pink, yellow, and a lovely shade of turquoise, it’s most common form.  It is also sometimes found in a clear, colorless state.  The most sought after color of apatite is violet.

Blue Apatite is known as the “Aha” stone or the stone of inspiration.  Just holding it or wearing it is thought to make one more ready to recognize those “aha" moments in life.  Green Apatite is thought to be helpful when seeking emotional balance and relief from stress.  Golden Apatite is thought to carry with it the energy of the Fire element and so brings a helpful and “sunny” energy in social situations by enhancing ones charisma.  It is also thought to be stimulating and purifying, boosting overall energy levels and detoxifying the metabolic system, making it good for weight loss and enhancing the positive effects of exercise. 

Let’s recap:  "Aha" moments, a sunny and charismatic personality, and weight loss??  Pass the Apatite, please! 

See our: Apatite Beads



The name Aquamarine comes from a Latin word meaning “water of the sea”.  That perfectly describes the crystal blue color of the tranquil turquoise gemstone quality variety of beryl.  This delicately colored stone is rather hard, with a rating of 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale.  It is found in many places worldwide including Brazil, Russia, Sri Lanka, Zambia, Madagascar, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, and the USA.  The finest specimens are found in Russia and Africa.  It is the official state gem of Colorado. 

No doubt, its watery blue color adds to its reputation of being a good talisman for sailors.  Sailors in the middle ages believed it would ensure a safe passage.  Legends from the middle ages claim that Aquamarine was the treasure of mermaids and could cure the effects of poisoning.  Some even claimed that the fish-like lower body of mermaids consisted of Aquamarine.  It is also thought to facilitate good communication and to soothe, or wash out, the fire energy and help communication take on a cool and fluid tone.  Many also believe that Aquamarine is helpful to anyone who is in transition in their life and that it helps speed the transition and remove resistance to change by washing away emotional baggage and stagnant energy.

Like the water of the sea for which it is named, Aquamarine comes in an entire spectrum of shades from blues to greens and most people find the colors soothing and calming.  These colors are also a beautiful compliment to most any skin tone and work well with a variety of colors and textures making Aquamarine an excellent choice for use in jewelry making.  If you are making a gift for a March birthday, Aquamarine is the stone to choose! 

See our: Aquamarine Beads



The name Aventurine stems from the Italian phrase “a ventura”, meaning "by chance".  Aventurine is a type of microcrystalline quartz containing tiny inclusions of shimmering minerals.  A sparkling effect is the result of these inclusions.  This effect is also known as “aventurescence”.  The stone may also have a silver luster caused by mica inclusions or it may have a reddish or grayish luster resulting from hematite inclusions.  Aventurine scores a 6.5 to a 7 on the Mohs scale.  Deposits of this lovely gem are found in Russia, Tanzania, Chile, India, Spain, and Austria.  While it's most common color is green, you may also see specimens in blues or even reds. 

Given the root of its name, it is not surprising that Aventurine is considered to be a good luck charm.  Green Aventurine is a favorite among gamblers because it is considered to be especially lucky and it is commonly thought to be a good stone to carry with you if you are heading to a poker game, a tax audit, or anywhere else you may want Lady Luck on your side.  In fact, the powerful vibrations of Green Aventurine are said to be so lucky that one does not even need to wear it to reap lucky benefits.  Just being near it imparts good luck.  Red Aventurine is said to boost vitality, creativity, and mental alertness.  It is thought to help one be more romantically creative, making it a good gemstone for a date night.  Blue Aventurine is thought to be helpful if you are seeking inner-strength or self-discipline, and may be helpful in overcoming bad habits.  So, if you are in the habit of betting too much at your friendly poker game, Blue Aventurine is the stone for you.   

See our: Aventurine Beads



Azurite is a soft, blue copper mineral produced by the weathering of copper ore deposits.  The blue of Azurite is exceptionally deep and clear, and, historically, was often mistaken for Lapis Lazuli.  Since antiquity, it has been associated with the deep blue color of low-humidity desert and winter skies.

Small crystals of Azurite can be produced by rapidly stirring a few drops of copper sulfate solution into a saturated solution of sodium carbonate and allowing it to stand overnight.  It is closely related to Malachite, being the only two basic copper carbonate minerals.  Azurite is unstable in open air, water, or heat, and becomes pseudomorphically replaced by Malachite in those instances, which is why many Azurite specimens contain green in them. 

It was thought that many paintings from the Middle Ages contained Lapis Lazuli in the blue pigments, but chemical analysis has proved that Azurite was more predominant, as it is softer and easier to manipulate, scoring a 3.5-4 on the Mohs scale.

See our: Azurite Beads


Botswana Agate:

While Agates were mined in large quantities in Botswana as recently as the 1970’s, Botswana established an embargo on the export of raw materials to promote jobs in their own country.  Only processed materials, such as tumbled and polished beads, may be exported.  While common, they seem to be always in high demand due to these laws.  Despite the embargo, they are commonly available and second only to Brazilian Agates in their availability.

Botswana Agates are known for their bold fortifications of gray, white, and nearly black.  They can also be found in pastel tones of pink, lavender, and salmon.  They range from a 6.5 to a 7 on the Mohs scale, and range in size from an ounce to a half-pound - the larger ones being more difficult to obtain without fractures.

Agates were used in ancient times as talismans to protect the wearer from storms, to quench thirst, and to bring good luck.  Botswana Agate, in particular, has been used traditionally to sustain attentiveness to detail.  It is said to provide support to anyone reaching toward a specific goal.  Botswana Agate is also thought to provide creativity and encourage one to find solutions rather than focusing on negative aspects of daily challenges.

See our: Botswana Agate Beads



Bronzite is a member of the pyroxene group of minerals, belonging with enstatite and hypersthene to the orthorhombic series of the group.  Rather than a distinct species, it is really a ferriferous variety of enstatite, which, after some slight alteration, displays the bronze-like sub-metallic luster on the cleavage surfaces found in Bronzite.  It is typically brown, and sometimes green.  The metallic sheen found in Bronzite is due to schillerization, which is when iron separates in the cleavage cracks of the mineral into oxide and hydroxides.

See our: Bronzite Beads



Carnelian is a form of chalcedony and a component of the quartz family.  It has a fantastic, reddish-brown coloration which develops from impure inclusions of iron oxide.  The natural colors in the stone are enhanced by exposure to the sun, although today it is most often heat-treated to further boost its color.  Carnelian is a harder stone, with a score of 7 on the Mohs scale.  It can be found in Brazil, Arabia, India, Russia, Madagascar, South Africa, and the USA.  Some of the oldest and most prominent deposits are found in the Indian regions of Bengal, Deccan, and Ratnapur.

The name Carnelian is derived from the Latin word “carnem”, meaning flesh, due to the flesh color of the stone.  Carnelian is one of the most ancient gems found in jewelry.  The earliest Egyptians are known to have placed jewelry made from carnelian on their dead, believing it would protect them during their journey to the afterlife as well as guard against evil.

It is said to activate the lower three chakras of the body and has been thought to increase awareness and improve memory, as well as give courage.  It is believed to assist with clear thinking and to make its wearer more eloquent in expressing one's thoughts.  It is, therefore, often recommended for public speaking.  Carnelian has been prescribed for centuries, due to its therapeutic properties, and is still used in the same way in contemporary times.  It is often used for sexual dysfunction and infertility by relieving sexual tension and sending the stored energy to the reproductive organs.  It is thought to blend well with all other varieties of quartz, jasper, and chalcedony.  Combining Carnelian with Rose Quartz, Blue Lace Agate, or Amethyst can bring about a harmonious activation of all 7 chakras in the body. 

 Carnelian is a talisman,
It brings good luck to child and man;

If resting on an onyx ground,
A sacred kiss imprint when found.
It drives away all evil things;

To thee and thine protection brings.
The name of Allah, king of kings,
If graven on this stone, indeed,
Will move to love and doughty deed.
From such a gem a woman gains
Sweet hope and comfort in her pains.

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 See our: Carnelian Beads



Chalcedony consists of a group of stones made of microcrystalline varieties of quartz. The most common forms of Chalcedony are Agate, Onyx, Jasper, Heliotrope, and Bloodstone, along with the rare, green apple-colored Chrysoprase and many others. It differs from Jasper in that the quartz is arranged in fibrous layers rather than the sugar-like grains found in Jasper. The colors and patterns in the stone are most often formed by other pigmenting minerals so it can be found in almost any color. These colors are most frequently white, brown, orange, yellow, light and dark green, gray, black, rust, and the most common being blue and lavender. Chalcedony scores a 7 on the Mohs scale and can be found all over the world with prominent deposits found in Brazil, India, Madagascar, and Turkey.

