Boulder Opal

Other Names:
Origin of Name: Sanskrit word “upala”, or Greek word opillos, meaning “seeing”
Meaning of the Stone: October Birthstone
Classification: Precious
Family: Mineraloid, Quartz
Region: boulder opal is found only in Australia
Color: colorless, pink,black, green, blue, red,yellow, brown,orange, purple
Transparency: opaque, transparent
Fracture: Conchoidal to uneven
Hardness (Gravity): 5.5-6(2.15)
Crystal System: Amorphous
Similar Minerals: limonite,sandstone,rhyolite

1. Legend and History:

Opal was considered to be a stone of good luck in ancient times due to the fact that it was believed to posses all the virtues of each gem whose color shows in the various colorations of one opal stone.After the novel of Sir Walter Scott, The Maiden of the Mist, however, in 1829, opal lost it’s “good luck” attribute and was more closely associated to bad luck due to the events in the novel, more specifically the fact that once holy water was poured on the stone, it became colorless and it’s wearer dies shortly after.
Opal however is considered to empower the will of life, and heal parkinson’s disease, infections, fevers, and also strengthen ones memory, but also cleanse the blood and kidneys. In addition, opal is considered to be good for women in labour, as it is said to relief a woman prior to giving birth.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Boulder Opal is found only in Australia where it forms within ironstone boulders, and it is this fact which makes the stone so durable. In addition, as there is a very low water content within the boulder opal, it almost never shows cracks as time passes. When boulder opals are excavated it is necessary, due to the fact that the veins of color are so thin, to keep a back lining of ironstone on the opal; this may look as a doublet but in fact it is an absolutely natural occurrence and allows for the beautiful colorations of this wonderful stone to show.
There are many varieties of opal found around the world, the most valuable being that of black opal.

4. Interesting Facts:

Boulder Opal is the national gemstone of Australia, as it produces the largest percentage of the world’s supply, 97%.

5. Care and Storing:

Boulder opal is highly durable, therefore care and storing is made relatively easy; Cleaning however must be done with caution, and is best to take place with warm water and a soft cloth, though soaking the stone is not recommended.

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Bloodstone

Other Names: Heliotrope
Origin of Name: Due to nodules of bright red jasper resembling blood
Meaning of the Stone: Traditional birthstone of pisces
Classification: semi-precious
Family: Mineral-Chalcedony, Quartz
Region: Australia, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Russia, Indies
Color: green,dark green, almost black, with specs of red
Transparency: Opaque
Fracture: conchoidal, granular
Hardness (Gravity): 6.5-7( 2.58-2.64)
Crystal System: Trigonal
Similar Minerals: jasper, Carnelian, Agate, Chrysoprase

1. Legend and History:

The origin of the bloodstone’s name is basically due to the resemblance of the red nodules it carries, to that of blood stains; Also known as a heliotrope however, which derives from the Ancient Greek ηλιοτρόπιο, which means to turn the sun, due to the fact that this mineral had a specific way in reflecting light.
In reference to healing characteristics, the bloodstone is thought to be an excellent blood cleanser and powerful healer; It is believed to posses magical properties and the ability to prevent evil and negativity. In addition the bloodstone cleanses ones energy and aura while also tones up the immune system. Furthermore this particular stone is said to set blood flow to normal and good levels, whilst in Ancient Egypt it was used to lower the size of tumors.
2. Origin in nature and use:

Bloodstone belongs to the mineral family, more specifically it is a silica mineral of the chalcedony variety; it’s physical properties are those of quartz. It is a dark green stone with red particles,although it also occurs in in various shades of green with red, brown or multicolored spots. It is not a particularly hard stone, and it also displays a rather low specific gravity. The bloodstone is found mainly in Australia, Brazil, China, the Czech republic, Russia and the Indies.

4. Interesting Facts:

A legend surrounding the bloodstone states that the colorations occurred from Christ’s blood being spilled on the green ground, thus coloring this stone and giving certain mystical attributes.

5. Care and Storing:

Care and storing of the bloodstone is relatively easy as it has a good hardness; It is best kept out of direct sunlight in order to keep it’s shine and beautiful colorations intact, while cleaning should take place with warm water and a soft cloth, taking care of the inclusions.

