Gemstone Properties

We get some of our biggest oohs and ahhs when people step into the back of the shop and catch sight of our tall, glimmering cases filled to the brim with gemstones of every color of the rainbow. They are, without a doubt, a truly breathtaking reminder of the scope of color in Mother Nature. Some individuals are content to let their eyes lead them, while others are looking for stones with a particular meaning. Though we have a selection of books behind the counter that we'd be happy to pull out for you, we thought we'd compile our own guide to gemstone history, background and lore for you to peruse right here.

  


Agate

Agate is a type of chalcedony in the quartz family, which often occurs in nodular masses in volcanic lava rocks. They form in concentric layers and bands similar to tree trunks and may appear as eyes, scallops, or visually resemble landscapes. It is the official gemstone/ mineral of several states within the USA. The folklore of many ancient civilizations rumors that wearing agate would protect from danger. It was often used on the breastplates of soldier's armor to give warriors strength and make them victorious in battle. Agate was thought of as the stone of strength in the ancient cultures. Roman farmers believed Moss Agates to ensure good crops and to please the gods that would bring an abundant harvest. In ancient Asia, magicians believed that agates might be used to see the future, ward off evil, and to divert dangerous storms . Early Britons believed the stone might prevent skin disease. Agate talismans were worn in the Middle East and believed to keep the blood healthy and sucking on an agate was thought to relieve thirst. Another legend says that any person who looks upon an agate can not remain secretive and is obligated to tell the truth. Agate is commonly found in folklore to induce calming, aid in protection, and promoting a balanced body energy.

 

See Agate jewelry here. 


Alexandrite

Alexandrite is named for the former czar of Russia, Alexander II, and was first discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia, supposedly on the day of his birth.
Chromium gives alexandrite its color and while in most minerals a trace element like chromium would provide only one color to the mineral, in alexandrite it appears to have two. Coloring agents are dependent on the wavelength of light and the chemical bonds in the crystal to determine the color that they will cause. An element like copper, in normal light, can cause a green color in malachite and a blue color in azurite, it all depends on the character of the chemical bonding. In a single specimen of alexandrite, the chromium is in such a balanced situation that the color of the specimen depends on the character of light that hits the crystal. If the light is natural sunlight or fluorescent light, the crystal will be green; however, if the light is incandescent light from a common indoor light bulb, then the crystal will appear red. It has been called, “emerald by day – ruby by night,” because it can change instantly from green/blue to red. Alexandrite is found in Sri Lanka, India, Brazil, Burma, and Zimbabwe. Contemporary stone lore rumors Alexandrite helps balance emotions, build confidence, and increase self-esteem.
See Alexandrite jewelry here.

Amazonite

Amazonite is a bluish-green stone of the feldspar family usually seen with white streaks running throughout the stone. Amazonite displays a schiller of light which is caused by inclusions. Schiller is a lustrous reflection from planes in a mineral grain and is similar to what is more commonly known as iridescence. The green color is traditionally thought to come from the presence of copper as the Amazonite crystals form. Although it is named after the Amazon River, Amazonite is found in Russia, Madagascar, Brazil, and Colorado. In stone folklore, Amazonite represents a balance between masculine and feminine energy; Amazonite is rumored as a symbol of balance between masculine aggression and feminine values, and promotes kindness and practicality, inner power and courage.

 

See Amazonite jewelry here.


 

Amber

Amber is technically not a gemstone or mineral, but fossilized resin from prehistoric trees that has aged over the course of millions of years. As sticky resin oozed from ancient pine trees, small insects, plant material, feathers and other small objects in the path of the flow became entrapped; over time, these organic pollutants developed the varying colors and opacities in individual beds of Amber. Over centuries, the resin was encased in dirt and debris and through a process of heat and pressure, it fossilized to become Amber. Historically, Amber has been used as an ingredient in perfumes, as a healing agent in folk medicine, and as a highly valued component in jewelry as early as the Neolithic era.
Amber is found mainly in the Baltic region. There are large reserves of amber on the seabed of the Baltic Sea, and amber often washes ashore after heavy storms. Significant deposits of younger Ambers are found in the Dominican Republic. Deposits are also found in Canada, Mexico and the United States. Early physicians prescribed Amber for headaches and heart problems. In common folklore, it is believed to absorb pain and disease, and dispel negative energy and is thought to improve mood and attract love.
See Amber jewelry here. 