The name Chalcedony may have been derived from the ancient Greek port city, Chalcedon. Many varieties of Chalcedony have been used throughout history and worked into jewelry and carvings by many ancient civilizations. Though the metaphysical claims about this stone vary with the location and exact time period it has been used, we almost always find a reference to it bringing about stability, calmness, and balance.  Native American Indians considered chalcedony a sacred stone and it was often used in ceremonies to enhance stability and cooperation within the tribe. Sailors frequently used this stone’s metaphysical properties to prevent drowning. Many myths throughout history have alleged chalcedony to balance the aura, assist in safe travel, and promote awareness. Therapeutically, chalcedony is believed to alleviate fever, gallstone, and eye trouble. Even in modern times, it has been prescribed to assist those who experience a quick temper, irrational anger, fear, panic, or anxiety. 

See our: Chalcedony Beads



Charoite is a complex mineral containing potassium, sodium, calcium, barium, strontium, oxygen, silicon, and hydrogen.  While these elements are commonly found worldwide, the exact combination it takes to make up Charoite has only been found in the Charo (or Chara) River Valley of Central Siberia. It scores a 5 on the Mohs scale and comes in shades of purple, lavender, lilac, and violet.

Charoite first came into the gemstone scene in the late 1940’s when discovered by Trans-Siberian Railway workers, but it didn’t make it big in the West until the late 1970’s.  There are many stories about how it got its name, the most common being that it was named for the river near which it was found. However there are those who claim it was named for the Russian word “chary”, which means magic or charm. Regardless of the origin of the name, all sides of the debate agree that it is quite an enchanting stone. The mystery of the name just adds to its appeal.

Charoite is thought to help soothe nightmares and troubled sleep. It is also thought to help one be more objective about situations and information received. A person looking to find their true calling in life may wish to use Charoite to help facilitate the ability to be more objective about their own internal landscape because it is thought to help one separate one’s own issues from those of others. It is thought to work well with Amethyst, Blue Apatite, Black Tourmaline, and Smoky Quartz in warding off negative energies and strengthening the positive. Quite a magic charm, indeed! 

See our: Charoite Beads



Chrysacolla is a hydrated copper silicate mineral that forms as a decomposition product of copper minerals in most copper mines, especially in arid regions.  It frequently occurs as a crust or mass in the upper parts of copper ore veins where the silica in the copper has been dissolved by water. Chrysacolla is a very soft stone, ranging from a 2 to a 4 on the Mohs scale.  It can commonly be found in shades of green, blue, aqua, or teal, but impurities can make it dark brown to almost black in color.

You may find Chrysacolla anywhere you find copper, but large deposits exist in England, Israel, Mexico, the Czech Republic, Australia, the Congo, Chile, Russia, and Zaire.  It is also found in the USA in New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. It is frequently found forming near deposits of other minerals such as Quartz, Chalcedony, or Opal.  In Israel it can be found mingled with Malachite and Turquoise and is sometimes referred to as “Eilat” when found in this combination. Some samples of Chrysacolla also contain Cuprite. 

Chrysacolla is thought to be a stone of peace, wisdom, serenity, tolerance, patience, and love. It promotes gentleness and sensitivity. It is also said to dispel fear and unreasonable emotions. It is said to activate the “Sacred Goddess”, or feminine energy inside all of us, male or female.  This energy is thought to give an internal strength that is powerful yet gentle and flexible. The samples of Chrysacolla containing Cuprite are said to have both a feminine and a masculine energy, offering the holder the ability to take precise and decisive action yet be tempered with kindness and compassion.

Chrysacolla is said to be a good stone for teachers, mentors, or public speakers because it is thought to boost insight, intuition, and inner-knowledge.  A teacher or mentor who speaks from the heart and from one’s own life experience is often the most effective teacher. 



Chrysoprase (occasionally written as Chrysophrase) is one of the rarest and most valuable forms of Chalcedony and it most often occurs as a nodule on or in crevices of larger Nickel deposits. Traces of Nickel in the Chalcedony provide Chrysoprase with its “Granny Smith” green apple color. The specific amount of nickel causes a range in colors from a light, delicate green to a deep and dark “Forest” green. Like Chalcedony, it scores a 7 on the Mohs scale. It can be found in Western Australia and Queensland as well as Germany, Russia, and Brazil.  There are also deposits in the USA in both Arizona and California.  Chrysoprase was used as a gemstone in Greece as far back as 400 BC and has been mined in Poland since the 14th Century.

Its lively shades of green may be the reason Chrysoprase is often thought to be connected to Mother Nature herself. It is said to strengthen both the physical and the metaphysical heart and to help one see the world through a lens of the heart’s compassion. Chrysoprase can help connect humans to the beauty of the natural world and help us hear what the heart wants, which more often than not, is what is good for all living things. Like sunlight flickering through fresh, new leaves and dancing in the soil, Chrysoprase carries with it an energy of growth that is ripe with promise.

See our: Chrysoprase Beads



The sunny gemstone Citrine gets its name from the French word “citron”, meaning lemon. Brazil is the leading producer of Citrine, with much of its production coming from the state of Rio Grande Do Sul, but it can also be found in Madagascar, Africa, Spain, Russia, France, Scotland, and the USA.  It is a member of the Quartz family very similar to Amethyst, and it gets its yellow pigmentation from iron. Much of the commercial Citrine on the market is actually heat treated Amethyst. Heat treated stones are generally more “citrusy” in color while natural Citrine is mostly pale yellow. Like many other Quartz, Citrine scores a 7 on the Mohs scale.

Citrine has such a lovely clarity and color that it lends itself to most any style jewelry, making it a favorite among jewelry makers. In fact, it has a long history of being used in jewelry and as a decorative gemstone dating back to as early as the 1st and 2nd Centuries in Rome and to around 300 BC in Greece. Many legends refer to Citrine as a talisman that brings prosperity to its owner. Some thought it to be an antidote for snake venom, while others believed it held the power of the sun. 

In recent history, Citrine has become an esteemed stone with naturopathic healers for its powers to cleanse the body of toxins and the regeneration of body tissues. Citrine is believed to be essential for maintaining the health of the digestive, circulatory, and urinary system. It is said to eliminate toxins in the second and third chakras and to have the power to assist in ailments where toxins can cause discomfort or disease, such as acid indigestion, poor blood circulation, food disorders, and allergies. Perhaps it is also its fresh, happy color that is the root of more modern claims that it promotes clarity of thought, boosts the imagination, promotes creativity, and helps the wearer find joy in new experiences.  

See our: Citrine Beads



Dumortierite is a fibrous, variably colored aluminum boro-silicate mineral.  The crystals are vitreous and vary in color from brown, blue, and green to more rare violet and pink.  It has a hardness of 7-8.5 on the Mohs scale, and is used in the manufacture of high grade porcelain.  It is often mistaken for Sodalite and has been known to be used as imitation Lapis Lazuli.

It is named after the French paleontologist Eugene Dumortier (1803-1873) and was first described in 1881 for an occurrence in Chaponost in the Rhone-Alps of France.  It has been known to be found in Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Italy, Madagascar, Namibia, Nevada, Norway, Poland, Russia, and Sri Lanka.

See our: Dumortierite Beads



Emerald is a variety of the mineral beryl colored green by trace amounts of chromium and sometimes vanadium.  It has a hardness of 7.5-8 oh the Mohs scale, but because Emerald is so highly included, its toughness is classified as generally poor.

Emeralds in antiquity have been mined in Egypt since 1500BC, and in India and Austria since at least the 14th century.  Columbia is the world's largest producer of Emeralds, constituting 50-95% of the world production depending on the year.

It is the traditional birthstone for May, and the zodiac gemstone of Taurus, Gemini, and sometimes Cancer.



Epidote is an aluminum iron silicate mineral. It forms in metamorphic and igneous rocks, many times alongside other minerals and gems such as Albite, Calcite, Chlorite, Diopside, Garnet, Quartz, and Vesuvianite.  Epidote, while not generally known for its exceptional crystals, can still form into magnificent specimens. Its unique green color, which is often described as "pistachio”, is quite striking in well-colored specimens. Color ranges from pistachio green to yellowish or brownish green, also brown to black and can be any combination of these colors. Epidote is a medium to hard stone scoring between a 6 and a 7 on the Mohs scale.  It can be found in Austria, Pakistan, Norway, Mozambique, Italy, Mexico, and in the USA.

Epidote is considered the zodiac birthstone for both Gemini and Virgo.  It is renowned by naturopathic healers for its ability to enhance perception and intuition, increasing spirituality and spiritual growth. It is said to increase perceptions and to help the nervous system. It is used by many healers to soothe the emotional and physical bodies - to still fear and act as support for patients who experience frequent panic and anxiety attacks. Epidote is also thought to work to heal intestinal blockages due to nervous disorders affecting the stomach.

