The majority of this text is compliments of Rings and Things, Spokane, WA
The information provided here is for entertainment purposes only. No claims or promises are expressed or implied. The photos are of Stone Savvy Jewelry pieces that have sold. All rights are reserved.

I present the metaphysical properties "FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE" !
No gemstone is more creatively striped by nature than agate. This distinct and dramatically banded variety of chalcedony is composed of quartz layers. Each individual agate forms by filling a cavity in a host rock. As a result, agate often is found as a round nodule with concentric bands like the rings of a tree trunk. It is said to be named for the place in which it was first found – along the River Achates (now called the River Drillo) in Sicily. In ancient times, agate was highly valued as a talisman or amulet. Persian magicians used agate to divert storms. Some believe agate renders the wearer invisible and due to its strength and durability, it is used for making ornaments or for astrological purposes. The major sources of agate are the USA, Australia, Canada and Mexico.

All agates are said to foster love, create an appreciation of nature, provide abundance and soothe emotions.

Blue Lace Agate - This light blue agate is banded in a lacy or wavy pattern. 

It is said to lighten situations and nurture maternal impulses.

Botswana Agate - This agate hails from the country of Botswana. It is banded with fine parallel lines of tan, mahogany, pink, white and occasionally orange.

 Crazy Lace Agate - This agate is composed of twisting and turning “crazy” bands of various colors. 

It is believed to allow one to laugh and see the “games” of the world.
Moss Agate - Like bits of moss floating in a clear river, this agate has intriguing mottled patterns of moss-like inclusions of hornblende (a basic silicate mineral). This stone has long been thought to be helpful to farmers. Worn when planting, it ensures a good crop. It is often called the “gardener’s stone”. 

Because of its organic appearance, this stone has been thought to enhance a love of nature, as well as cleanse the soul and restore wit.

Amazonite - This aqua colored feldspar derives its name from the Amazon River. It is an opaque stone, often found with white, yellow or gray inclusions and a silky luster or silvery sheen. Both the ancient Egyptians and other Middle Eastern cultures made items from amazonite. It has also been found among artifacts of Pre-Columbian Central and South America. The Pike’s Peak district of Colorado, USA became the most important source of amazonite after 1876. This gemstone is found mainly in the USA, Russia, Madagascar, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Australia.

Amazonite is thought to bestow truth, integrity and honor to its wearer, enhance love, and sooth tense aggravated emotions and situations.

Russian Amazonite - is a brighter, deep teal form of this stone. It’s gray and white striations are often more pronounced than in the paler form. All amazonite of this color is called Russian, because dark amazonite was originally found in that region.

Amethyst - Amethyst is the most highly prized variety of quartz and if not for its widespread availability, would be very expensive. It is formed in silica-rich liquids deposited in gas cavities (geodes) in lava. It occurs in crystalline masses, but the crystals are general not well developed, so they usually are found as clusters of crystal points. They also grow as stalactites. The stone’s name is derived from the Greek word amethystos, meaning “not drunken”, because people of ancient times believed it to protect the wearer from drunkenness. For this reason, wine goblets were carved from it. In addition to “preventing” drunkenness, people also once thought the stone to encourage celibacy and symbolize piety. Amethyst was therefore very important in the ornamentation of Catholic and other churches in the Middle Ages. Leonardo Da Vinci wrote that amethyst had the power to dissipate evil thoughts and quicken intelligence. The stone also makes an appearance in L.M. Montgomery’s classic book Anne of Green Gables, in which Anne admires an amethyst brooch; she explains that she once thought diamonds must be this beautiful purple color, and cried when she learned they were just plain white. In Tibet, amethyst is considered sacred to Buddha, and rosaries are often fashioned from it. Amethyst is mined in Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia, Argentina, the USA, Zambia, Namibia and other African countries.

Western mystics say that amethyst helps instill the highest ideals and urges one to do what is right. It is also associated with increased nobility and spiritual awareness.

Apatite - the name is derived from the Greek apatao, meaning "I am mistaken," because for a long time it was confused with other stones. Apatite was not yet known in ancient mythology,. its ofen facinateing strong blue color onlye became famous in modern times (it also exists in white, yellow, green and orange.
Apatite encourages intuition during meditation and can stimulate "memories of past lives." 

Aquamarine - Legend has it that this stone originally came from a mermaid's jewel box. It is said to bring pure love. By turning darker or lighter it indicates what is true and false. 
Aquamarine symbolizes peace. It encourages a gentle nature and personality in the wearer.

 Aventurine - is a form of chalcedony (quartz) that has little inclusions of various shiny minerals. These materials, usually spangles of mica or iron oxide, give the stone a glistening effect known as aventurescence. Its granular appearance and particular translucence are its most distinctive characteristics. Most aventurine is naturally reddish brown or yellow, though a green variety is also known. Aventurine is found in Brazil, India, China, Japan, Russia, Tanzania and the USA, with India producing the majority. Our green aventurine is permanently dyed to achieve its color. 
Green Aventurine is said to calm a troubled mind, thereby bringing inner peach. It also is supposed to increase confidence and gratitude, and promote emotional tranquility and positive attitudes.