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Beryl

Other Names: Velurya, vaidurya
Origin of Name: Ancient Greek βυρρηλος,
Meaning of the Stone: The blue-green color of the sea
Classification: precious
Family: Silicate mineral
Region: USA,Russia, Australia,Brazil, Czech Republic, Norway, France
Color: green, blue, pink, yellow, gold, colorless, pink
Transparency: Transparent to opaque
Fracture: Conchoidal
Hardness (Gravity): 7.5-8( 2.76 avg.)
Crystal System: Hexagonal
Similar Minerals: Bazzite, Bixbite

1. Legend and History:

Beryl received its name from the Ancient Greek word beryllos, which meant the blue green color of a water stone in the sea; however, etymologically the word may have also derived from the latin berillus, or Hindu languages with the name veruliya, velurya, vilar, which means to become pale, as in it’s clear form as a mineral beryl is transparent and colorless.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Beryl is a very popular mineral which occurs in a diversity of colors and varieties in the gemstone field.The size of such hexagonal crystals also varies, as they can be found in very small deposits, or even several meters high. The most rare of varieties of beryl are the Terminated Crystals. Pure Beryl is in fat colorless, a large amount of impurities however cause the aforementioned large variety of colors, these are Aquamarine, a sky-blue to green variety, Emerald, a green gem variety, Golden Beryl, Goshenite, Green Beryl, Heliodor, Morganite, Precious Beryl and Red Beryl.
The deep green emerald variety is one of the most prized and valuable of the Beryl family.

3. Interesting Facts:

The latin word berillus is the reason for the word brilliance in English, as it was abbreviated to brill, producing the Italian word brillare which means “shine”.

4. Care and Storing:

Beryl is relatively hard in its consistency, however, different treatment is used for different varieties , and as any precious gemstone, it must be cleaned with a soft cloth and warm water, and stored in a soft pouch or presentation box, away from other stones.

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Azotic Topaz

Other Names:
Origin of Name: Azotic Topaz is a high-tech creation of enhanced Topaz meaning fire in the Sanskrit language
Meaning of the Stone: Birthstone of November
Classification: semi-precious
Family: Quartz
Region: USA, Mexico, Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Pakistan
Color: May be enhanced with all colors
Transparency: Transparent to transulcet
Fracture: conchoidal
Hardness (Gravity): 8(3.49-3.57)
Crystal System: Orthohombric
Similar Minerals:

1. Legend and History:

Legends and History do not evolve much around the stone of Azotic Topaz, due to the fact that it is a creation of high-tech laboratories; Topaz however on it’s own does indeed have certain beliefs and legends attached to it’s history. In Ancient Egypt it was believed that the golden color of Topaz was colored from the Sun God Ra, thus it was thought to become a very powerful amulet that protected the wearer against harm.
Furthermore, topaz is said to be a stone which brings happiness, generosity, and good health; it is traditionally known as a love stone and luck stone, as it leads it’s wearer to achievement of his goals. In reference to psychology, Topaz is said to help it’s wearer reach it’s inner self and explore his inner wealth, thus llowing for a feeling of confidence and philanthropy.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Azotic Topaz, as we have mentioned, is a creation of man, an enhancement of the raw basic material of Topaz. AzoticTM is the main laboratory which enhances and creates Azotic Topaz, thus not much information is disclosed in reference to it’s creation. The cut and polished topaz is coated with a highly thin titanic film which acts as a coloring agent.

3. Interesting Facts:

Azotic topaz is considered to be a stone of love, it has been used in many covers, and stories, of romantic novels.

4. Care and Storing:

Azotic Topaz is a relatively hard stone, thus no extra care is needed in reference to storing, although it would be best to store it away from other stones of less hardness so it does not damage them, but also itself. It has no special sensitivity to chemicals thus may be cleaned by any means, but still acting with care as this stone still remains a topaz crystal despite technological enhancements.

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Aventurine

Other Names: Adventurine, Aventurine Quartz
Origin of Name: Italian “avventura”
Meaning of the Stone: Literal translation of name means “by chance”
Classification: semi-precious
Family: Quartz
Region: Italy, Brazil, China, Indies,Russia, Tibet, Nepal
Color: Green, blue, red, brown, peach
Transparency: semi-translucent to opaque
Fracture: conchoidal
Hardness (Gravity): 7(2.64-2.70)
Crystal System: Trigonal
Similar Minerals:

1. Legend and History:

Aventurine received it’s name from the Venetian glass workers in the 18th century; While the workers were preparing molten glass for it’s usual usage, an accident caused some copper fillings to fall into the batch thus producing glass which had a certain sparkle to it. Given that this creation was literally by chance, Italians chose to name the stone Aventurine, deriving from the phrase “per avventura” which means “by chance”.
Aventurine is believed to be the “positive stone of prosperity”, as it has a powerful connection with the Kingdom of Deva, and is often used an energy gridding in homes, protecting from geopassive stress. Aventurine is also said to clear smog and protect it’s wearer from environmental pollution.
With reference to healing attributes, Aventurine is believed to be good for the thymus gland, connective tissue and nervous system. It balances arterial pressure and enhances the metabolism, whilst also lowering cholesterol and acting as a precaution to arteriosclerosis and heart disease.Used as an elixir, Aventurine also heals dermic problems. It is best used while holding tight or applying to the area which needs to be healed.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Aventurine is a variety of quartz, containing small inclusions of minerals which tend to give it the sparkling effect known as aventurescence. It is composed of two gem minerals, those of quartz, and plagioclase feldspar, both of which have a high reflective index and add to the sparkling effect of the stone. Colorations of the stone depend on the minerals which are included in each stone, for instance, Mica inclusions allow for a yellow or silver shine, hematite and goethite allow for a red or gray shade, while chrome-green fuchsite mica allow for the green shade.

3. Interesting Facts:

Aventurine is used as a gift on the 8th anniversary of ones marriage.

4. Care and Storing:

Aventurine is best stored in dark places, as the translucent variety especially, is prone to losing it’s color in sunlight. It is a stone best cleaned, despite it’s relative hardness, with a soft cloth and warm water.

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Aquamarine

Other Names: blue-green beryl
Origin of Name: The name originates from the Roman Aqua meaning water and Marine meaning sea
Meaning of the Stone: Water of the Sea, the stone of the scorpio zodiac
Classification:Precious
Family: Silicate mineral/Beryl mineral, of the emerald family
Region: Europe, USA, Russia, Brazil, Indies, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan,Pakistan
Color: Blue (pure aquamarine) green, yellow, red, white
Transparency: transparent or opaque
Fracture: Conchoidal
Hardness (Gravity): 7.5-8( 2.76 avg.)
Crystal System: Hexagonal
Similar Minerals:

1. Legend and History:

The Aquamarine was frequently used in the Roman Empire and Middle Ages; The Romans would quite often incorporate the stone into their jewelry and believe that specific carvings of the stone, such as in the shape of a frog, would help reconcile enemies and make them into friends, in addition, both Romans and Greeks, believed that wearing an aquamarine would ensure a safe journey across the seas, due to its unity as a stone, with the colors of the sea.
Aquamarine is said to be the stone of courage; It eliminates stress and calms the mind, whilst also harmonizing one with the environment and mitigating bad external factors. In ancient times it was believed to be a stone which fought against the powers of darkness and brought serenity from the spirits of the light. Most sailors and seamen would carry an Aquamarine stone close to them in order to have a prosperous journey and be protected by its mystical powers.
In addition this beautiful stone is said to help those whom wear it get through difficult situations and take a stance in their lives; it brings out ones positive aura and aligns the chakra.
As all precious stones, the aquamarine is said to have certain healing powers also, such as uses against sore throats, swollen glans, thyroid problems, growth, the eyes, teeth and stomach.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Aquamarine, literally meaning “water of the sea”, is a beryllium aluminum cyclosilicate mineral, which varies in its shape and size, but is most commonly known to be a hexagonal crystal. As it is a variety of beryl it therefore belongs to the emerald family, thus often used as a stone of outstanding beauty due to its main color.

3. Interesting Facts:

In the Middle Ages, the aquamarine was cut into crystal balls, as it was thought to posses mystical properties and the ability to renew love in one’s life; Dr. John Dee also used a crystal ball created from aquamarine to predict which would be the best time for coronation for Queen Elizabeth I.
The Aquamarine stone is thought to bring out its benefits when one holds it tight, or places it in the correct area, depending on the desired use; Rings and amulets are very popular with the aquamarine too, especially on persons whom gain it’s attributes from the zodiac signs, i.e the scorpio sign.

4. Care and Storing:

As aquamarine stones are in the middle of the Mohs scale, they are fairly durable, but still must be treated with care as any precious stone. The typical shallow cuts which are used in order to enhance their clarity and emphasize their color deem them in need of frequent cleaning with a soft cloth in order for their appearance to remain at its best.