Some say that this gemstone tends to amplify what we already have.  For example, if you have love in your life and are looking for the “greater good”, then using Epidote brings more love and more goodness into your own life. However, if you think negative thoughts, are overly judgmental, intolerant, or jealous of others, Epidote can greatly increase the negativity in your life.  When using Epidote, we encourage you to think happy thoughts and to “be careful what you wish for!”

See our: Epidote Beads



The State mineral of Illinois, Fluorite, is a softer stone scoring a 4 on the Mohs scale. It is found worldwide in regions including Argentina, China, Norway, Mexico, Switzerland, Germany, England, Eastern Europe, Italy, and several states in the USA. Fluorite gets its name from the word fluorescence because its colors glow brightly under ultra violet light. Pure Fluorite results from the elements calcium and fluorine and is colorless in this form. The various colors within Fluorite are developed from tiny amounts of other elements substituting for the calcium in the crystalline formation. It can be found in shades of green, purple, yellow, red, pink, black, or sometimes a milky white. Multiple colors often occur in the same specimen. Transparent to translucent, this glass-like mineral may be found as irregular masses filling the hydrothermal veins that cut through rocks. Light reflects strongly from Fluorite's crystal face and cleavage surfaces. These calcium fluoride crystals commonly occur alongside Quartz, Calcite, and Barite.

Fluorite is known as the psychic vacuum cleaner. All forms of Fluorite are considered to be wonderful cleansers for the aura. It is commonly used during meditation to help clear the mind of cluttered thoughts or negativity. Purple Fluorite is said to increase psychic awareness, while green Fluorite aids in spiritual healing. Fluorite, in general, is considered a very intuitive stone. Therapeutically, Fluorite has been used to protect against infection by purifying the body. It is thought to protect the body from virus and bacteria. It is used to balance hormones in women and is believed to assist in keeping bones and teeth healthy due to the chemical makeup of the stone itself. It is also often used in alternative veterinary medicine to treat ear, nose, and throat issues and problems with the respiratory system, the lymph nodes, and the digestive system of many types of animals. 

See our: Fluorite Beads



Garnet is said to get its name from the Latin word “alum granatum”, meaning pomegranate, no doubt, due to the resemblance of this juicy red gem to pomegranate seeds. While it is most commonly red, it can be found in a variety of colors. Rhodolite, Almandine, Spessartine, Grossular, Andralite, and Uvarovite are the six main types of Garnet.  All are different colors and have different chemical makeups but most are varieties of aluminum silicate and consist of two or more of the following elements: calcium, magnesium, ferrous or ferric iron, manganese, aluminum, chromium, or occasionally titanium. Most Garnets range from 6.5 to a 7.5 on the Mohs scale. Garnet can be found in the USA in Arizona, New York, and Idaho and in Scotland, Tanzania, South Africa, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Burma, and Switzerland.

The official birthstone for the month of January, Garnet, has a long and colorful history.  It was used as far back as the Bronze Age in the former Czechoslovakia. It was used in Egypt more than 5000 years ago and in Ancient Sumeria and in Sweden between 1000 and 2100BC  Garnets were also popular with the ancient Greeks and Romans. In North America it was used as ornamentation by the Aztecs and other Native American civilizations. According to the Talmud, the only light on Noah’s ark was provided by a Garnet. In Bohemia, as early as 1500BC there was an entire jewelry making industry in operation that centered on Garnets and a version of that industry is still in operation today.

For centuries there have been many metaphysical properties attributed to Garnet. It has been said to offer protection or relief from tension, exhaustion, depression, anxiety, nightmares, and sorrow and it is thought to create a protective shield that can turn away evil. It is said to signify strength and health and is reputed to boost endurance when taking on arduous tasks. Claims of therapeutic properties vary immensely and include assisting in heart health, maintaining bone and spine vitality, offering gallstone and kidney support, and relieving sleep disorders. It has also been used therapeutically for frostbite, aching muscles, arthritis, and other ailments regarding the joints. 

See our: Garnet Beads



Hematite is the mineral form of iron oxide, and is typically colored black to steel or silver-gray, and brown to reddish brown, or even red.  It is harder than pure iron, but much more brittle.  Huge deposits of hematite are found in banded iron formations, and typically found in places that can have standing water or mineral hot springs, such as those in Yellow Stone National Park. 

The name is derived from the Greek word for blood, because Hematite can be red, as in rouge, a powdered form of Hematite.  The red chalk writing of this mineral was one of the earliest in the history of humans, dating back 164,000 years ago.  Palaeolitic red chalk mines have been found near Rydno in Poland and Lovas in Hungary from 5000BC. 

It has a rating of 5.5-6.5 on the Mohs scale.  It was even found on the planet Mars as recent as 2001 by the NASA Mars Global Surveyor.  Could this be why Mars is red?

See our: Hematite Beads



Canadian born chemist and mineralogist, Henry How, first discovered a cauliflower looking phosphate gemstone in 1868 in a gypsum quarry in Nova Scotia. He called the irregular looking nodules silico-boro-calcite. This slightly translucent borate mineral soon became known as Howlite.  Howlite is most often white or gray in color and may be found with a black or gray spider web matrix of veins throughout, giving it a sometimes erratic pattern.  While first discovered in Canada, Howlite can be found in many areas of North America with the largest deposits in California. It is a very soft stone with a score of 3.5 on the Mohs scale. Today, Howlite is found in a variety of colors. These colored stones are actually dyed.  The soft stone can accept dyes quite easily and because of this, it is occasionally sold by dishonest gemstone dealers imitating more expensive stones, Turquoise in particular.

Howlite is the Zodiac birthstone for the witty and spontaneous Gemini. A gemstone thought to be nothing more than a nuisance in a gypsum quarry when first discovered, it has come to have quite a good reputation with those looking for therapeutic benefits. It is said to eliminate anger, stress, and pain, as well as stabilize calcium levels in the body. Howlite is believed to have many uses to aid in stabilizing the mind. It is known to enhance memory and knowledge, as well as prevent procrastination. It is also thought to support reasoning, patience, and tact.  

See our: Howlite Beads



Iolite (or Cordierite) is a magnesium iron aluminum cyclosilicate.  It comes from the Greek word for violet, and has also been referred to as "Vikings' Compass" because of its usefulness in determining the direction of the sun on overcast days.  It comes in colors ranging from sapphire blue to blue violet to yellowish gray.  It rates a 7-7.5 on the Mohs scale, and can typically be found in Australia, Brazil, Burma, Canada, India, Madagascar, Namibia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and the USA.  The largest iolite crystal ever found weighed more than 24,000 carats and was discovered in Wyoming.

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What is commonly called Jade can actually be one of two entirely different stones. Nephrite, a calcium magnesium silicate that rates a 6 on the Mohs scale, or Jadeite, a sodium aluminum silicate with a hardness of 6.5 to a 7.  Nephrite generally occurs in one of three colors: white, deep green, or creamy brown, and can be found in the USA in California, Wyoming, Alaska, as well as in British Columbia, New Zealand, China, Russia, Taiwan, Poland, and India. Jadeite can be a leafy green, blue-green, emerald green, lavender, greenish-black, deep emerald, or black color.  While the main source for Jadeite is Burma, it can also be found in Guatemala, Russia, California, and Japan. Stones believed to be Nephrite were first seen in Europe as an import from Mesoamerica, brought in by the Conquistadors in the 16th century.  Later, Chinese carvings of a similar looking stone were found beginning in the 17th century and were labeled Nephrite, but then it was found out that it was a different material from the original Nephrite and was indeed Jadeite. Since the mid 1800’s, Burmese stones have become known as Jadeite and now both stones are traded as Jade.

Jade is the official gemstone of British Columbia and the official state gemstone of Alaska.  Throughout history, it has been used for a variety of items because it is relatively easy to carve yet extremely durable. It was classically used to make vessels, axe heads, knives, and other weapons during the Stone Age. It is also believed to be a sacred stone and is used in many cultural ceremonies worldwide in many places including Korea, China, New Zealand, and Guatemala. Therapeutically, Jade has long been respected for its healing properties. It is thought to protect the kidneys, liver, spleen, heart, and thyroid. Historically people thought that wearing Jade would offer the body strength and increase life expectancy. Jade is considered a symbol of love and virtue worldwide.