Azurite - The name is derived from the Persian word lazhward, which means the color blue. The ancient Greeks and Romans used ground azurite for medicinal purposes and as a dye. Solomon's books mention a stone that contained copper and it is thought, although not with absolute certainty, that this stone might be azurite. The proverbial justice of this biblical king is said to have been strengthened during meditation with this stone. 

Azurite symbolizes insight and discovery and promotes a sense of justice.

Black Onyx is a striped, semi-precious variety of agate. The name onyx originates from the Greek word onyx for hoof, probably because of its weak transparency. Onyx is one of the 12 stones mentioned in the Bible as adorning the breastplate of the high priests. The ancient Greeks and Romans used onyx for cameos and intaglios; and in India onyx was worn for protecting against the evil eye and also for cooling ardor. In the Middle East, onyx was used as a worry stone because people believed the gemstone absorbed negative energy, a belief that may have been caused by the Chinese miners who feared it and pulled the material out of the mine to immediately sell outside the country. Our black onyx has been rendered a uniform, permanent black color with a treatment by sugar and acid (and/or heat). This process has been used on the gemstone for thousands of years and is water safe. Black onyx is found worldwide, but most commonly is from Brazil, India and Madagascar.
Black onyx is said to help eliminate apathy and stress, get rid of negative thinking and sharpen the wits of the wearer. Some think it makes the wearer more eloquent and so it is worn for public speaking. It is also believed to help overcome feelings of loneliness and alienation and to add comfort in unfamiliar surroundings.

Blue Opal (Peruvian) - comes from the Andes Mountains in Peru, hence its name. It frequently contains black dendrites (fern-like inclusions). This opal presumably gets its sea-blue color from a copper mineral. Unless otherwise stated, mine has been dyed brighter in India or China. The Incas supposedly cherished this stone. 

This stone is believed to assist with improving speech, giving one the courage to speak out on touchy issues and be well-received. It is also thought to stimulate creativity. Some say it casts "beauty spells".

Carnelian is an A-Grade agate. What a lot of people call “true-carnelian” is the fiery red/orange color, and in theory, carnelian is naturally that color. However, most of that “true” carnelian is heat-treated in secret, well before it reaches the gemstone-cutting factory. This apparently has been a secret for thousands of years; each part of the world thought everyone else’s carnelian was naturally red, but they were heating theirs, too. When held against the light, the color-treated carnelian shows its color in stripes, while natural carnelian shows a cloudy distribution of color. We have both. Ancient Egyptian tombs are full of carnelian jewelry, as they believed the gemstone had great power in the afterlife. Ancient Greeks and Romans called it sardius and used it for signet rings, cameos and intaglios. Hindu astrology names carnelian as the secondary stone of Scorpios. Carnelian is found in Brazil, India, Australia, Russia, Madagascar, South Africa, Uruguay and USA.

Carnelian is believed to remind us to be “in the moment”. It is said to be a stone of protection, particularly from anger, jealousy and fear. It is also thought to bring passion to the wearer.

Cat’s Eye Quartz - The flash and fun of fiber optic beads truly set them apart. Also called "synthetic cat's eye" beads, these beauties are actually made from the same material used in telephone technology. Fiber optics are created from synthetic quartz fibers. The fibers are fused and then machine-cut into shimmery beads.

Chalcedony - is a catch-all term for cryptocrystalline quartz (quartz with microscopically small crystals). The stone is a semitransparent or translucent with a solid color and nearly wax-like luster. The name probably comes from Chalcedon or Calchedon, an ancient port city on the Sea of Marmora in modern-day Turkey. Chalcedony is a pseudomorph, the atom-by-atom replacement of one mineral for another without changing the original mineral’s external appearance. Petrified wood is a well-known example. In the Petrified Forest National Monument of Arizona, the remains of an entire ancient forest were transformed into chalcedony. It has made great marks on history. Because of its abundance, durability and beauty, chalcedony was one of the first raw materials used by humans. Its earliest recorded uses were as projectile points, knives, tools and containers. Seals made from chalcedony in Mesopotamia as early as the 7th century B.C. and the Romans also adopted the practice. It is found in Brazil, Russia, USA, Canada, Africa, Turkey and Indonesia.

Blue chalcedony is thought to stimulate creativity, calm and peace.

Chaorite - became known in the West only recently, in 1976, and was named after the place it was found, the Chaorite river in Siberia. Chaorite can be further divided into small groups because it is made up of many different minerals and metals.

Chaorite gives the wearer courage to start afresh. In addition, it strengthens her self-confidence and thirst for action while encouraging orderly habits. It has a positive effect on anxious people.

Citrine - This is the golden-yellow member of the silicon dioxide family of quartz. Like golden rays of sunlight, citrine is medium to bright yellow with good clarity. In ancient times, citrine was carried as a protection against snake venom and evil thoughts. It didn’t see substantial use as a gemstone in jewelry until the mid 1800’s. Citrine is found mainly in India and Brazil.

Citrine symbolizes light-heartedness, joy, happiness, wisdom and peace. It is said to enhance creativity and motivate writers. Its nickname is “cuddle quartz” because it makes you feel cuddled.