Amethyst

Manganese content in clear quartz gives Amethyst its wide range of colors from pink to lavender to intense violet. Historically the Greek word "amethystos" may be translated as "not drunken". a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from intoxication: ancient Greeks and Romans wore Amethyst and even made drinking vessels of it in the belief that it would prevent drunkenness. Over centuries, amethyst has thus been popularly associated in helping overcome addiction, and improving self-control.  Amethyst is also widely thought in stone lore to help overcome grief and loss. Although it is found all over the world, most fine Amethyst is mined in Brazil.
See Amethyst jewelry here.

Ametrine

Ametrine is  a naturally occurring variety of quartz that combines both Amethyst and Citrine. Color zones of violet amethyst to golden yellow citrine are visible within Ametrine , and are due to differing oxidation states of iron within the crystal. The different oxidation states occur due to there being a temperature gradient across the crystal during its formation. Almost all Ametrine comes from Bolivia, although there are a few small pockets in India and Brazil.  It is believed in stone folklore to stimulate the intellect and banish negative energy.

See Ametrine jewelry here. 


Andalusite

Andalusite is named after Andalusia, Spain, where it is predominately found.  It is also mined in Brazil and Sri Lanka. It is a polymorph with two other minerals: kyanite and sillimanite. Andalusite displays shades of yellow, olive and reddish brown depending on the orientation of the crystal colors, and has a  muted form of iridescence. Andalusite is associated with mica schist.

Andalusite is also sometimes called “The Seeing Stone,” and contemporary folklore rumors Andalusite helps one look at things objectively and without bias, and to improve memory.

See Andalusite jewelry here.


Apatite

Most apatite is found in Brazil, Burma, and Mexico.  Its unique crystal structure makes it softer than other stones, and is one gemstone mineral which is actually produced and used by the human body. From the point of view of mineralogy, apatite is a group of phosphate minerals, and large amounts of apatite are in human bones and smaller amounts are in rocks. Apatite and apatite-like minerals make up most of our teeth and bones

Apatite-rich rock is also the most important source of phosphorus in the world. Apatite is considered in stone folklore a great balancing stone and is thought to promote health and strength of teeth and bones.

See Apatite Jewelry here.


Aquamarine

Aquamarine is the blue stone in the beryl family and gets its name from Latin words meaning water and sea.While it is found all over the world, the best aquamarines come from Columbia and Brazil. The gemstone Aquamarine is the modern March birthstone. It is also the birth stone for the Zodiac sign of Scorpio.

Ancient aquamarine crystals have been found in Egyptian mummy tombs. Aquamarine is commonly associated with water, and folklore tells that sailors would carry it for protection at sea to keep them safe and prevent seasickness. It is also rumored a wonderful meditation stone.

See Aquamarine jewelry here. 


Aventurine

Aventurine is a form of quartz, characterized by its translucency and the presence of platy mineral inclusions that form when quartz is subjected to heat and pressure, causing it to melt and resolidify with other minerals. This formation process gives a shimmering or glistening effect termed "aventurescence." The most common colour of aventurine is green, but it may also be orange, brown, yellow, blue, or gray. Chrome-bearing Fuschite (a variety of Muscovite Mica) is the classic inclusion, and gives a silvery green or blue sheen. While it is most often green, it also appears in orange, brown, yellow, blue, and grey.  Its name comes from Italian, “a ventura,” meaning “by chance.”  While most blue and green aventurine comes from India, the other colors are found in Chile, Spain, and Russia. In contemporary stone lore, Aventurine is considered a healing stone to soothe a troubled heart or calm distraught emotions.

See Aventurine jewelry here.


 

Azurite

Azurite is formed from the oxidization of copper ores.It often occurs with Malachite, Chrysocolla and Turquoise in areas with copper deposits. A rare form called "Bluebird", has dark red Cuprite mixed with Azurite.