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Jasper is a microcrystalline silicon dioxide mineral and is a variety of quartz whose microcrystals are laid out like grains of sugar rather than in a fibrous way as they are in Chalcedony. The colors found in Jasper are a result of fine grained mineral impurities. The specific variety of Jasper is determined by the type of foreign materials contained within.  The name, Jasper, comes from a Greek word meaning “spotted stone”, no doubt due to the variety of patterns and layers seen in Jasper. These patterns form from volcanic flow during the stones development, yielding different colored bands or swirls in the rock. There are many varieties and colors of Jasper, including, but not limited to: Gray, Red, Silver Line, Alligator, Dalmatian, Aqua Terra, Cappuccino, Iron Zebra, Ocean, Paintbrush, Picture, Picasso, Polka Dot, Snakeskin, Rainforest, Wood, and Turtle. Most, if not all of these varieties, get their names from their visual appearance. Jasper is found worldwide with substantial mines found in Venezuela, North Africa, Sicily, Russia, France, India, Germany, and the USA.  Jasper scores a 6.5 to 7.0 on the Mohs scale.

From the Stone Age, Jasper has been used for practical purposes such as tools and arrowheads. Native Americans used it as a talisman to bring rain. Early immigrants to North America used Jasper to divine water. Jasper is thought to be a “down to earth” stone, bringing daydreamers and unrealistic thinkers back to earth. It is thought to boost intuition and said to impart to its wearer an “animal knowing”, or an intuition that is instinctual. Picture Jasper literally draws a picture of the landscape of the earth to which we need to remain connected to be whole. In fact, most all varieties of Jasper are thought to strengthen our connection to the earth, grounding us and strengthening our connection to nature and our own organic, baser instincts.

Jasper is said to aid in calming and focusing the mind, making it easier for us to deal with the details of life with efficiency and good humor. Like Jasper, we humans are all made up of different layers and those layers sometimes cause us to get caught up in our own busy worlds, humming away in our own little bubbles. Add in all the technology around us and the constant hum of everyone else’s layers that can distract us and we can see why it is easy to get disconnected from what is real. Jasper, in all its earthy loveliness, is a good reminder to stay grounded and to stay connected to the earth and to the universal hum of old Mother Nature. 

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Jet is a combination of carbon and hydrocarbon compounds formed by the lithification of driftwood submerged in the sea floor. The weight and pressure of the mud and water cause the driftwood to become fossilized over time and the byproduct is similar to a type of coal called lignite. It is found in shades of black or deep brown and is very light in weight. Even the hardest Jet scores only a 2.5 to a 4 on the Mohs scale.  Like Amber, Jet becomes electrically charged when rubbed, thus this stone is nick-named “Black Amber”. Varieties of Jet were originally found in Turkey and the finest specimens are found on the northeast coast of England.  It can also be found in France, Germany, Poland, Spain, and Russia.

Jet jewelry was seen in Britain as early as 1500 BC Jet carvings have been found in Spain dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries and were thought to be used as talismans or for jewelry worn in periods of mourning.  The Pueblo Indians have been reputed to bury Jet with their dead to bring protection in the afterlife. Jet became very popular during the reign of Queen Victoria, during which the Queen wore Whitby Jet as part of her mourning dress. Since the Victorian Era, Jet has been made into rosaries. Jet has long been thought to be a lucky amulet for travelers and wives of sailors have burned Jet, believing it would protect their husbands at sea. Jet beads gained popularity in the United States during the “Roaring 20’s” when flappers would wear multiple strands of lightweight Jet beads stretching from the neckline to the waistline.

Jet is renowned for its healing and therapeutic properties. Pliny the Elder, a naturalist and philosopher, said Jet could be used to stave off snakes and could even heal a serpent’s bite if mixed with the marrow of a stag.  Healers have been known to mix powdered Jet with beeswax to shrink tumors and to mix it with wine to alleviate toothaches.  Of course, some say wine makes everything better, so we are not sure if it’s the Jet or the wine that helps the toothache.

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Kambaba, a form of Jasper containing fossilized algae, is also known as Crocodile Jasper. Kambaba is found only in Madagascar and is relatively new to the gemstone market. Little is known about this variety of Jasper. It is primarily found in shades of green from dark olive to pale mint and has impurities that lend to some dark browns and blacks. The colors are typically seen in swirling patterns giving Kambaba quite an exotic look. It is often confused with Nebula Stone because, when side by side, the two stones appear to be almost negative images of one another. Kambaba Jasper usually has a green background with darker spots that may have a green center while Nebula Stone generally has a dark background with green spots that may have a dark center. Smaller samples of either stone may have a background cut from an “eye” out of a larger piece making it appear to be the other stone.

Many of the qualities attributed to Kambaba are the same as those associated with other varieties of Jasper.  It is thought to help the body absorb vitamins and is said to boost the immune system as well as aid in circulation and digestion. It is also worn as protection from electromagnetic radiation and environmental pollution.

Kambaba, like all forms of Jasper, is said to have a strong connection to the earth. It is thought to assist with plant growth and to help maintain healthy soil. In addition to being opposite images of one another visually, Nebula Stone and Kambaba are also believed to have opposite effects on one’s energy. Nebula Stone is said to have a “fizzy” energetic feel while Kambaba is said to keep one grounded and strengthen one’s connection to reality. Kambaba is often referred to as the “Supreme Nurturer” as it provides support through life’s stressful events and is an excellent stone to wear to help alleviate worry, calm the mind, and promote feelings of peace.  Just as it provides a healthy environment for plants to send down roots into the soil and grow strong, Kambaba, when worn regularly, is said to give the wearer a lasting and organic “grounding” and a strong foundation connected securely to the earth.

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Kyanite is thought to be a stone of connections, a natural bridge builder, connecting us to others, to the truth, to nature, and to the true nature of others. It is an interesting stone in this regard because it seems as if it has two personalities intimately connected in one stone. It is an aluminum silicate polymorph. A polymorph is a mineral that shares the same chemistry but a different crystal structure with other minerals in the same specimen. It is quite unusual because when hardness is measured along the axis of the crystal, it rates a 4.5 on the Mohs scale, but when measured across the axis, it is a 6 to a 7.5. Kyanite is an attractive mineral that can have a near sapphire like blue color.  Its luster appears vitreous to almost pearly with colors ranging from blue, white and green to yellow, pink and gray.  It can be found in North Carolina and Georgia in the USA and in Switzerland, Russia, Serbia, India, Kenya, Burma, and Brazil.

Kyanite is thought to aid in understanding lessons as they arise in life and to equip one to be better able to learn from teachers be they human, animal, mineral, bird, plant, insect, fish, or spirit.  This stone has been used for centuries to help humans connect to these teachers. Many believe that by placing it on the forehead during meditation or putting it at the head of the bed or inside a pillowcase will provide a restful sleep and awaken a deeper connection to all living things. Kyanite is also thought to open pathways to creativity that may have been blocked. Physically, it is believed to be good for energy gaps caused by bone breakage, surgery, or other trauma, assisting nerves and damaged tissues to reestablish pathways through or around the injury. It is also thought to open new neural pathways in the brain after a stroke or seizure. 

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While Labradorite was originally found on the Labrador Peninsula in Eastern Canada in the 1770’s, it can also be found in Madagascar, Mexico, Russia, and in the USA.  It is a feldspar mineral with a beautiful mirror like sheen along its crystal surface that ignites its colors with sparks and flashes.  It can be found in a range of colors from blues and greens to golden reds and oranges, and sometimes even violet. It ranges from a 6 to a 6.5 on the Mohs scale. One variety of Labradorite with an especially vivid array of colors is found exclusively in Finland and is known as Spectrolite, while another variety, found in Scandinavia and called Larkvite, is silvery gray in color. Nuummite, found in Greenland, is a very close cousin of Labradorite with a slightly different crystal pattern. 

Labradorite is said to be a magical stone and is thought to bring good luck to the bearer.  It is said to enhance natural enthusiasm and self-confidence.  It is believed to aid in relieving anxiety, negativity, and depression.  It is also used therapeutically to treat disorders of the eyes, brain, and digestive tract. The flashy, mirror-like quality of the stone may be the reason it has a reputation for awakening “flashes of self-awareness” and why it is said to be good for awakening the “third eye” if held during meditation. 

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Lapis Lazuli:

Lapis Lazuli deposits are found worldwide. The primary areas include Afghanistan, Russia, Pakistan, Chile, Canada, and the western United States. It is a sodium aluminum silicate combined with hydroxyl, sulfur, and chlorine. Most Lapis Lazuli also contains calcite (white), sodalite (blue), and pyrite (metallic yellow or gold). The name, Lapis Lazuli, is Latin meaning “blue stone” and it can be found in various shades of blue with the finest being an intense blue. The less white calcite inclusions found in the stone, the more valuable it is. Patches and specks of golden pyrite are an important factor in identifying genuine stones and do not detract from its value. It is a softer stone, scoring a 5.0 to a 5.5 on the Mohs scale. Buyer Beware: poorly colored Lapis Lazuli stones are often dyed to masquerade as a better quality stone but these are often a very dark blue with a noticeable grey cast.