Clear Rock Crystal - From antiquity until the Middle Ages, rock crystal was thought to be petrified ice (Greek: crystallos). Mountain people believed that it quenched thirst. Nero used to drink his wine from rock crystal goblets, and the Emperor Augustus dedicated what was the then largest stone known to man to a divinity.

Buddhists use this stone to achieve enlightenment. From time immemorial the crystal ball used by clairvoyants has been made of rock crystal. It is said than crystal spheres held in the hand have a calming effect.

Coral - is a calcium carbonate, built up by the skeletal material of small animals that live in colonies in the sea. It often grows in branches that look like underwater trees and most is found in the Mediterranean Sea or in the Pacific off Japan and Taiwan. Many people think coral, like ivory, must be protected and/or is an endangered species. However, the few threatened coral reefs are monitored by international law. Furthermore, research shows that at current harvesting levels, even in the Great Barrier Reef, coral is sustainable. Most Red Coral is dyed and I believe that mine is unless specifically noted. Sponge coral, when polished smooth, has visible pores like a sponge. Coral is among the most ancient of gem materials, used for adornment since prehistoric times. Coral inlays and ornaments have been found in Celtic tombs from the Iron Age. In ancient China, red coral was a symbol of wealth, favor and high social status.

Coral is said to provide protection and guard against violence, accidents and theft, calm emotions and restore harmony. Mystics claim it cures madness and gives wisdom but loses its power when broken.

Red coral is bamboo and branch coral that has been permanently dyed for brilliant color.
Red sponge coral is also permanently dyed and is more of a rusty red color.

Pink coral is bamboo and is permanently dyed for consistent soft salmon pink color.

Coral lace fossil is natural and is a creamy beige color with some reddish-brown.
Apple sponge coral is from the South China Sea. The tangerine orange color is natural, not dyed. It has exquisite delicate fossil markings. 

Crazy Horse™ stone  - is a type of limestone material featuring naturally-colored orbs and wave combinations. Coated with clear epoxy to provide excellent luster and hardness.
Feldspar - Feldspars are rock-forming minerals that crystallize from magma. Up to 60% of the earth's crust is estimated to be made up of feldspars. In gemstone beads, feldspar describes a smooth gray or tan stone with light or dark inclusions.

Time for some creative problem-solving? Feldspar is known for accentuating this ability, as well as self-awareness.

Fluorite - belongs to the spar family. Like all other members, fluorite, also known as feldspar, can be separated into flakes. Because of its wide range of colors it is often said that it contains something of all the other gemstones in it. According to folklore, it is the home of rainbows.

Fluorite symbolizes responsibility and obedience.
Freshwater Pearl - It’s said that if diamonds are a girl’s best friend, then pearls must be her favorite sister. This lustrous gem acquired its name from the ancient Romans, who wore elongated pearls as ear pendants that they called pirla, a slang diminutive of pira (“pear”). The pearl is an organic gem grown within oysters and a few other mollusks. It is formed when a foreign object, like a tiny stone, makes its way into the mollusk’s shell. The irritation makes the oyster form a secretion, called nacre, to cover it. Nacre is the same material that forms the mollusk’s shell. When dried, the particle again irritates the animal, so it begins to secrete again; as thousands of layers of nacre coat the intruder, a pearl is formed. 

The process takes anywhere from four months to seven years – the longer the process, the bigger the pearl. A single mollusk can create dozens of pearls at a time. “Cultured” pearls are those in which people, rather than nature, implant the intruding material, and mollusks are cared for in a protective environment (a pearl farm) while the coating process goes on. Nearly all pearls available today are cultured. Natural pearls are very rare (and valuable!). The word “pearl” in my shop means “cultured pearl”. Saltwater pearls are commonly known as Oriental pearls and those produced by freshwater mollusks are called freshwater pearls. Pearl color varies with the mollusk and its environment. It ranges from black to white, and India’s rose pearl is among the most popular colors. Other colors are cream, gray, blue, yellow, lavender, green and mauve. Color type is often affected by the mollusk’s diet, but enhancement is a common way to produce different colors. 

For example, pearls are regularly bleached to improve their whiteness – this permanent enhancement provides a more uniform appearance. Pearls are extremely porous, so they readily accept dyes. Dyes can be used to produce any pearl color. Irradiation darkens the nucleus to produce darker pearls, like blues, grays and blacks, and most experts believe the treatment to be permanent. Metallic pearl colors are often gamma-ray irradiated as well. As a rule of thumb, all bright or striking pearl colors are dyed and/or enhanced. Pearls are found in Japan, China, Tahiti, Ceylon, Scotland, Norway, Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, the USA, Mexico and Burma.

The pearl is said to improve self-worth and help people see themselves. It is an emblem of modesty, chastity and purity, and symbolized love, success and happiness.

Garnet - The name for this wine-colored gemstone names comes from the Latin granatus for “seed like” because of the stones resemblance to pomegranate seeds. Garnets are a group of common silicate minerals that have similar crystal structures and chemical compositions. The garnet owes it’s brilliance to a high refraction of light, one of garnet’s most appealing characteristics. Garnet is found in Kenya, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Brazil, India, Madagascar, Canada, the USA, the Czech Republic and Spain. Garnets have been widely used for thousands of years. According to legend, Noah suspended a finely cut, glowing garnet to illuminate the ark and steer it through the dark night. Garnets also are found in jewelry from the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans and have best been known as the warrior’s stone. Soldiers carried garnet to ward off death and injury.