Azurite is found in Australia, Chile, France, Mexico, Morocco, Nambia, the southwestern USA, and Zaire. For thousands of years this stone has been used in jewelry and ornamental objects. During the Middle Ages and Renaissance it was ground into pigment for use in paint and eye shadow Its mixture of blue and green resembles the planet earth. In contemporary stone lore, Azurite is thought to enhance creativity, reduce anger and stimulate the pursuit of the heavenly self and psychic awareness.

See Azurite jewelry here. 


Beryl

Beryl is not well known but is one of the most important gem minerals. Beryl is colorless in pure form. The many different impurities give beryl its varied coloration. Emerald is the green and Aquamarine is the blue variety of Beryl. The name Beryl is used for the red and golden varieties. The greenish-yellow variety is sometimes called Heliodor. The pink variety is called Morganite. The colorless variety is known as Goshenite. The most common Beryl of gem quality is called Golden Beryl. Red Beryl or Bixbite, is one of the world's rarest gemstones. Golden Beryls are found in Brazil, several African countries and Sri Lanka. Red Beryl is only found in the United States (Utah). Pink Beryl, or Morganite, is found in Afghanistan, Brazil, China, Africa and USA (California and Utah). 
Popular legend says that Beryl was used to ward off demons and evil spirits. Ancient literature notes that Pliny used powdered Beryl to cure eye injuries. Contemporary stone lore about Beryl rumors Golden Beryl promotes cheerfulness maintains youthfulness. Golden beryl is said to make one sympathetic and increase sincerity.
See Beryl jewelry here.  

Bloodstone

Bloodstone is an opaque dark-green form of Chalcedony quartz with distinctive red spots, which are caused by the presence of iron oxide. Bloodstone is also known by the name Heliotrope, perhaps because in ancient times the color was reminiscent of reflections from the setting sun. The name bloodstone obviously comes from the resemblance to blood of the red droplets.

 

Early Christian legend is that when Jesus Christ was crucified, the dripping blood stained the green Jasper at his feet, and this was the origin of Bloodstone. Bloodstone was widely used in sculptures representing flagellation and martyrdom, and was known at one time as the "Martyr's Stone". There are also some gemological myths associated with Bloodstone. In the gem trade, the term blood jasper is sometimes used to refer to Bloodstone. Many apparently reputable sources describe bloodstone as a form of green Jasper, or as containing red Jasper. But according to the most authoritative sources, Bloodstone is not a Jasper at all. Bloodstone was the original birthstone for March but has been replaced by Aquamarine. However, Bloodstone is still regarded as the astrological gem for Aries. The largest Bloodstone deposits are in India. Some believe the reason for the shortage of high quality Bloodstone is due to the fact that finely powdered Bloodstone is used as both a medicine and an aphrodisiac in India. Due to its name and appearance, many myths became associated with Bloodstone. It was once thought in folklore to be able to stop hemorrhages with the merest touch, and to relieve stomach and bowel pain. It was said to strengthen blood purifying organs and improve blood circulation.

 

See Bloodstone jewelry here. 


Blue Lace Agate

Blue lace agate is the banded form of blue Chalcedony.  It was discovered in Namibia by George Swanson.  He originally called it the “gem of ecology,” due to its resemblance to the clouds.  Blue Lace Agate is a gentle, calming stone. It also according to stone lore rumored ease communication, enhance conversation, and helps one during public speaking.

See Blue Lace Agate jewelry here.


Blue Topaz

Topaz comes from the Greek word, “topazos,” meaning “to seek". Topaz is the birthstone of November (yellow topaz) and December (blue topaz), and it is a talisman for the sign of Sagittarius Most topaz comes from Brazil. Blue topaz can be found in both lighter and darker tones, usually known in the trade as Sky Blue Topaz, Swiss Blue Topaz and London Blue Topaz. As in the case of other blue gems, the more saturated blues tend to have a higher value. So in topaz it is the London Blue that usually regarded as the most valuable.

 

See Blue Topaz jewelry here.