Lapis Lazuli is one of the world’s oldest gems, dating back to 7000 BC within what is modern day Afghanistan. Ancient Persians derived the name of this stone from the word “lazhuward”, meaning blue and ancient. Greeks and Romans referred to it as “sapphirus”. It is even mentioned several times in the Hebrew Scriptures of the Bible. The Egyptians were known to respect Lapis as a powerful gem and used it in monthly cultural ceremonies and sacrifices. Egyptian women also used crushed and powdered Lapis as eye shadow. Catherine the Great decorated an entire room in her palace with Lapis Lazuli. Lapis covered the walls, the fireplace and doors and even the mirror frames were made of Lapis. Many early painters used powdered and purified Lapis as paint because it produced such a brilliant and romantic color. It was used in scarabs, beads, pendants, and other jewelry since 3100 BC and the Sarcophagus of King Tutankhamen was gold and inlaid with Lapis.  The royal Sumerian tombs of Ur, located in lower Iraq, were found to contain thousands of exquisitely carved Lapis animal statuettes, dishes, and beads. These amazing artifacts undoubtedly came from material mined in northern Afghanistan. It was believed that since it was blue, like the sky, it would aid in directing the departed to heaven in the afterlife.

Therapeutically, Lapis Lazuli has been used to cure migraines, fever, respiratory problems, insomnia, and depression. It is believed to protect the bones and thyroid, and has always been considered a powerful protection from evil, both physically and mentally. Buddhist teaching recommends Lapis for inner peace and freedom from negative thinking. It is thought to aid in “connecting with the gods” and “invoking divine inspiration”.  It is also said to enhance memory, to promote gentleness, to provide courage to the wearer, and to be a powerful aphrodisiac. These claims have not all been verified, but we can assure you that our beautiful Lapis Lazuli beads give us a serious case of the warm fuzzies and we are sure they will make you smile, too! 

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Larimar is a rare blue variety of pectolite, found only in the Dominican Republic of the Caribbean.  It comes in shades of white, light blue, green-blue, and deep blue.  In 1916, a local priest requested permission to explore and exploit the mine of certain blue rock he had discovered, but he was denied.  Consequently, Larimar was not officially discovered until 1974 when it was found on the beach by Miguel Mendez and a Peace Corps volunteer.  The locals always thought it was a stone that came from the sea and referred to is as the "Blue Stone".

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Lepidolite is a lilac-gray or rose-colored member of the mica group, and is a secondary source of lithium.  It occurs in granite pegmatites, high-temperature quartz veins, greisens, and granites.  It is a soft stone, rating a 2.5-3 on the Mohs scale, and is most commonly found in Brazil, California, Canada, and Madagascar.

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Magnesite is a magnesium carbonate mineral that occurs commonly in rhombohedral crystals and also in sediment, hydrothermal veins, and metamorphic rocks, meaning it forms commonly from the alteration of magnesium-rich rocks during low grade metamorphism while they are in contact with carbonate-rich solutions. Magnesite has the same crystal structure of calcite, hence its inclusion into the calcite mineral group. Many of the properties of Magnesite are either identical or similar to those of calcite, however, the magnesium ion does not allow the carbonate ion (CO3) to interact as easily with cold acids, as the calcium ion does in calcite. This provides the best means of distinguishing Magnesite from calcite. It is commonly collected as a rare mineral and sometimes faceted into a gemstone.

Magnesite, the Zodiac birthstone for Aquarius, is a soft stone ranging from 3.5 to 4.5 on the Mohs scale. Because of this, it can be easily dyed most any color.  Natural stones are most frequently found in shades of white or gray but can also be found in yellow, browns or even pale pink or lilac. It can be found in Austria, Brazil, Korea, China, and in the USA in California.

Magnesite is thought to have a calming and relaxing effect. It brings resilience and patience as well as promoting a positive attitude towards life. It is also said to “assist in awakening the mind to communication from the heart”.  Supposedly, if a Magnesite stone is placed on the forehead, one can feel a rhythmic, pulsing energy as it triggers the opening of the “third eye” of the mind.  It may be due to the high magnesium content that Magnesite is said to aid both the emotional and physical bodies in “relaxing and releasing” stored tension or stagnation.  It is said to help relieve constipation, muscle spasms, and chronic muscular tension caused by stress. It is also thought to enhance brain function, soothe sensitive skin, and heal fibroid tumors. 

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The most important malachite mine is in Zaire. Other areas where malachite can be found are in Ural, Siberia, France, South Australia, Namibia, and the USA in Arizona.

Malachite is a famous and very popular semi-precious stone. It is named for the Greek word for "mallow”, a green herb. Its banded light and dark green designs are one-of-a-kind, and give it a unique ornamental quality unlike that of any other stone. The light and dark green bands are so distinctive that malachite may be one of the most easily recognized minerals by the public. A popular design of ceramic ware which imitates this banding, is named after the mineral malachite. It forms the banding from subtle changes in the oxidation states of the surrounding pore waters, but the exact mechanism is still not well understood. Tumbled stones of malachite are possibly the most popular tumbled stones ever and are sold in literally every rock shop around the world. Carvings and figurines of malachite are almost as common. A skilled artisan can make the concentric malachite bands follow the curves of a work of art like contours on a rugged terrain. Although malachite art is not as precious as jade, it is hard to argue that it is less beautiful.

Malachite ranges from 3.5-4 on the Mohs scale. It is the mystical birthstone for Capricorn and Scorpio, and the zodiac birthstone for Taurus. It is also the anniversary gemstone for the 13th anniversary.

Malachite is said to aid in the regeneration of body cells, creates calm and peace, and aids one's sleep. Malachite is worn by many to detect impending danger. This beautiful green stone offers bands of varying hues and is believed by many to lend extra energy. It is believed that gazing at Malachite or holding it relaxes the nervous system and calms stormy emotions. Malachite is said to bring harmony into one's life. It is also believed that malachite gives knowledge and patience. Malachite is used as a children's talisman to ward off danger and illness and is often attached to infant's cradles.

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Mexican Fire Opal:

It is in Mexico that the most significant fire opal deposits in the world lie. Rock strata containing opals run through the Mexican highlands. Sometimes, these orange-red gemstones are also found in other countries, in Honduras or Guatemala, in the USA, Canada, Australia, Ethiopia, and Turkey, but these are mostly sites of little or no economic significance.

Fire Opal was born in fire, in the ancient volcanoes of Mexico. Fire opal forms when water seeps into silica-rich lava, filling seams and hollows. Under heat and pressure, the silica forms a solid gel, trapping the remaining water within its structure. Small pebbles of fire opal are found embedded in lava flows.

Play of color, body color, and transparency are the three criteria which determine the price of a fire opal. The more transparency and 'fire' it has, and the more intense the deep red of its body color, the more valuable it will be. The rarest, and thus the most highly esteemed, is the intense red-orange fire opal from Mexico with its strong play of color.  A higher value is placed on fine cabochons with the much loved play of color of the opals than on good, faceted fire opals.

Mexican Fire Opal is a harder stone and ranges from 6-6.5 on the Mohs scale. It is the birthstone for October, and a lucky stone for Aries. It is also the anniversary gemstone for the 14th anniversary. 

Mexican Fire Opals, which glow from orange to red, are treasures which generally appeal to active people with a positive approach to life.  Their warm, fiery color gives us vigor, fills us with the joys of life, and opens our senses to the beauty of Nature.  The Mexican Fire Opal is a good means of helping to make feelings flow and resolve blockages.  Connoisseurs say that fire opals bestow courage, stamina, will-power, and energy on the wearer.  The Mayas and Aztecs loved this gemstone and liked to use it in mosaics and for ritualistic purposes - they called it quetzalitzlipyollitli, meaning the 'stone of the bird of paradise'.



Moonstone is a sodium potassium aluminum silicate, a type of feldspar with a pearly and opalescent shiller.  It comes in colors ranging from blue, gray, and green, to white, pink, peach, and brown.  Its name is derived from a visual effect, or sheen, caused by light diffraction within a microstructure consisting of a regular succession of feldspar layers.  The Romans admired moonstone, as they believed it was born from solidified rays of the moon.

It is composed of two feldspar species, orthoclase and albite, which form into stacked, alternating layers.  When light falls between these thin, flat layers, it scatters in many directions, producing the phenomenon called adularescence.  Deposits of Moonstone occur in Armenia, Australia, Austria, Mexico, Madagascar, Burma, Norway, Poland, India, Sri Lanka, and the USA.  It is the state gem of Florida to commemorate the Moon landings, even though it does not naturally occur in that state.

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Moukaite is found only in mines in Australia. It is also known as Mookite, Mookaite Jasper, and Hicorite Jasper. Moukaite forms in erosion areas of mountains as a filler in cracks. Foreign materials, such as sand, clay and iron, make up the beautiful red, yellow, and orange colors.