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Apatite

Other Names:
Origin of Name: Greek απαταω,
Meaning of the Stone: literally meaning deception
Classification: semi-precious
Family: Phosphate Mineral
Region: USA, India, Brazil, Russia,Sri Lanka, Canada
Color: Green, yellow, blue-violet, transparent
Transparency: Transparent, translucent
Fracture: Conchoidal, uneven
Hardness (Gravity): 5 (3.16-3.22)
Crystal System: Hexagonal, Dipyramidal
Similar Minerals: Quartz, feldspar, Calcite

1. Legend and History:

The name of this specific stone literally means deceit in greek, and is considered to have derived from the fact that as it is confused with precious beryl, or topaz, it tends to deceit those whom are not familiar of the stone.
Apatite is considered to be a crystal which may enhance desired results when dealing with attributes of other crystals, thus acting as a positive agent. Furthermore, apatite is believed to enhance one’s inner view, learning abilities and creativity, whilst at the same time increase self confidence, improve coordination, strengthen the muscles, and ease hypertension.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Apatite is chemically a group of phosphate minerals, hydroxylapatite, fluorapatite, chlorapatite, and bromapatite, and is one of the few minerals which are produced and used by biological micro-environmental systems. It is rather infrequently used as a gemstone in it’s basic form, however, transparent stones which have a clear color have been faceted or cabochon cut. Furthermore, different varieties of Apatite exist and these depend on certain variables of the stone, for instance, chatoyant stones are known as cat’s eye apatite, while transparent green gems are called asparagus stone; in addition, when crystals of rutile grow inside the crystal of apatite, in correct light the stone may display a cat’s eye effect.

3. Interesting Facts:

In many instances apatite has been found to contain certain rare elements of the earth’s crust which can be used as ore.

4. Care and Storing:

Apatite should be cared for in the same manner as opal, as it is sensitive to high levels of heat and shocks, thus when cleaned lukewarm water and a soft cloth is best practice. Furthermore, as it is relatively soft, it is best kept away from hard crystal and jewelry which may damage it.

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Andesine Labradorite

Other Names:
Origin of Name: Andes mountains/ Labrador Canada
Meaning of the Stone:
Classification: semi-precious
Family: Feldspar
Region: Italy, greenland, Finland, Russia, Canada, India
Color: Colors vary with light and polish/ originally colorless-yellow, black, blue,green,red
Transparency: transparent,translucent
Fracture: Uneven-conchoidal
Hardness (Gravity): 6-6.5(2.65-2.75)
Crystal System: triclinic
Similar Minerals: Labradorite, Andesine

1. Legend and History:

This gemstone is believed to hold certain powers of mystery, as was called the “light-bringer”. It is said to lift ones conscious and connect him to the activities of the universe. Andesine Labradorite is said to block unwanted actions caused by another’s aura and stop energy from leaking, creating a protective cycle against negative energy which leaves the body so as to not allow re-entry.
On a psychological level it is said to mitigate fear and insecurity whilst also providing with a hyperactive mind and imagination, in addition to bringing new ideas and help with meditation.
This specific gemstone is also said to cure diseases surrounding the eyes and brain, while also relieving one from stress and setting the metabolism; it may also be used as a “witness” in radionic treatment.
It is best used above the higher heart chakra, or held in ones palm when considered to be in need from the owner.

2. Origin in nature and use:

The name Andesine Labradorite is a hyphen of two different stones; Andesine originates from the Andes Mountains, where it was found in stone lava, while labradorite derived from the Labrador province in Canada. The reason for this “dual nationality” lies in the chemical formation, as the material falls between the characteristics of both stones.
The two are rather distinct minerals which share similar chemical analysis which are shown apart with reference to the percentage of sodium to calcium within their parts.

3. Interesting Facts:

Andesine Labradorite was rumored to become the Gemstone of the 2008 Summer Olympic games in China, and there is still much controversy around this matter as it is not known whether red andesine was used, or andesine labradorite.

4. Care and Storing:

As all gemstones with a low level of hardness, andesine labradorite must also be stored away from harder stones and jewelry in order to avoid scratches and damage. The safest way to clean this gem is with warm water and the use of a soft cloth or brush.