Boulder Opal

First discovered in Quilpie, in Western Queensland Australia in about 1870, the Boulder Opal is found embedded in ironstone boulders. The opal usually forms as thin veins within these boulders, and most stones are cut to include some of the host ironstone matrix. Boulder opal is sometimes referred to as Opal in matrix for this reason.

See Boulder Opal jewelry here.


Calcite

The word calcite comes from the latin word calx, and the Greek word chalix, meaning "lime". Calcite is common in limestone and marble. Optical (clear) calcite has double refraction. If you lay it over a line of writing, you will see the writing show up in two lines through the calcite. Calcite is often colored by various impurities, including iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc or cobalt and occurs in a range of colors including white, gray, yellow, green, red and blue. Calcite is found in Mexico and the southwestern United States and is found also in caves and caverns as stalactite and stalagmite formations. Folklore rumors calcite to enhance learning abilities, and thus is a popular stone for students; in general it is thought as a grounding and centering stone.
See Calcite jewelry here.

Carnelian

Carnelian is an orange Chalcedony that comes from the Latin word, “caro,” meaning “flesh”. The distinctive red-orange color of Carnelian is a result of trace amounts of iron. Sometimes the name Sard is used to refer to the darker colors of carnelian. Carnelian is one of the birthstones listed in the ancient Arabic, Hebrew, Italian and Roman tables and is a Zodiac birthstone for the signs of Leo and Virgo. Carnelian has one of the oldest known gemstone histories. It was widely used in ancient Rome to make signet or seal rings for imprinting a seal on letters or important documents (hot wax does not stick to carnelian). Folklore suggests that Carnelian's healing properties help purify the blood, relieve menstrual cramps and back pain. It is also thought to be beneficial in the treatment of infertility and is worn to enhance passion and desire.
See Carnelian jewelry here.

Chalcedony

Chalcedony is used as a variety name to refer specifically to the bluish-gray or lavender color of cryptocrystalline quartz. This color is sometimes called "Actual Chalcedony" but the name can be slightly confusing, as most of the other Chalcedonies are referred to by other names, such as Agate, Bloodstone or Carnelian. 
The term Chalcedony is derived from the name of the ancient Greek town Chalkedon in Asia Minor. In contemporary stone lore, is thought in lore to promote emotional balance and open the heart to kindness and charity.
See Chalcedony jewelry here.

Charoite

Discovered in Russia in 1978 in the Murun mountains in Yakutia, Siberia. This the only known location for this rare mineral. The name Charoite is derived from the Charo River which is near where it was found.
The colors range from bright lavender, violet and lilac to dark purple with swirling patterns of black Augite, transparent crystals of microcline feldspar, and/or orange Tinaksite. Charoite is very unusual looking because of its property of chatoyancy and strange looking spiral strands of fibrous material that often mistake it for a synthetic. Current stone lore and rumor say that charoite is said to enhance self-esteem, creativity, and improve the ability to love. Since this is a recent discovery (1978), there are no known legends surrounding this stone.
See Charoite jewelry here.

Chiastolite

Chiastolite is a form of andalusite.  It is also known as the “cross stone,” or “piedra de cruz,” due to its cross-like inclusions of graphite.  Its name comes from the Greek word, “chiastos,” for “cross-marked.”  Chiastolite has been used since ancient times for protection. Contemporary stone lore rumors that Chiastolite is also worn for balance and harmony, and is thought to enhance the intellect.

Chrysocolla

Chrysocolla is a blue-green mineral that contains copper. One of the interesting features of Chrysocolla is that it is often found mixed with other secondary copper minerals such as Malachite, Azurite and Turquoise or with quartz. These mixtures provide interesting patterns and textures, and also make the final product harder and more durable than pure Chrysocolla.
Its name comes from Greek words – “chrysos,” for “gold,” and “kolla,” for “glue”. It is a name that the Greeks applied to minerals used for soldering gold, but the term came to be used to refer to various green copper-bearing minerals. Chrysocolla is often confused with Turquoise. It is found in Israel, Chile, England, and the United States. Traditionally in stone lore, Chrysocolla is said to alleviate fear, crystallize feelings of spiritually centered love, acceptance and tolerance toward others. Chrysocolla is also rumored as a stone of peace and tranquility. In some Native American cultures, it was believed to strengthen the body’s immune system.