The name Moukaite is labeled for where it was first found: on a sheep farm called Mooka Station located in Western Australia. For those seeking mental stability, Moukaite has always been a prized stone. It has been and still is reputed to keep the wearer grounded, as well as assist in difficult situations and decisions. It was once believed to keep a person connected to loved ones in the afterlife. Moukaite is often used to deepen meditation and aid in yoga experiences. Moukaite has been used to treat hernias, water retention, and stomach disorders.

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Onyx is mined in Brazil, India, Uruguay, and California. Onyx is a form of chalcedony. It is usually black or deep brown with a spectrum of colors found within its veins. Onyx that contains ribbons of reddish-brown or white, or Onyx that consists solely of these colors without ribbons, is considered sardonyx. Onyx is often heat treated to enhance the depth of color.

Onyx is a fairly hard stone with a Mohs rating of 7.0. It is the mystical birthstone for December, and the zodiac birthstone for Leo and Virgo. It is also the anniversary gemstone for 7th and 10th wedding anniversaries.

Onyx has been used in making rosaries for centuries. It is believed to have properties that control emotions, as well as calm worries, fears, and anxiety. It has long been used romantically to relieve sexual tension, aid in preventing marital disputes, and maintain faithfulness. Therapeutically, Onyx has been used to treat ulcers, glaucoma, hearing difficulty, and heart conditions. It has been believed to increase strength and stamina in athletes and maintain bone and teeth health.

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Peridot ‘olivine’ is mined in North Carolina, Hawaii, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico in the USA, and in Australia, China, Brazil, Mexico, Kenyan Myanmar, Burma, Norway, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania. High quality peridot olivine is mined in the eastern lava fields of Saudi Arabia. 

Peridot is one of the few gemstones that occur in only one color - olive green. The intensity and the tint of green depends on how much iron is contained in the crystal structure so the color of individual peridot gems can vary from yellow-green through olive green to brownish green. The darker and richer green the gem is, the more valuable it will be. Peridot is also the only gemstone found in meteorites.

Peridot is a hard stone and ranges from a 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale. It is the mystical birthstone for August, and the zodiac birthstone for Leo. It is also the anniversary gemstone for the 16th anniversary. 

Peridot is associated with warmth, friendliness, understanding and openness in love and relationships, and regulation of cycles. Peridot has been used traditionally to heal bruised egos, lessen anger, and prevent jealousy. Wear peridot when you feel hurt or when you feel angry. Some wear it to calm jealousy. Natural healers use peridot to provide a protective shield around the entire body and provide healing to the heart and lungs. Peridot helps speech, increases its eloquence, and removes stutters and impediments. It may also protect against enchantment and wizardry.

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Pink Peruvian Opal:

Peruvian pink opal is relatively rare and is only found in the Andes Mountains near San Patricio, Peru. The pink opal derives its color from trace amounts of included organic compounds known as quinones. These opals range from opaque to translucent, and depending on how the stone is cut, the color will either be clear or show the stone’s matrix and inclusions. (Like agates, some Peruvian opals show the scenic fern-like dendritic inclusions.) Peruvian opal is also known as Andean opal.

Opal was formed many millions of years ago, when a combination of silica and water flowed into cracks and spaces in the ground. This then gradually hardened and solidified to become opal. Opals contain water, which makes them very sensitive to heat. They are soft and can be cracked or chipped easily.

Peruvian Pink Opal ranges from 5.5-6.5 on the Mohs scale. It is the birthstone for October, and a lucky stone for Libras. It is also the anniversary gemstone for the 14th anniversary.

Pink Peruvian Opal is a stone of love and gentleness.  It brings energies of gentle love and kindness to both romantic relationships and relationships of other kinds.  As with other opals, it also brings inspiration, imagination, and creativity.  It can help release inhibitions and brings happy dreams.  It also eases the process of change.  Physically, pink Peruvian opal is helpful for eyesight, heart disease and injury, Parkinson's disease, lungs, and spleen.



Prehnite is found most notably in Cape of Good Hope, South Africa as well as Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Virginia, in the USA, and India, Germany, Austria, Scotland, Namibia, Canada, China, Australia, and France.

Prehnite was named after its discoverer, Colonel Hendrik von Prehn, and is an attractive collection mineral that is occasionally used as an ornamental stone. Typical prehnite forms rather thick crusts with a rough or crystalline texture. Epimorphs (crystal growth over the surface of another mineral) over laumontite crystals are interesting and attractive. Usually the laumontite has dissolved away leaving the hollow crust of prehnite behind. The color can range from a pale green to a yellowish grass green, also gray, white, or colorless. Its usual color is a pleasant green and is unique to prehnite.

Prehnite is a harder stone and ranges from 6-6.5 on the Mohs scale. It is also the zodiac birthstone for Libra.

Prehnite provides protection during meditation and promotes calmness. It is useful for anemia and blood disorders. Prehnite has been used to reduce high blood pressure and control hypertension. It is known to stimulate inner knowing and prophesy as well as facilitate spiritual communication through meditation. It is considered a powerful dream stone, and is used to encourage lucid dreaming. It has been said that if you want to remember your dreams then place this stone near your bed.

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Pyrite, also known as Fool's Gold, is an iron sulfide with a metallic, brassy-yellow hue that gives it a superficial resemblance to gold.  It is the most common of the sulfide minerals, and its name is derived from the Greek word for "of fire" or "in fire".  It is usually found associated with other sulfides or oxides in quartz veins, sedimentary rock, and metamorphic rock.

Despite being nicknamed Fool's Gold, Pyrite is sometimes found in association with small quantities of real gold.  In the 16th and 17th centuries, it was a source of ignition in early firearms, with the ability to strike a spark in order to fire a gun.  It rates a 6-6.5 on the Mohs scale.

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Quartz is the second most abundant mineral found in Earth’s crust, and is found in all regions of the world. The most prominent deposits are found in Brazil, Madagascar, Namibia, Canada, the USA, and the French and Swiss Alps.

Quartz is divided into two classifications, depending on its appearance. These groups are crystallized and microcrystalline. Crystallized Quartz is found in large, well-formed, often colorless crystals. They often appear transparent and gemmy. Many varieties are gemstones, including Amethyst, Citrine, Smoky Quartz, and Rose Quartz, depending on the color. Colorless crystals are known as rock crystal. The other form of Quartz is microcrystalline. It is generally respected today as Chalcedony. Chalcedony is microscopically crystallized and translucent to opaque. There are many forms of Chalcedony. A few of these include Agate, Onyx, Jasper, Aventurine, Tiger’s Eye, and Carnelian.

Quartz is a very hard stone that can literally scratch glass. It has a Mohs rating of 7. Rose Quartz is known to be a birthstone for January and is also the zodiac birthstone for Taurus and Libra. Clear Quartz is the common birthstone for the month of April in western tradition. Rutilated Quartz is a well-known zodiac birthstone for Leo, and Smoky Quartz is associated with Sagittarius, Libra, and Capricorn in western astrology and is the national gem of Scotland.

The interest in, as well as the use of Quartz, dates back thousands of years. It was originally believed to be fossilized ice and this was believed until the 1600’s. Quartz was used by Roman women to cool their hands in warm weather. It was used during battle to capture sunlight and cauterize wounds. Quartz was one of the most common gems to be buried with the dead, as it was believed that the spirit of the dead will be carried on by the stone. This practice is still used by some Native American Indians today. Quartz and its counterparts are one of the most widely used stones for therapeutic purposes - each variety is believed to have its own set of properties.

Clear Quartz is believed to draw out pain and speed up healing. It has also been used to treat seizures, diarrhea, dizziness, hemorrhages, headaches, and kidney diseases. Clear Quartz is thought to be vital to ones self-esteem. It is known to treat trauma from troubled childhoods by balancing chaotic emotions.

Rose Quartz is often used to maintain and treat cardiovascular health and fertility. It has also been thought to cure headaches, kidney disease, migraines, throat and sinus disorders, and sexual dysfunction. It is a very strong love stone that stimulates the body’s love centers. It is believed to aid in maintaining healthy relationships and marriage by calming hot tempers and preserving fidelity. It can be especially helpful during times of need such as divorce or bereavement by upholding self-love.

Rutilated Quartz has been assumed to have the power to regenerate the body’s tissues by aiding in the absorption of vital nutrients and maintaining the immune system. It has also been used with the elderly by slowing the progression of serious aging diseases. Mentally this powerful stone is believed to provide clarity by uprooting unknown mental set-backs, ultimately providing a more conducive, happy lifestyle. It is also believed to ease loneliness and improve communication.

Smoky Quartz is thought to treat conditions within the lower torso such as conditions of the sexual organs, kidneys, abdomen, and pancreas. Healers have used it to treat STD’s, menstrual cramps, fertility, and kidney disease. This stone is respected as having many goal-oriented properties. It is said to aid in reaching personal and business goals by bringing about patience and perseverance. It is also known to calm the mind, ease depression, and cure addiction.