Garnet symbolizes fire, faith, courage, truth, grace, compassion, constancy and fidelity. It is said to inspire romantic love, passion, sensuality, sexuality, intimacy, positive thoughts and self-confidence.

Green Amethyst - has a delicate, sage or celery green color, admired by many for its ability to complement, rather than compete, with other colors in jewelry and clothing. By definition, the gemstone amethyst is a purple form of quartz. Green amethyst does occur naturally under very unique geological conditions - usually right next to purple amethyst - but greened amethyst beads in the marketplace are either irradiated clear quartz or heat-treated amethyst. Not all amethyst will turn green when heated - if it doesn't contain certain iron compounds, the stone will turn yellow (citrine), brown or orange. Most "greenable" amethyst is mined in Brazil, but there are also sources in North America and Africa. While misleading, the name greened amethyst may have caught on in the marketplace in order to differentiate this translucent quartz variety from chrysoprase and prase (opaque varieties of green quartz). 

Strengthening the heart chakra and providing emotional support during stressful times are just a couple of the healing properties attributed to greened amethyst.

Goldstone - is a type of glittering glass made in a low-oxygen reducing atmosphere. The finished product can take a smooth polish and can be carved into beads, figurines, or other artifacts suitable for semiprecious stone, and in fact goldstone is often mistaken for or misrepresented as a natural material.
The original manufacturing process for goldstone was invented in seventeenth-century Venice by the Miotti family, which was granted an exclusive license by the Doge. Persistent folklore describes goldstone as an accidental discovery by an unnamed Italian monastic order or medieval alchemists, but there is no pre-Miotti documentation to confirm this.
The most common form of goldstone is reddish-brown, containing tiny crystals of metallic copper that require special conditions to form properly. Goldstone is also available in blue and is known as Bluestone.

Hematite -is a silvery, shiny opaque gemstone that almost looks like metal. My hematite is a simulated material virtually identical to real hematite. It even has the same chemical composition – both genuine and simulated hematite are iron oxide. The story behind natural hematite is still relevant to this gemstone, especially considering real hematite is used to make it. The name comes from the Greek haimo for “blood” because of the color of its powder. Hematite was used in seals as early as 2500 BC. The Native Americans used hematite to make red face paint. Until recently, blush (cosmetic powder) contained ground hematite.

Hematite is said to inspire inner life and to help keep inward peace. Called the “stone of mental mastery”, many believe it to aid clarity, balance and calm reason, thus making it a grounding stone. It is also supposed to dissolve negativity and transform it into love. Hematite is also believed to enhance memory and intellect.

Howlite - This calcium silicoborate is naturally white, often with a gray or black spider-web matrix. Howlite is an inexpensive gemstone and because it is so soft and porous it is easily dyed into rich hues to imitate pricier gemstones. Howlite is named after mineralogist Henry How, who first discovered the gemstone in Nova Scotia during the 19th century. North America is the world’s primary source of howlite. White howlite, as shown here, is it's natural form and color.

Lime howlite is a natural howlite dyed lime green.

Turquoise howlite is natural howlite dyed turquoise blue. The turquoise shown in the earrings in natural, not howlite. There is also lapis howlite dyed dark blue and red howlite dyed red. Lime howlite is the only dyed howlite that I use.

Howlite is the stone of memory, knowledge and progress, and is said to encourage reasoning, observation, discernment, patience and tact.

Iolite - The name iolite comes from the Greek ios, which means violet. This blue silicate mineral occurs as crystals or grains in igneous rocks, only as a result of magma contamination by aluminous sediment. It is sometimes called “water sapphire” because it is found in water deposits and is commonly mistaken for top-grade blue sapphires. One of the coolest attributes of iolite is its extreme pleochroism, or the ability to change colors depending from which angle you look at it. It was this property that made iolite so valuable to the Vikings. It is commonly known as “Viking’s compass”, as it could determine the direction of the sun on overcast days. When the legendary Viking mariners sailed the ocean, they looked through thin iolite lenses, which worked as a filter, to determine the exact position of the sun and navigate safely. Iolite is found in Sri Lanka, Burma, India, Madagascar, Brazil and the USA.

Iolite is known as a stone of power. It is believed to enhance leadership ability, power, inner strength, self-confidence and executive ability. Many people wear iolite to bed believing that it increases dreams and the ability to remember them. It is said to open one to psychic talents and expand them. It is also believed to enhance curiosity and help the wearer deal with addictions, including alcoholism.

