Amethyst is the purple variety of quartz and is a hugely popular semi-precious gemstone. If it were not for its widespread availability, amethyst would be very expensive. The name "amethyst" comes from the Greek and means "not intoxicating." This was maybe due to a belief that amethyst would ward off the effects of alcohol but, most likely, the Greeks were referring to the almost winelike color of some stones they may have encountered.
Its color is unparalleled and even other, more expensive purple gemstones are often compared to amethyst's color and beauty. Amethyst's coloration is due to ferric iron impurities reacting with the quartz in unique ways. Although it must always be purple to be amethyst, it can and does have a wide range of purple and violet shades.
Black Onyx is a member of the chalcedony family (a form of quartz). Onyx is a black form of Agate and often features white or gray bands. It is ideal for carving, engraving, fashioning into beads, and decorating pottery. A versatile and durable stone, Onyx was also used to make tools. Popular worldwide, it is the most common of all gems.
Historically, it was believed black onyx cured insomnia, bred prudence and caution, and brought its owner strength and victory in battle. It is a popular belief that Onyx has the power to cure mental and physical illness inherited from past lives. The people of India believe Onyx provides protection from the evil eye and the people of the Middle East use it to take away negative energies.
Charoite is found in only one location - along the Chary River at Aldan in Russia.
Put charoite beneath your pillow, especially if you are prone to disturbed sleep or fears which surface in dreams. In combination with amethyst, it will help to release these fears.
Charoite is said to be useful for the cleansing and purification of one's energy body as well as for the transmutation of negative energies within oneself.
CORAL and APPLE CORAL
Coral, produced by tiny marine animals, is usually obtained from the Mediterranean Sea. Coral is available in a variety of colors. Native Americans have prized this gem for over 4 centuries. Red coral, sometimes called "precious coral," was believed to change color according to one's health, but only if the stone was not fashioned by man. Strings of coral were considered a gift of royal proportion in parts of Africa; the ancient Romans touted its curative powers.
When you say the word coral, most people think of the coral reefs in the South Pacific like the Great Barrier Reef off Australia; however, these coral reefs are formed by a different species than the coral traditionally used in jewelry. Coral is porous so it should not come into contact with chemicals. To clean it, wipe it gently with a moist soft cloth.
The hard skeleton of red coral branches is naturally matte but can be polished to a glassy shine. It exhibits a range of warm reddish pink colors from pale pink to deep red; the word coral is also used to name such colors. Owing to its intense and permanent coloration and glossiness, precious coral skeletons have been harvested since antiquity for decorative use. Coral jewelry has been found in ancient Egyptian and prehistoric European burials and continues to be made to the present day.
There are several types of precious coral. Although Red corals are most common in jewelry, coral can be found naturally in a variety of colors, including blacks and golds. Coral is produced in warm, shallow coastal areas by tiny marine animals and can be found in many places. Jewelry-grade coral usually comes from the Mediterranean Sea, Hawaii, or China and is increasingly rare due to large efforts to protect the world's Coral Reefs. Coral is known to be used as a gem since prehistoric times and has gained a reputation for having powers of healing and protection. Red coral was believed to change color according to one's health but only if the stone was not fashioned by man. Strings of coral were considered a gift of royal proportion in parts of Africa. It was also popular as a gem in the Egyptian and Roman Empires who believed in its curative powers.
The existence of coral for adornment, and its great demand in our world, dates back over 10,000 years. The name for this is "Moorish or Oxblood Jewelry." Quality Coral is also referred to as RED GOLD!! Coral is known to be used as a gem since prehistoric times. Coral has a history of religious meaning and is one of the seven treasures in Buddhist scriptures. Coral was long thought to be a strong talisman against bleeding, evil spirits, and hurricanes.
There is also APPLE CORAL. Currently, Apple Coral is becoming rare and hard to find.
Birthstone Months with Coral : Taurus (Apr. 20-May 20); Blood Coral is the birthstone.
Anniversary Gemstone for Coral: Coral is the anniversary gemstone for the 35th year of marriage.
Coral Mystical Properties: Coral is used to build an emotional foundation.
More Coral Lore: Coral is said to protect children. In many countries, coral is given as a gift to children. Coral is said to cure madness and give wisdom. Black Coral is Hawaii's US State Gemstone.