 


Chrysoberyl

Chrysoberyl has been known since ancient times and the name comes from the Greek word for gold. Its most famous varieties include Alexandrite, named after Czar Alexander II, and Chrysoberyl Cat's Eye (Cymophane). Chyrsoberyl is a very hard gem, rating 8.5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale right behind Corundum and Diamond. Despite its similar name, Chrysoberyl is not a member of the Beryl family. Chrysoberyl is usually found in golden yellow, yellowish-green to green, yellow, as well as shades of brown and red. Notable Chrysoberyl deposits are in Brazil, Madagascar, Myanmar, Russia, and United States. Obscure folklore rumors Chrysoberyl's golden color inspires good mood, generosity and a kind disposition.

Chrysoprase

Chrysoprase is the green variety of Chalcedony that is found mainly in Australia.  Trace amounts of nickel give Chrysoprase its apple green color. Chrysoprase is one of the Star Signs for Gemini. It is found in Australia, Brazil, the Ural Mountains, and the U.S. and is the rarest of the Chalcedony group.
Chrysoprase was used by the Greeks, Romans, and the Egyptians in jewelry and other ornamental objects and it was often mistaken for Imperial Jadeite. Chrysoprase is considered one of the most valuable Chalcedony gem stones; Chrysoprase is prized for its color and rarity. It is said in folklore to banish greed, selfishness, and carelessness, and helps stir the imagination.

 


Citrine

The gemstone Citrine is the official birthstone for the month of November. Citrine is a type of quartz that ranges from light yellow to golden-brown.  It comes from the Latin word, “citrine,” meaning “yellow.”  Most citrine is mined in Brazil. In contemporary stone lore, Citrine is known as the “Success Stone” or the "Merchant's Stone" because it is rumored to bring success, prosperity and abundance. Also citrine is rumored to dispel negative energy.

 


Coral

Coral is created by millions of small organisms at the bottom of the ocean called polyps.  Each polyp builds up a limestone case around itself, which remains after it dies.  The casing becomes the basis for another polyp to build its home.  Slowly, after thousands of years, these casings build up into what we know as a coral reef.  Historically, material from these reefs were highly prized, and used to make jewelry and other ornamental objects.  However, because removing coral from these reefs is bad for ocean environments, there are strict regulations against removing coral from the ocean.  Most coral used today is grown in coral farms, rather than being taking from the ocean. Most precious coral is harvested in the Mediterranean Sea, especially in Sardinia. Deposits are also found in the Pacific, in Japan, Taiwan and Australia.  In contemporary stone lore, Coral is rumored to stimulate emotional healing and relieves stress.

Diamond

A diamond is composed entirely of carbon.  It is the hardest natural material on the planet, and comes from the Greek word for “unbreakable.”  Diamonds form roughly 100 miles deep into the Earth’s mantle, and rise to the surface through volcanic eruptions.  Diamonds are graded on the four C’s: cut, color, carat, and clarity. Diamonds are considered one of the four Precious Stones; the Sapphire, the Emerald, the Ruby and the Diamond. They are associated with longevity, particularly when it comes to relationships, which makes them perfect for engagement rings and gifts of love.

Emerald

Emerald is the Modern and Traditional birthstone for May. Emerald is the only stone besides Topaz that is listed in all of the ancient birthstone tables. Emerald is the most precious stone in the Beryl group. The name Emerald comes from the Greek "smaragdos" via the Old French "esmeralde", and really just means 'green gemstone.' Emerald's precious green color is caused by trace amounts of chromium and vanadium. Emeralds are considered one of the four Precious Stones; the Sapphire, the Emerald, the Ruby and the Diamond.

 

Emeralds are found in many countries, but Columbia and Brazil are the major producers; Columbia is recognized as the source for the finest stones. They are also found in Pakistan, Russia, Australia, South Africa, India, Norway, and the United States.