Jaspers - The Greek origin of the word jasper, iapis, means “spotted stone.” This form of semi-precious chalcedony, or microcrystalline quartz, has colors of dark red, orange, pink, rust, yellow, tan, brown, green, gray, blue and black. Its patterns are much less regular and defined than those of the other chalcedony variety, agate. Another difference between the two is that jaspers are generally opaque, while agates tend to be translucent (or at least contain translucent bands). Jasper gets its colorful patterns from other minerals present. This gemstone is often named according to its pattern; landscape jaspers are the most popular. Jasper was a favorite in the ancient world, and the name Jasper can be traced back in Hebrew, Assyrian, Persian, Greek and Latin. People of the fourth century called it the great “rain-bringer”. Jasper is also known as the “supreme nurturer”. Jasper is mined in North Africa, Sicily, France, India, Venezuela, Germany, the USA and many more countries.

Jasper is said to drive away evil spirits and protect against snake and spider bites. It supposedly gives you the courage to speak out and the bravery to achieve personal independence.

Aqua terra "jasper" also known as "impression stone" is the trade name for soft onyx marble. Colors range from pale/light blue with some pale yellow or gray or brown patterns.
Dalmatian Jasper - is light tan jasper from Utah. It’s spotted black like the famous “fire-station” dogs. 
This stone is thought to increase patience, remove disillusionment and increase loyalty to one’s partner, making it beneficial for long term relationships.
Leopardskin Jasper - has intricate circular “leopard” markings that contrast tawny deep brown and pink tones. Think of it as a sinuous, graceful jungle cat. It is said to assist and protect during physical and spiritual travel.

Mocha mint jasper - is caramelly brown with striations of minty green.
Mookaite Jasper - has opaque earthy tones of brick red, golden yellows and all the shades in between. It has a high polish.

Ocean Jasper - is from a silicfied Rhyolite flow on the northwest coast of Madagascar. It is reminiscent of foam as it recedes back into the ocean, with its wavy patterns of green-gray, white, cream, beige, brown, pink, maroon and teal. It even sometimes flaunts the iridescent white circles so intrinsic to sea spray. 

It is believed to teach responsibility and patience.

Picture Jasper - is petrified mud and has streaks of color (browns, tans, blacks, creams) that look like landscapes, anything from desert sand dunes to rocky mountains to a dry riverbed. It is formed by mud rich with quartz that oozed and dripped into pockets of gas formed by molten lava. The heat from the exposure turned the mud almost instantly solid. Picture Jasper is found in Idaho and Oregon. 

It is believe to facilitate development and continuance of business pursuits and activities.
Poppy Jasper - is rich with swirls of black, deep rich brown, brick red and creamy colors. 

It is believed to enhance organizational abilities, relaxation and a sense of wholeness. It is said to bring happiness, create a good outlook on life and ease stress.

Rainforest Jasper - is really rhyolite, an igneous rock with high silica content – chemically identical to granite. Because Rhyolite magma and lava are so thick, they tend to build up pressure until a gas explosion in the volcano throws them all over the place in particles ranging from ash all the way up to big blocky chunks. Rhyolite occurs largely in the Western and Southwestern USA and occasionally on the East Coast. Its mossy greens, browns and grays are reminiscent of a rainforest and it presents picturesque banding.

Red Jasper - is a deep, brick red similar in color to pipestone – a soft red stone mined in Minnesota for centuries by the Plains Indians for the carving and making of pipes.

It is believed to help one remember dreams.

White jasper - is snowy white with a fresh clean feel.

Labradorite - This gemstone is a sodium-rich variety of feldspar found in igneous or metamorphic rocks. When light strikes labradorite from a particular direction, it may display striking rainbow-colored reflections (violet, blue, green, yellow, orange and red) known as labradorescence or schiller. It has been described as looking like gasoline lying on water or the delicate wings of a tropical butterfly. It is considered to be a rare form of moonstone. Labradorite officially was discovered on St. Paul Island in Labrador, Canada, in 1770. However, pieces of the gemstone also have been found among artifacts of the Native Americans in Maine. During the 18th century, labradorite became one of the stones frequently used in jewelry in France and England. Labradorite is found in Labrador (Canada), Madagascar, the Ukraine, Australia, Mexico, Norway and the USA.

Labradorite is said to help provide clarity and insight into your destiny. It is also said to be especially helpful for dream recall. People value it as a connection to love.

Lapis Lazuli - This is a gemstone straight out of Arabian Nights tales: deep blue with shining inclusions that twinkle like stars. Its evocative name is a combination of the Latin word lapis, or "stone," and the Arabian name azul, meaning "blue." One of the few rocks used as a gem, lapis lazuli is composed of grains of several blue minerals, including lazurite and sodalite. This complex, opaque gemstone additionally has a matrix of calcite (white-ish) and speckles of pyrite (gold sparkles). It is distinctively fluorescent. Lapis lazuli was created millions of years ago in the course of a metamorphosis, turning chalk into marble stone. The rich blue color is due to the sulfur inherent in the structure of lazurite. Lazurite is resistant to atmospheric gases and light-fast (light won't fade it). 