Gaspeite is Nickel Magnesium Iron Carbonate, is in the Calcite group and is found near deposits of Nickel Sulfide. The brilliant green color has given it great value as a gemstone. Gaspeite is a rare mineral found in significant amounts only in Canada and Australia. It gets the name Gaspeite from the Gaspe' Peninsula in Quebec, Canada.
Gold Lip is also known as Fresh Water Pearl.
Jet, also known as Black Amber™, is typically made from a compact velvet lignite coal that was formed from tree fossils. The chemical composition is mainly carbon with touches of oxygen and hydrogen. It is used as a gemstone due to its ability to be well-polished.
Jet was worn by the people of the Victorian era as a gemstone of mourning due to the loss of Prince Albert. From that time on, Jet has been the primary gemstone for almost all mourning jewelry. Jet can be naturally found in England, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, and the U.S.
LAPIS and DENIM LAPIS
Lapis lazuli is a beautiful opaque stone ranging in color from a deep blue to denim. Lapis lazuli can be made of several minerals besides lazurite, namely sodalite, hauyne, calcite (white streaks), and pyrite (metallic streaks or flecks). Stones that are deep blue with small patches of pyrite and calcite are considered the most valuable.
Lapis lazuli is regarded by many people around the world as the stone of friendship and truth. The blue stone is said to encourage harmony in relationships and help its wearer to be authentic and give his or her opinion openly.
The ancients believed that divine favor and success came to those wearing lapis. It was largely reserved for royalty. Claims to origins of lapis lazuli range from Afghanistan and ancient Babylon to Peru and the Inca civilization.
The Santa Domingo Indians of New Mexico are recognized as the creators of Heishi. Originally, they used shell and turquoise, drilled with a small hand pump drill, rubbed smooth and strung. The ancient technique of heishi has been adapted to the use of sterling silver as well as shell and stone.
When silver is used, drawing a ribbon of silver through a draw plate forms a thin, silver tube. These tubes are carefully cut into identical 1/8" pieces and handstrung together in various lengths. The term "Liquid Silver" is derived from the smooth and flowing watery effect created by the silver strands.
Malachite is a famous and very popular semi-precious stone. It is named for the Greek word "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 general public.
Malachite comes from copper ore, thus exuding a green appearance. Its origin dates back to ancient Egypt and, as with several other precious stones, was believed to possess magical powers. It has been found in Zaire, France, England, Rhodesia, New Mexico, and Arizona. It is rare and highly esteemed by mineral collectors. Malachite is used for making beads, carved figurines, and cabochons (cut stones); however, larger quantities have been used in certain palace walls and buildings in Russia.
Opal's name evolved from the Roman word opalus from the Greek word opallios - "to see a change of color." The Greek word was a modification of the ancient Indian Sanskrit name for opal, upala, which meant "precious stone." If one spoke in mixed tongues, then opal would be opallios upala, "to see a change of color precious stone." As indicated by the derivation of its name, opal has centuries of history as a treasured gemstone.
Historically, beliefs associated with the wearing of opal have varied. The early Greeks thought that opals gave their owners the powers of foresight and prophecy. Romans adored it as a token of hope and purity. Eastern people regarded it as sacred. Arabs believed it fell from heaven.
Rhodochrosite's powers include drawing love to the wearer, helps release past psychological issues and improves eyesight. Rhodochrosite is thought to relieve stress and is used by healers to cleanse the aura.
Rhodochrosite is also believed to help in the development of inner freedom by helping to resolve inner conflicts and as a stone of love and balance. It is a powerful healer for the 4th chakra and used to cleanse the heart chakra.
Many believe that it can release the suffering based on past lives and energize the pancreas, spleen and kidney. It increases the ability to handle life problems and increases personal self-confidence.
The Incas, who called it Inca Rose, believed that Rhodochrosite is the blood of their former kings and queens that was turned to stone.
Ruby Zoisite is an ornamental material consisting of crystalline aggregates of green zoisite with non-transparent ruby inclusions. It is found in Tanzania. There isn't another stone like it in the mineral world. Zoisite has been known for nearly two centuries as an ornamental stone. Folklore and legend is unknown to this day.
SILVER AND OTHER METALS
Native Americans have always known that the Earth's power lay in its rocks and minerals. The stones used in Native American jewelry were used not just to adorn the wearer but to call up that power for healing and good fortune. Ancient tradition holds that certain metals have medicinal qualities. SILVER is intuition, beauty and spiritual healing.