 

Incas and Aztecs of South America, where the best emeralds are still found today, regarded the emerald as a holy gemstone. However, probably the oldest known finds were once made near the Red Sea in Egypt. These gemstone mines, already exploited by Egyptian pharaohs between 3000 and 1500 B.C. and later referred to as 'Cleopatra's Mines', had already been exhausted by the time the mines were rediscovered in the early 19th century. 

 

Written many centuries ago, the Vedas, the holy scriptures of India, say the emerald enhances the well-being, and are supposed to aid in fertility and abundance.  Commonly today, they are closely associated with love and gifts of love. 

Fluorite

Fluorite is a mineral with a range of brilliant colors from purple, blue, green, yellow, colorless, brown, and pink. Most specimens of Fluorite have a single color, but a significant percentage of Fluorites have multiple colors and the colors are arranged in bands or zones. Fluorite is a relatively soft stone which is easy to carve. The origin of the word Fluorite comes from the Latin verb to flow. Ancient Romans believed that drinking alcoholic beverages from vessels carved of Fluorite prevented drunkenness. Fluorite is also used as a source of fluorine for fluorinated water. It is rumored that Fluorite stones have a calming effect on the body.

 


Garnet

The gemstone Garnet is the official birthstone for January and is also the stone for the Zodiac sign Aquarius. The name Garnet comes from the Latin word "granatus", which means grain, because many garnet deposits are small grains of red crystals in their host rock. Garnet refers to a group of minerals that can appear in any color. 

 

Some of the main Garnet types are: Rhodolite – purple;  Hessonite – brown/orange; Spessartite – red; Mandarine – orange; Demantoid – light green; and Tsavorite – dark green.  The highest-quality Garnets are found in Brazil, China, Kenya, Madagascar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and the United States.

According to traditional stone lore, red/purple Garnets are associated with love, friendship, and controlling one’s anger; green Garnets with peace and serenity; and orange Garnets with creativity.


Goldstone

Goldstone is a manmade glass with flecks of copper suspended in it.The process was invented and patented by the Miotti family in 17th century Venice. Today, coloring agents can be added to the mix to make goldstone in different colors. Goldstone is associated with the same metaphysical properties as copper, and is believed to aid the circulatory system.

Hematite

Hematite is the mineral form of iron, and is mined as the main ore of iron. The name Hematite is derived from the Greek word for blood, because Hematite can be red (as in jewelers' polishing rouge, a powdered form of hematite). The color of Hematite lends itself well in use as a pigment. It is usually formed in places with standing water or hot springs, such as the western United States. Hematite can also occur without water, however, usually as the result of volcanic activity. Hematite is a harder substance than pure iron, but is much more brittle and can sometimes be magnetized. Hematite has also been found on the planet Mars by NASA spacecraft. Since Hematite is usually found in aqueous environments on Earth, it has led to speculation that there was once water on Mars.  Folklore rumors that Hematite is associated with grounding, balance, and protection.

Hypersthene 

Hypersthene is a mineral that has a color range in grey, brown, and green.  It comes from the Greek for “over strength”. The coarse-grained Labradorite- Hypersthene rock (Norite) of the island of Paul off the coast of Labrador has furnished the most typical material. Hypersthene is rumored in stone lore for its ability to provide answers to problems and combat irritability.

Iolite

The name Iolite comes from the Greek ios, which means violet. The Vikings possibly mined Iolite crystals from deposits in Norway and Greenland. Viking sailors allegedly used Iolite as a polarizing filter to find the sun on cloudy days for a safe offshore navigation. The Viking sailors allegedly used thin pieces of Iolite as a lens, and the folklore surrounding this idea says they could determine the exact position of the sun on cloudy days, and navigate safely to their new worlds and back.

 

Iolite is a stone that forms most often with Granite, and is found mainly in Sri Lanka, India, and Burma. It is associated in folklore and stone lore with vision, both in terms of eyesight and intuition, as well as expression and clarity of emotions.  