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Rhodochrosite is a manganese carbonate mineral with colors ranging from rose-red to pink and pale-brown.  It rates a 3.5-4 on the Mohs scale and is often confused with the manganese silicate, rhodonite, but is distinctly softer.  It occurs as a hyrdothermal vein mineral along with other manganese minerals in low temperature ore deposits, such as the silver mines of Romania where it was first found.

The name is derived from the Greek word for "rose-colored".  Due to it being relatively soft and having perfect cleavage, it is very difficult to cut and therefore, rarely found faceted in jewelry.  It is Argentina's national gemstone, as well as the state mineral for Colorado!

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Rhodonite is a manganese inosilicate, crystallizing in the triclinic system.  It is named after the Greek word for "rosy".  Rhodonite cyrstals have a perfect, prismatic cleavage, almost at right angles.  It has a hardness of 5.5-6.5 on the Mohs scale.

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Rubies are mined traditionally in Siam (Thailand, along with the Pailin and Samlot provinces of Cambodia) and Afghanistan. Rubies were rarely found in Sri Lanka where pink sapphires are more common. After the Second World War, new ruby deposits were found in Tanzania, Kenya, Madagascar, Vietnam, Nepal, Tajikistan, and Pakistan. They have also been sometimes found in the states of Montana, North Carolina, and South Carolina. More recently, large ruby deposits have been found under the receding ice shelf of Greenland. The Mogok Valley in Upper Myanmar was for centuries the world’s main source for rubies.

All natural rubies have imperfections in them, including color impurities and inclusions of rutile needles known as "silk". The finest ruby is best described as being a vivid medium-dark toned red. Secondary hues add an additional complication. Pink, orange, and purple are the normal secondary hues in ruby. Of the three, purple is preferred because, firstly, the purple reinforces the red making it appear richer.

Ruby is a very hard stone and rates a 9 on the Mohs scale. It is the birthstone for July, a lucky stone for Leos, and it is the anniversary gemstone for the 40th anniversary.

Ruby helps heal and open the heart. It illuminates the emotional level of life and reveals the divine love at the core of every molecule in creation. Ruby and the red ray it carries restore emotional fluidity by relaxing undesirable patterns and dissolving congestion in the emotional body. Ruby teaches you to become a vehicle through which divine love and joy can enter your life and touch those around you.


Ruby Fuschite:

Ruby Fuschite, also known as Ruby in Fuschite, is found in South India. It consists of ruby crystals ranging in color from pink to red, encased in bright green fuschite, (the mother rock) and ranges from a 6.5-9 on the Mohs scale.

Ruby amplifies emotions and brings them to the surface. Fuschite helps to speed up emotional healing, returning one to a state of wellbeing after an emotional drama. It also brings consciousness to emotions and refines them into intuitive awareness. The combination of ruby and fuschite allows one to bring understanding and enlightenment to troubling emotions.

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Ruby Zoisite:

Ruby Zoisite is found only in Tanzania. Also known as anyolite, it is the natural combination of ruby and zoisite crystals in a single specimen. Zoisite, the same mineral as tanzanite, provides an earthy green and black color while ruby lends pink and red highlights. It is considered a rock as it consists of multiple minerals. Medium grade ruby and green zoisite form together to usually give a dullish red and green stone. The red ruby is often distorted and irregularly spread through the masses of green zoisite.

Ruby Zoisite ranges from a 6.5-9 on the Mohs scale. As a lesser-known and relatively "young" gemstone, Ruby Zoisite produces a blank page in the books of myth, history, wisdom, the zodiac scheme, or the relation between planets and mankind.

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Sapphire is a typically blue gemstone variety of the mineral corundum, an aluminum oxide.  It is a very hard gemstone, rating a 9 on the Mohs scale, and because of this, is used in many commercial applications, including infrared optical components, high durability windows, wristwatch crystals and movement bearings, and very thin electronic wafers to insulate electronics.  It can be found in Eastern Australia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, China, Madagascar, East Africa, and Montana in the USA. 

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Serpentine can be found in Italy, Russia, Switzerland, Canada, and in the USA in North Carolina, California, Rhode Island, and Arizona.

Serpentine gets its name from the word 'serpent' because it resembles the skin of a snake. Serpentine can be an attractive green stone that takes a nice polish and is suitable for carving. It has been used as a substitute for jade and is sometimes difficult to distinguish from jade, a testament to the beauty of finer serpentine material from calcite. It is commonly collected as a rare mineral and sometimes faceted into a gemstone. In mineralogy and gemology, serpentine may refer to any of 20 varieties belonging to the serpentine group. Owing to admixture, these varieties are not always easy to individualize, and distinctions are not usually made. Colors range from olive green and golden yellow to brown and black.

Serpentine ranges from a 3-4.5 on the Mohs scale and is the zodiac birthstone for Pisces. It has been used since ancient times to guard against disease and sorcery. Serpentine makes an exceptional meditation stone as it helps you to find inner peace. Serpentine was carried in ancient Assyria to request the gods and goddesses to provide double blessings. Nursing women can also use it to regulate their milk supply.

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Snowflake Obsidian:

Obsidian can be found in locations which have experienced rhyolitic eruptions. Obsidian deposits can be found in many western US states including Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Oregon, and Idaho. Obsidian can also be found in Armenia, Turkey, Italy, Mexico, Iceland, Kenya, Greece, New Zealand, and Scotland. In the northern regions of Chile, Obsidian has been used to help identify the indigenous tribes who have lived in the area.

While actually a natural volcanic glass, obsidian is considered an extrusive igneous rock. It is produced when felsic lava released from a volcano cools without crystal growth. Obsidian is commonly found within the fields of obsidian flows. Because of the lack of crystal structure, obsidian blade edges can reach almost molecular thinness, leading to its ancient use as projectile points, and its modern use as surgical scalpel blades. In some stones, the inclusion of small, white, radially clustered crystals of cristobalite in the black glass produce a blotchy or snowflake pattern (snowflake obsidian). It may contain patterns of gas bubbles remaining from the lava flow, aligned along layers created as the molten rock was flowing before being cooled. These bubbles can produce interesting effects such as a golden sheen (sheen obsidian) or a rainbow sheen (rainbow obsidian).

Snowflake Obsidian ranges from 5 to 5.5 on the Mohs scale and is the mystical birthstone for the month of January, as well as the zodiac birthstone for Capricorn. It is also the anniversary gemstone for the 16th anniversary.

The blackness of this stone enhances the ability to reach your inner self. It is one of the earliest known stones to be used for seeing into the future. Snowflake obsidian has the property of bringing things to the surface. The things brought to the surface could be positive or negative, love, anger, secrets, etc., but with snowflake obsidian, these things are brought to the surface more gently than they might be otherwise. Snowflake obsidian can provide balance during times of change. It aids in seeing patterns in life and recreating them in a more beneficial way. It is a stone of serenity and purity, and can shield against negativity. It is associated with the root chakra and is beneficial for the veins, skeleton, and smooth skin. Snowflake obsidian gives protection from physical and emotional harm and is a stone of purity. It balances mind, body, and spirit. Snowflake obsidian relieves muscle cramps and is a detoxification stone. Obsidian draws hidden imbalances to the surface and releases them. All obsidians are extremely protective, but snowflake obsidian is considered especially protective to women.

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Sodalite is routinely found in Namibia, Brazil, Canada, Italy, India, Russia, and the USA.

Sodalite is a light, relatively hard, yet fragile mineral. It is named after its sodium content. Well known for its blue color, Sodalite may also be gray, yellow, green, or pink and is often mottled with white veins or patches. The more uniformly blue material is commonly used in jewelry. Although very similar in appearance and composition to Lapis Lazuli, Sodalite is never quite comparable. The two stones are identical in chemical structure with the only difference being that Lapis contains sulphur instead of chlorine, which Sodalite contains. Sodalite also rarely contains pyrite, a common inclusion in Lapis. Sodalite is further distinguished from similar minerals by its white (rather than blue) streak. It has also been referred to as Canadian Blue Stone and Canadian Lapis. It has a Mohs rating of 5.5 to 6 and is the zodiac gemstone for both Virgo and Sagittarius. 

Sodalite was discovered in 1806 in Greenland, but did not become important as an ornamental stone until 1891 when vast deposits of fine material were discovered in Ontario, Canada. It has since been nick-named Princess Blue after Princess Patricia who, upon visiting Ontario sometime after its discovery, chose Sodalite as interior decoration for her home in England. Sodalite is believed to boost one's confidence and to enhance creativity. It is also known to calm chaotic emotions and maintain mental well-being. Therapeutically, Sodalite is reputed to strengthen the metabolism and lymphatic system, as well as prevent diabetes and aid in digestive disorders.