Lapis lazuli was one of the first gemstones ever to be used and worn as jewelry. Excavations around the Mediterranean have unearthed jewelry samples left in tombs to accompany the deceased into the afterlife. The countless other necklaces and artifacts crafted from lapis lazuli found in ancient sites are a clear indication that the people of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, Greece and Rome cherished this deep blue gemstone. Persian legend says the sky owes its color to a giant slab of lapis upon which the earth rests. The legendary city of Ur, situated on the Euphrates River, is reported to have run a busy trade in lapis lazuli as early as 4000 B.C. Many cultures worshiped it as a holy stone, especially in the Orient, where it was believed to contain magical powers. The stone was introduced to Europe by Alexander the Great. In the Middle Ages, monks powdered the stone and kneaded it into dough with beeswax, resin and linseed oil, for use in illuminated manuscripts. Major sources include Afghanistan, Egypt, Canada and Chile.

Today, people around the world consider lapis lazuli to be a stone of truth and friendship. It is reputed to bring about harmony in relationships and to cleanse the mental body while releasing old karmic patterns. Being a spiritual stone, it allows spiritual energy to be absorbed in the aura. It has traditionally been a stone for royalty

Malachite - This gemstone is a basic copper carbonate, vividly banded with two or more tones of green. Its name is probably derived from the Greek word for green/herb, malache, for its color or possibly from the Greek word for soft, malakos, for its low hardness. The beautiful green color comes from the copper contained in the stone (which is an altered form of copper), and water presence affects the shade: More water in the copper makes it lighter, and less makes it darker. The absence of water makes it black. In fact, the green patina you see on weathered copper roofs is a form of malachite.
Malachite was being mined in the Sinai Peninsula in 4000 B.C., and the gemstone was popular with the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans for jewelry and amulets. It was also ground along with galena, then mixed with water, to use as eye shadow. Malachite was considered to be a talisman particularly appropriate for children. If a piece of this gemstone were attached to an infant's cradle, all evil spirits were held at bay and the child slept soundly and peacefully. Zaire is the major source of malachite, but Chile, Zimbabwe, Australia, U.S.A. (Arizona), France and England also produce the gemstone

As the color “green” has long been seen as the color of life, malachite has been seen as the restorer of life. Malachite is said to bring harmony into one's life, give knowledge and patience and help encourage true, pure love.

Moonstone - With its ghostly glow, this feldspar stone almost seems magical. High-quality rainbow moonstone is usually chatoyant and sometimes displays a strong cat's eye. The floating-light phenomenon and sheen of moonstone are called adularescence or schiller. The light is scattered by alternating layers of two kinds of feldspar and produces a misty luster of white, dull yellow, yellow-gray or greenish-gray. The stone's main color also comes in shades of peach and gray. Rainbow moonstone is a close relative of labradorite. Moonstone will pick up colors you wear, making it a versatile gemstone in fashion. However, colors are not its only allure; many women love moonstone because its sheen is simply stunning against a basic black dress!

The Romans thought moonstone was formed out of moonlight and began wearing it in jewelry around 100 A.D. The gemstone has always been considered sacred in India, and Europeans of the Middle Ages thought by looking into a moonstone, you would fall into a deep sleep and see the future. Moonstone was very popular early in the 20th century and was used extensively in art nouveau jewelry.

Legend suggests that moonstone is supposed to awaken tender passions if placed beneath the tongues of lovers during a full moon. In addition, it has been recommended that holding a moonstone in the mouth will refresh one's memory. The gemstone is believed to be protective for women and babies and to soothe and balance the emotions.

Mother of Pearl - is the iridescent coating on the inside of mollusk shells. It is so named because when an irritant gets inside a shell, the shell protects itself by coating the irritant with the same material (nacre) of its lining that creates pearls. Therefore, this substance is the creator, or mother, of pearls! The undulating grain of mother of pearl is the result of seasonal fluctuations in the mollusk's diet. The dark organic material is laid down during the winter months and the nacre is laid down in the warmer summer months. Some mother of pearl on the market has been bleached to achieve a brighter white. In caring for your mother-of-pearl beads, be particularly aware that alcohol will eat right through the nacre, causing irreparable damage to the color and luster. Among the chief sources of this gemstone are the pearl oyster, found in warm and tropical seas, chiefly in Asia; the freshwater pearl mussel, which lives in many rivers of the United States and Europe; and the abalone of California, Japan and other Pacific regions.

Mother-of-pearl shells have been treasured as jewelry for many centuries and became highly sought in the 1850s. The continual movement of water in that time caused oysters to be washed and turned regularly on seabeds, consequently growing to immense sizes. These mother-of-pearl masses became used extensively in Europe for buttons, knife handles and jewelry. 

Mystics believe it to stimulate intuition, sensitivity, imagination and adaptability, and help with clarity in decision-making. Mother of pearl symbolizes faith, charity and innocence.

Paua Shell - Stunning displays of vibrant, iridescent colors make the paua shell unique among the world's nearly 130 abalone varieties. Paua is only found around New Zealand coasts.

It has long been believed that the many shimmering colors of the paua shell balance and align the chakras of the human body, and some believe that the paua shell aids in creativity.