Jade

Since prehistoric times, Jade was used in many parts of the world for arms and tools because of its exceptional toughness. For over 2,000 years, Jade had religious significance in China and mystic figures and other symbols were carved from it. In the pre-Columbian period, the Mayas, Aztecs and Olmecs of Central America honored and esteemed Jade more highly than gold.
But only in 1863 was it discovered that Jade is actually not a single mineral. What was traditionally called Jade is in fact two separate and distinct minerals: Jadite and Nephrite. Jade is a term applied to two different metamorphic rocks containing different silicate minerals. Jadeite is often called “hard Jade,” and Nephrite is “soft Jade.” The two varieties of Jade even have different crystal structures. While Jadeite's structure is an arrangement of grainy crystals, Nephrite is made up of fibrous crystals that interlock in a matted texture. These densely packed and interwoven fibers are extremely resistant to fracturing. So while Jadeite is the denser and harder type of Jade, Nephrite is actually the tougher of the two. All of the traditional ancient Chinese Jade is Nephrite, since there are large deposits of Nephrite in China, but no Jadeite.

 

Jadeite first came to China from Burma in the 18th century. Before the introduction of Jadeite, the Chinese tended to value translucent white Nephrite. But the Jadeite from Burma came in a wider range of colors, including green, lavender, yellow, black and white. The rarest and most valuable Jadeite is the emerald green Imperial Jade, colored by traces of chromium. It has color and transparency rivaling fine Emerald, though Imperial Jade is slightly more yellow in tone. In fact the revered Emerald Buddha in Wat Phra Keow in Bangkok is believed to be composed of fine Jadeite, not Emerald. Although Jade is traditionally thought of as green, it is also found in white, blue, and lavender.

New Zealand's Maoris began carving weapons and cult instruments from native Jade in early times, a tradition which has continued to the present day. In ancient Egypt, Jade was admired as the stone of love, inner peace, harmony and balance. As early as 3000 B.C. Jade was known in China as "Yu", the "Royal Gem". In the long history of the art and culture of the Chinese empire, Jade has always had a very special significance, comparable with that of gold and Diamonds in the West. Today, too, this gem is regarded as a symbol of the good, the beautiful and the precious. In folklore, Jade embodies the Confucian virtues of wisdom, justice, compassion, modesty and courage, yet it also symbolizes the female-erotic. Jade is also believed to be a lucky stone, and provides good health, prosperity.  It is rumored that slipping a peace of Jade under one’s pillow can enhance dreams.  

 


Jasper

Jasper is an opaque form of Chalcedony.  It usually comes in shades of red, yellow, brown, and green, although there are rare forms of blue Jasper. It often contains organic material and mineral oxides which give it interesting patterns, bands, stripes and colors. Many of these patterns resemble landscapes with mountains and valleys, thus the name "picture" is part of the name of many well know Jaspers. The name comes from Old French meaning “spotted or speckled,” and it is found all over the world.  Jasper was a favorite gem in ancient times, and was believed to be protective, and ward off evil spirits. In  folk medicine, it is rumored to be of help for sciatica and troubled toenails.

Jet

Jet is a form of fossilized wood similar to coal, but harder. Jet is dark brown or black in color, and can have Pyrite inclusions.  Jet as a gemstone was fashionable during the reign of Queen Victoria, during which the Queen wore Whitby (North Yorkshire, England) Jett as part of her mourning dress. Jet was associated with mourning jewelry in the 19th century because of its sombre colour and modest appearance, and it has been traditionally fashioned into rosaries for monks. In the United States, long necklaces of Jet beads were very popular during the 1920s. Sometime Jet is referred to as “black Amber,” although it actually has no relation to Amber, but similarly produces a pleasant electrostatic charge when rubbed. Historically, and even in modern stone lore, Jet is a powerful protective stone, that wards off all types of evil and absorbs negative energy, keeping the wearer safe.

Kunzite

Kunzite is a pink to lilac stone in the spodumene family. Kunzite is named as a tribute to George F. Kunz, the legendary American mineralogist and buyer for Tiffany & Co, who first described the gem in 1902. It is important to keep Kunzite out of extreme sunlight, as its color can fade.  Kunzite is found in Brazil, North America, Sweden, and Afghanistan.  Contemporary stone lore rumors Kunzite to combat feelings of loneliness and depression,and can help to understand and interact better with others.