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Andalusite

Other Names: Lapis Crucifer, Chiastolite (for specific variety)
Origin of Name: Originates from area in which stone was found, Andalusia, Spain.
Meaning of the Stone:
Classification: Semi-precious
Family: Silicate mineral
Region: Spain, Brazil, Sri Lanka
Color: Pink to red-brown, yellow, green, white, gray
Transparency: Transparent, Translucent
Fracture: sub-conchoidal
Hardness (Gravity): 6.5-7.5( 3.13-3.21)
Crystal System: Orthohombric
Similar Minerals: Kyanite, sillimanite

1. Legend and History:

Andalusite is named from its occurrence in the Spanish province of Andalusia. It is believed to be a stone of protection, which may be used to rid of the evil eye curses. In addition, it is considered to have certain healing powers, such as enhancing ones intellect, abilities to solve problems, and mental clarity.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Apart from originating in Spain, certain deposits have been found in Brazil and Sri Lanka, yet still is considered to be a rather rare gemstone; It is extremely remarkable in its ability to display marked pleochroism, and thus has wrongly been compared to Alexandrite.
Andalusite is a mineral which occurs under low pressure and high temperatures as a common regional metamorphic mineral. In addition, due to its variables in excavation, along with those consisting from kyanite and sillimanite, it is a useful tool to identify the pressure and temperature paths of the rocks in which they are hosted.
The reason Andalusite is considered an interesting gemstone is due to its colorations after it has been cut.

3. Interesting Facts:

Andalusite has not been economically exploited yet, due to the fact that it is associated with mica schist which increases alkali content in its ultimate product.

4. Care and Storing:

In order to clean Andalusite gemstones, warm soapy water is best to be used along with a soft cloth; Steam must however be avoided, thus one must make sure the water is warm, but not too hot so as to be steamy. Andalusite should be stored alone, or in a separate compartment of a display box as it may easily be scratched and damaged due to its softness.

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Ammolite

Other Names: Aapoak, calcentine, korite,
Origin of Name: Ancient Egyptian god, Ammon
Meaning of the Stone:
Classification: semi-precious ( grading is dependent on colorations)
Family: Fossilized, mineralized
Region: USA, Canada
Color: gray-brown, showing red and green
Transparency: Opaque, transparent or translucent in a single layer
Fracture: Uneven-granular
Hardness (Gravity): 4.5-5.5( 2.80-3.05)
Crystal System: Orthorombic
Similar minerals: Aragonite

1. Legend and History:

The name of the ammolite stone originated from an Egyptian god named Ammon, whom thought of cephalopods as divine creatures, thus he too was represented with the head of a ram, and horns which resembled the shape of an ammolite shell, given the fact that they were spiral in the same way such fossils are found.
In Canadian lore, it is said that Blackfoot Indians first discovered ammolite near the Rocky mountains, and called it buffalo stone due to the legend that surrounds it; It is believed that, in a time of a particularly hard winter, the tribe was almost starving to death as they could not find any buffalo to hunt. A woman of the tribe went out in search of food and firewood in the deep snow as it was clear that they would not make it through the winter. There, she heard a beautiful song and followed the sound which led her to the Ammolite under a cottonwood tree; she took the ammolite back to her tribe as a spirit told her that it was powerful medicine, and held a buffalo ceremony. The next morning a large herd of buffalo appeared and the tribe was able to survive the hard winter. Ever since the Blackfoot tribe keeps Ammolite wrapped in buffalo hide in order to use it for hunting ceremonies.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Ammolite is similar to opal, but for it’s organic features. It is an organic cephalopod which has occurred fossilization and thus formed into a gemstone due to extreme temperatures and heat in the lower levels of the earths layers. Ammonites (now extinct) were marine animals which resemble the nautilus in shape, and the squid in their physical attributes. They existed in tropical seas and became extinct in the Mesozoic period. They existed in most seas however in very large numbers, thus their fossils may be found in abundance, although Ammonite fossils which exhibit bright colors and gem characteristics are found only in Canada, and more specifically the Rocky mountains, from which however, only 5% of those excavated show Ammolite colors and may be considered a gem, thus deeming such stones highly rare and unique.

3. Interesting Facts:

The CIBJO (Confederation Internationale de la Bijouterie, Joaillerie et Orfevrerie) recognized Ammolite as a gemstone only in 1981; it is one of the three organic gemstones to be recognized, along with amber and pearl, and is often compared to Opal

4. Care and Storing:

Given the fact that each and every Ammolite stone is unique when in natural form, as it occurs from a crustacean, Ammolite must be treated with extreme care both while cleaning and storing. Use of a soft cloth and water is suggested to clean the stone.

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