Peridot - is an olivine variety is composed of magnesium iron silicate. Peridot is created under great temperatures and pressures deep within the Earth and sometimes is extruded in basaltic lavas. Its yellow-green color is mainly dependent on the amount of ferrous iron present. Peridot splits and bends the rays of light passing through it, giving it a velvety, sleepy appearance along with a rich glow. Peridot mining dates back about 4,000 years, and the gemstone is mentioned in the Bible under the Hebrew name pitdah. Valuable peridots have been excavated in Egypt and faceted stones have been found in the ruins of ancient Greece. In Roman times, it was known as "evening emerald," since peridot has the property of keeping its green color even in weak light. Peridot is said to have been the favorite gemstone of Cleopatra.
Hawaiian legend holds that peridot is the goddess Pele's tears, and the Ottoman sultans gathered a large collection during their 600-year reign (1300-1918), with an impressive array of both loose gemstones as well as peridot earrings, rings and other jewelry. The USA was for many years the largest producer of peridot, mining it in Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii and New Mexico. However, the United States is getting major competition from China and Pakistan for the title of world's largest producer. Peridot is also found in Australia, Brazil, China, Egypt, Burma and Norway, and has been mined from St John's Island in the Red Sea for more than 3,500 years.

The stone is said to help slow the aging process, physically and mentally, and also to be helpful in facilitating the birthing process. It often is said to help speech, increasing its eloquence and removing impediments, and it sometimes used to find lost or misplaced things. Many believe it to increase patience, confidence and assertiveness.

Quartz - This incredibly abundant gemstone accounts for a whopping 12% of the earth's crust. Quartz is a family of minerals with the same chemical composition (silicon dioxide) and similar physical properties. Some say the origin of the word quartz is the Saxon word querkluftertz, meaning "a cross vein ore," which later was condensed to querertz. However, it also might have been named after the Slavic word kwardy, or "hard," or possibly the Greek word for ice, as the Greeks believed quartz crystal was fossilized ice… scientists believed this as late as the 16th century. Quartz's high thermoconductivity, which makes it feel cool to the touch, may have added to this belief. The two varieties of quartz are macrocrystalline (crystals recognizable with the naked eye) and microcrystalline or cryptocrystalline (crystals too small to see without high magnification). The first category includes citrine, amethyst, aventurine, tiger eye and all quartzes pictured here. The second, cryptocrystalline, is more commonly known as chalcedony. While commonly imitated by glass, true quartz can be distinguished from glass or lead crystal by its birefringence (double refraction) and the minute air bubbles glass often contains. Quartz is also harder than glass. Found around the world, the important quartz deposits are in Brazil, Madagascar, Namibia, Ontario Canada, the USA and the French and Swiss Alps, known for their magnificent large crystals. The use of quartz dates back thousands of years. Roman ladies carried quartz crystal balls to cool their hands in warm weather, and Roman soldiers used it to capture sunlight for cauterizing wounds. Quartz passed for diamonds for many centuries, and some of the superstitions surrounding diamonds actually had their beginnings in quartz. Since the Middle Ages, quartz crystal balls have been used to predict the future. The practice of burying crystal with the dead has been popular with many cultures over time and still is by some Native Americans. These cultures believe the spirit of the dead lives on in the crystal.
Quartz is said to be the universal healing stone, able to clarify what needs to be healed or balanced and assist in the transformation. The crystals are reputed to promote hope, happiness and optimism while awakening us to the beauty of nature.
Rose Quartz - is one of the most desirable varieties of quartz. The unique pink-to-rose-red color is caused by iron and titanium impurities in the natural stone. However, the stones I use (and most on the market) have been dyed to maintain a uniform color – unless otherwise stated. Both naturally colored rose quartz and the dyed forms are photosensitive and will fade in sunlight. Beads of rose quartz have been found in Mesopotamia that date back to 7000 B.C. It is said that the Assyrians and the Romans were the first to use it. In ancient Rome, rose quartz was popular for making seals, which were used in clay or various dyes to show ownership or identify authors. Rose quartz is found in Madagascar, Brazil, India, Germany and several parts of the USA.
Often called the "love stone," rose quartz is said to open the heart chakra to all forms of love: self-love, family love, platonic love and romantic love. The gemstone is believed to bring gentleness, forgiveness, compassion, kindness and tolerance, raise the self-esteem and remove fears, resentments and anger. I found the Rose Quartz stone that I sometimes use for photos in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Smoky Quartz - Nearly all of this brownish-black, "smoky" variety of quartz on the market (mine included) is a rock crystal that has been heat-treated to produce this coveted color. This treatment has become common because it's very difficult to find good natural smoky quartz materials.

This gemstone is believed to be excellent for grounding and removing negativity. It is said to enhance survival instincts and help one reach personal and business goals, as well as assisting in making wishes come true.

Rock Crystal Quartz - is the most common quartz. This colorless, transparent gemstone has a quiet beauty. 

Rock crystal quartz is considered by many to be the best all-purpose crystal. It is reputed to cleanse the mind and body, strengthen alignment with higher self, enhance properties of other gemstones, amplify energies and give strength.

Rainbow Calsilica is a new, multi-colored, layered stone composed of calcium and silica.

Silver is considered a psychic metal, enhancing and empowering the psychic abilities and intuition of the bearer. It is protective, calming, and has money-drawing vibrations.