The Navajo were the first to produce jewelry that required the working of metal. Their love of metal working can be traced to the Spanish arrival in the Southwest. The silver bridles and horse trappings of the Conquistadors were admired and often stolen by the raiding Navajos. Later, when the area became part of Mexico, Mexican silversmiths traded jewelry to wealthy Navajo for sheep. Jewelry became a symbol of wealth.
The Spiny Oyster gemstone is actually the colorful shell that comes from the species Spondylus varius also known as the Spiny Oyster or Thorny Oyster. The Thorny Oyster is a bivalve mollusk that dwells primarily in tropical ocean waters. They can be found along the coasts of North Carolina all the way down to the waters near Brazil. It is a stunning animal to look at, and it is often a subject for underwater photography. The dazzling shells of the Thorny Oyster are rare finds and they're treasured for their beautiful red, brown, yellow, purple, and white colors.
Turquoise is thought to promote healing and good luck. It is a stone that is also used in Southwest Indian religious ceremonies.
Turquoise jewelry is also a good gift for a businessperson or someone who is a bit down on his/her luck. This is because, historically, turquoise is thought to bring wealth to the wearer.
Turquoise is believed to have the power to heal. It is also reputed to assist in creativity, aid in making speeches and reduce stress. It is said to have the ability to detoxify the body, give its wearer a deeper sense of self-knowledge, strengthen relationships, enhance friendships, and increase honesty and wisdom.
Turquoise is the birthstone of December and anniversary gemstone for the 11th year of marriage.
The Native American Indian jewelry artists of the Southwest often use Turquoise in their work to honor the Father Sky.
People throughout history have associated Turquoise with curative powers, helping to heal the sick and injured. Many people also believe that Turquoise can help keep the mind creative and aid in communication. Turquoise is also thought to be helpful in preventing diseases and preventing trouble with allergies.
There are many legends about Turquoise. The Pima consider it to bring good fortune and strength and that it helped overcome illness. The Zuni believe that blue turquoise was male and of the sky and green turquoise was female and of the earth. Pueblo Indians thought that its color was stolen from the sky. In Hopi legend, the lizard who travels between the above and the below excretes turquoise and that the stone can hold back floods. The Apache felt that turquoise on a gun or bow made it shoot straight. The Navajo consider it as good fortune to wear and believe it could appease the Wind Spirit.
Turquoise has been, since about 200 B.C., extensively used by Southwestern U.S. Native Americans and by many of the Indian tribes in Mexico. The Native American Jewelry or "Indian style" jewelry with turquoise mounted in or with silver is relatively new. Some believe this style of jewelry was unknown prior to about 1880, when a white trader persuaded a Navajo craftsman to make turquoise and silver jewelry using coin silver. Prior to this time, the Native Americans had made solid turquoise beads, carvings, and inlaid mosaics. Recently, turquoise has found wide acceptance among people of all walks of life and from many different ethnic groups.
In Indian folklore, it is said that there was once a chief with turquoise-colored skin. One day, he was running from his enemies in the hot desert. Whenever he stopped to rest, his perspiration ran onto the ground, collected in rocks and became turquoise.
Turquoise, the robin's egg blue gemstone worn by Pharaohs and Aztec Kings, is probably one of the oldest gemstones known, yet only its prized blue color, a color so distinctive that its name is used to describe any color that resembles it, results in its being used as a gemstone.
Turquoise is a highly-sought-after mineral and is possibly the most valuable, non-transparent mineral in the jewelry trade. It has been mined for eons since at least 6000 BC by early Egyptians. Aztecs reserved turquoise for the gods and it was not to be worn by mere mortals. Its history also includes beautiful ornamental creations by Native Americans and Persians. Today, it is more popular than ever and its use around the world is prolific. The finest turquoise comes from Iran but is challenged by some southwestern United States specimens. The name comes from a French word, which means stone of Turkey, from where Persian material passed on its way to Europe.
WILD HORSE MAGNESITE
Wild Horse is the marketing name for a new find of Magnesite from the Gila Wilderness Area in Southern Arizona. Rich chocolate brown is actually the matrix in this new Magnesite with antique white as the Magnesite's color. This new Magnesite was discovered near Globe, Arizona, while mining for other minerals. It is called Wild Horse because of its resemblance to those Pinto horses with brown-on-white patches known to roam free in the Southwest and who were also a favorite horse of many Native Americans.