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Sugilite is found in the Kalahari Desert, in Northern South Africa as well as Japan.

The colors range from Lilac to Plum (including shades of Magenta, Purple, and Red Violet).  Sugilite is a somewhat obscure mineral named for the Japanese geologist who discovered the first specimens in 1944, Ken-ichi Sugi.  It has become very popular in the jewelry trade.  It does not form well-shaped crystals but is usually massive, which is okay, as it is used mostly for ornamental and semiprecious stone purposes.  It has a very distinctive opaque purple color when found in its most desirable color shades.  The polished stones are mostly opaque with an almost waxy luster and a deep reddish purple color.  It has been described as a purple turquoise, although there is no relation between the two minerals.  Its jewelry uses are becoming widespread and sugilite is being used in jewelry styles with turquoise, malachite, and coral.

Sugilite is a harder stone and ranges from 6.0-7.5 on the Mohs scale. It is a zodiac birthstone for Virgo.

Sugilite is today's "love stone", representing spiritual love.  It opens the chakras and brings them into alignment with the flow of love.  Sugilite enhances the development of spiritual awareness, promotes channeling ability, and teaches to live from our truth and to believe in our sixth sense, or intuition. It encourages positive thoughts, alleviating sorrow, grief, and fear.  It is a popularly held belief by metaphysicians that sugilite has just been recently discovered to help us into the ‘New Age’.  Sugilite can help to clear the mind, making way for the rising of consciousness.  It is also beneficial in the opening and centering of the heart charkas.  These two inevitable enhancements are not mutually exclusive but are, in fact, the essence of the next evolutionary step for humankind.



Tektites, Greek for "molten", are gravel-size bodies of black, green, brown, or gray natural glass from terrestrial debris ejected during extraterrestrial, meteorite impacts.  They are superficially similar to some terrestrial volcanic glasses (obsidians), but have unusual distinctive characteristics to differentiate them, such as containing virtually no water (

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Tiger's Eye:

Tiger's eye is found in Western Australia, South Africa, the USA, Canada, India, Namibia, and Burma.

Tiger's eye (tigers eye, tiger eye, tiger iron) is a member of the quartz group of chalcedonies. It is one of the chatoyant gemstones. Chatoyancy exhibits a changeable silky luster as light is reflected within the thin parallel fibrous bands. This effect is due to the fibrous structure of the material. The quartz in tiger’s eye has been colored by iron oxide. Tiger’s eye usually is a yellow to red-brown. It is composed of tiger's eye, red jasper, and black hematite. A very rare type of tiger iron contains shades of red, green, yellow, and blue. Artificial fiber optic glass is a common imitation of tiger's eye, and is produced in a wide range of colors.

Tiger's eye mostly comes from South Africa and has a rating of 7 on the Mohs scale. It is the mystical birthstone for November, and the zodiac birthstone for Gemini. It is also the anniversary gemstone for the 9th anniversary.

Many legends say that wearing tiger's eye (which is a form of quartz) is beneficial for health and spiritual well-being. Legend also says it is a psychic protector, great for business, and an aid to achieving clarity. It is said that it has the ability to relieve high blood pressure and can prove helpful in the presence of the following diseases: bronchial asthma, kidney, rheumatic heart disease, otitis, and psoriasis.

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Topas is a silicate mineral of aluminum and fluorine, and crystallizes in the orthorhombic system.  Pure Topaz is colorless and transparent, but is usually tinted by impurities.  Typical Topaz is wine red, yellow, pale gray, reddish-orange, or blue-brown.  Orange Topaz is the traditional November birthstone, the symbol of friendship, and the state gemstone of Utah.  Blue Topaz is the state gemstone of Texas and is quite rare.

It can be found in Russia, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Pakistan, Italy, Sweden, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Nigeria, and the USA.  Some clear Topaz from Brazil can reach boulder size and weigh hundreds of pounds.

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Tourmaline is a crystalline boron silicate mineral compounded with elements such as aluminum, iron, magnesium, sodium, lithium, and potassium.  It is classified as a semi-precious stone and occurs in a variety of colors, from black or colorless, to brown, violet, yellow, orange, blue, red, green, and pink.  It rates a 7-7.5 on the Mohs scale.  Tourmaline was used by chemists in the 19th century to polarize light by shining rays onto a cut and polished surface of the gem.

It is a six-member ring cyclosilicate with a trigonal crystal system.  It occurs as long, prismatic and columnar cyrstals that are usually triangular in cross-section.  It is distinguished by these 3-sided prisms because no other mineral has three sides.  Tourmaline is mined chiefly in Brazil and Africa.  Watermelon Tourmaline is called such when the crystal is green at one end and pink at the other, or green on the outside and pink on the inside.

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Turquoise was one of the first gems to be mined, and although many ancient sites have been depleted, some are still worked today. Many are small-scale, often seasonal operations, and due to the limited scope and remoteness of the deposits, most are worked by hand with little or no mechanization. Deposits are found worldwide. Some of the most notable mines are located in China, Iran (a region formerly known as Persia), Afghanistan, Australia, northern Chile, Cornwall, Saxony, Silesia, Turkestan, China, Mexico, and the southwestern United States (Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada).

Turquoise is a hydrated copper and aluminum phosphate mineral. It is a cryptocrystalline mineral, meaning the structure is made up of microscopic crystals. Turquoise is opaque and has a waxy luster. It may appear semi-translucent in thin segments. Color is quite variable, ranging from white to a powder blue to a sky blue, and from a blue-green to a yellowish green. The blue is attributed to copper impurities while the green may be the result of either iron impurities or dehydration. Exposure to heat or sunlight is also detrimental to the color of the turquoise. The stone can be very porous and chalky, therefore it is usually treated prior to use in jewelry. The stones are “stabilized”, meaning they are treated with a resinous substance. Stabilizing the turquoise makes it less susceptible to chipping and keeps the color from changing due to contact with the oils in your body or moisture. Turquoise usually includes flecks of pyrite or is interspersed with dark, spidery yellowish-brown to black mineral veining known as “matrix”. Turquoise is rarely found without matrix, although Sleeping Beauty turquoise is often found in the pure form, displaying a vivid sky blue color. The Sleeping Beauty mine is located in Arizona, USA.

Turquoise is a very soft stone with a hardness of no more than 6 (depending on the form) on the Mohs scale. It is the modern birthstone for December, and is the anniversary gemstone for both the 5th and 11th anniversaries. 

The name Turquoise is said to be derived around the 16th century from the French language either from the word for Turkish (Turquois) or dark-blue stone (pierre turquin). It has been used widely for centuries and is one of the gems still used today. Turquoise is also reputed to heal all kinds of ailments. New age healers use it for the skeletal, digestive, and respiratory systems. It is said to help remove toxins from smoking and other pollutants from the body. The stone is also said to help improve your attitude as well as enhance creativity. It is reputed to bring you inner awareness and help strengthen friendships. Turquoise is reputed to help those who have trouble speaking in public, as well as improve empathy and honesty. 

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Unakite is primarily found in the USA, but deposits have also been discovered in South Africa, Brazil, and China.

Unakite is altered granite composed of pink orthoclase feldspar, green epidote, and generally clear quartz. It exists in various shades of green and pink and is typically mottled in appearance. In good quality, Unakite is considered a semiprecious stone. It is also referred to as epidotized granite.

Unakite has a hardness of 6 to 7 on the Mohs scale and is the astrological birthstone for Scorpio. It was first discovered in the United States in the Unakas Mountains of North Carolina, for which it was named. It is a relatively newly discovered stone, therefore the history is not very extensive. Therapeutically, it is thought to aid in recuperation after illness or injury and provide protection during pregnancy. It is also known to maintain heart health and attract love. It is considered a balancing stone assumed to sustain mental health and clarity by allowing one to enjoy the present and not dwell in the past.

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Variscite comes primarily from the western United States and the finest specimens come from Utah and Nevada. It is a relatively rare phosphate mineral that is sometimes confused with turquoise, however it is usually greener than turquoise.  Variscite is sometimes used as a semi-precious stone and can make distinctive color patterns that are very attractive.  Occasionally it is altered into other phosphate minerals.  This can occur in what were perhaps ‘weak’ layers of a nodule since only portions of the variscite nodules are altered.  The most common alteration mineral is crandallite, and gives some nodules a yellow or white layer.  The luster is waxy or vitreous.

Variscite is a softer stone and ranges from 4-4.5 on the Mohs scale. Variscite has many therapeutic uses that have been used worldwide and many are still in use today.  Variscite has been said to help with remembrance of past lives.  It also aids in balancing the central nervous system and eases depression, fear, worry, anxiety, and impatience. It is a good meditation stone and also helps with virtue, self-reliance, moral courage, and success.

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