Sterling Silver - is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by weight of silver and 7.5% by weight of other metals, usually copper. There is general agreement that the sterling alloy originated in continental Europe, and was being used for commerce as early as the 12th century in the area that is now northern Germany. Silver is much cheaper than gold, though still valuable, and so is very popular with jewelers who are just starting out, or as a practicing material for goldsmith apprentices. Silver has also become very fashionable, and is used frequently in more artistic jewelry pieces. Traditionally silversmiths mostly made "silverware" (cutlery, table flatware, bowls, candlesticks and such). Only in more recent times has silversmithing become mainly work in jewelry, as much less solid silver tableware is now handmade. I do not do any silversmithing.

Thai Hill Tribe Silver - The Hill Tribes of Thailand consist of six distinct tribal groups, each with it's own characteristic dress, customs and styles of ornamentation. The Tribes are known in Thailand as the Karen (Kariang, Yang), the Hmong (Meo), the Mien (Yeo), the Akha (Kaw), the Lahu (Mussur), and the Lisu (Lisaw). All of the tribes do silversmithing. The Thai silver that I use is from the Karen Hill Tribe. All of the Hill Tribes silver is handmade using traditional methods passed down from generation to generation. The silver content is typically 95-99%, higher than that of sterling at 92.5%. Because each piece is hand made, no two pieces are exactly alike. By using Hill Tribe silver we are helping sustain an important world culture.

Bali silver - is created by casting techniques and handmade production. All those dots and swirls are completed handmade.
Each dot and each piece of filigree wire is applied by hand. Look at a bead closely, you can admire the skill and patience required to create such petite, hand-crafted beauty.

Bali Silver Beads are typically granulated, which means that Bali beads are decorated with small pieces of wire, tiny silver balls and other shapes. To emphasize the ornaments, the bead is typically oxidized and the raised part then polished which gives a dark background highlighting the shiny silver pattern. A true Bali Bead will be made of silver. Balinese silver has a minimum of 92.5% silver which makes it equal to sterling silver.

Tigereye - is a quartz with rich yellow and brown stripes, and a fine golden luster. When viewed from the opposite direction, the colors are reversed. The oriented fibers of crocidolite are twisted or crumpled instead of straight, reminiscent of sand and sunlight. Tigereye is also vitreous (hard, unbendable and glasslike). With its strong chatoyance, the gemstone gets its name from its resemblance to the eye of a tiger. Roman soldiers reportedly wore tigereye for protection in battle, and the stone was thought to be all-seeing due to its ocular appearance. However, tigereye made its gemstone debut sometime in the late 19th century. Tigereye is found mainly in South Africa, but also in Australia, Burma, Namibia and California in the USA. 

Tigereye is believed to pull one into a more positive and flexible attitude, and is said to be especially effective for stubborn people. Conversely, many wear the stone to strengthen convictions, and to acquire courage and confidence.

Turquoise - is probably one of the most recognized gemstones in existence. Turquoise has been popular since prehistoric times. This stone is a hydrated aluminum copper phosphate that often contains iron. Its name comes from French pierre turquoise, meaning "Turkish stone," a reference to where Persian material passed on its way to Europe. It is considerably softer than quartz and thus is usually treated in some way for stability. It occurs naturally in shades ranging from sky blue to grey-green, usually in locations where copper is hidden in the soil in high concentrations. The blue color is caused by copper, while the green color is caused by iron or chromium. Turquoise has been mined for eons, since at least 6000 B.C. Early Egyptians wore the stone, and many turquoise pieces have been found in their tombs. The ancient Aztecs in Northern Peru used to decorate their ceremonial masks with this stone, which they considered holy. Persian philosopher Al Kazwini wrote that "the hand wearing a turquoise and using it as a sealing stone will never be poor." Turquoises were used to decorate turbans, often set in a border of pearls, to protect the wearer from the evil eye. The gemstone did not reach Europe until the Crusades. Turquoise is mined in the USA (Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico), China, Peru, Mexico, Persia (Iran), Tibet, Siberia, Africa, Australia and Europe.
Turquoise is considered a stone of wholeness, promoting the sense of unity of the self and oneness with all that surrounds us. It is said to make one feel at home in both the physical and spiritual worlds.

Kingman Mine Turquoise - located near Kingman, Arizona, this mine is one of a handful that produces the beautiful "sleeping beauty" blue color known and loved by true turquoise lovers around the world. This mine also produces the "Mohave" line of green and purple turquoise.

beautiful sky blue stones with very little matrix and swirled color

Green Mohave - the majority of turquoise on the market today has been "stabilized" which is a process of hardening the stone so that it can be cut and polished. Green "Mohave" turquoise has been stabilized with a green resin rather than the normal clear. The color goes all the way through the stone. You will find bits of the "sleeping beauty" blue swirled in with varying shades of beautiful bright green along with matrix varying in color from tan to brown to black.

Purple Mohave - this turquoise is from Kingman, Arizona. It has been stabilized with a purple resin rather than the normal clear. This intense purple color goes all the way through the stone. Mixed in with the varying shades of purple there are bits of the "sleeping beauty" blue turquoise which are actual bits of the natural turquoise. The matrix on the purple Mohave varies from deep maroon to dark rusty blood red to black.

Both the green and the purple Mohave turquoise are rare, unique and stunning.