** Abalone is a Mollusk (shelled fish) in the Gastropod class. Gastropods also include snails and whelks. Abalone is prized for its meat as well as its beautiful shell.** The pretty part of the shell in on the inside, where nacre (mother of pearl) of a variety of colors can be seen. The outside of the shell is dull brown, and you can see this when you look at our Abalone Chip Beads, which have brown edges and colorful inner surfaces.** The word "Abalone" comes from the Spanish word aulone, which is the name of the animal. The shell is also called Paua Shell.** Crystal healers use Abalone for a large variety of purposes. It is thought to be helpful in disorders involving joints, bones, and muscles. It protects against uncooperative attitudes, stimulates creativity, and promotes calm. Not surprisingly, it also helps in calcium deficiencies.** Since Mollusks often have to leave their shells to find larger ones when they grow, all shells are considered to bring boundless growth in life and thought.** The Abalone that you often see in jewelry is a brilliant blue or purple. These specimens are dyed. The natural colors, while beautiful, are generally more varied, and may include blue, green, purple, pink, yellow, orange, and white. It is sometimes known as a "Sea Opal" due to the changing opalescent hues.** All jewelry made from shells, be it Abalone or Mother of Pearl, is suitable for a Mother's Day gift!


Mix Agate
Moss Agate
Tree Agate

Summary:Wondering how those colored striking bands that sometimes even resemble the dendrites of a tree, are formed? Agate’s chemical composition is Silicon Dioxide, SIO2. It is a fossil stone and is formed when gas bubbles trapped in solidifying lava are filled with alkali and silica water.

About agate / An introduction to agate
Ever strolled by a jewelry store window and been absolutely fascinated by a creatively striped semiprecious stone? Well, that's agate for you. Pronounced as /ag'-it/ it is a semiprecious stone composed of layers of quartz of different colors. Etymology traces the roots of the word back to the Latin word 'Achates', so called because it was found along the Sicilian river of Achates, now the river Drillo. Even now it is a major source of the stone. Agate is a chalcedony quartz that forms in concentric layers in varied colors. The bands or stripes which could resemble eyes or scallops or even some kind of vegetal growth, are formed in an extended process. Each agate is found as a round nodule, filling a hollow cavity in a host rock. Chalcedony quartz is not formed out of one single crystal but of finely ground micro crystals. So the striking color bands are due to the slight variations and the grain sizes of these crystals. Other quartz gems include the purplish Amethyst, and the citrus yellow Citrine.
How agate is formed
Wondering how those colored striking bands that sometimes even resemble the dendrites of a tree, are formed? Agate's chemical composition is Silicon Dioxide, SIO2. It is a fossil stone and is formed when gas bubbles trapped in solidifying lava are filled with alkali and silica water. These bubbles and the silica congeal into a gel. The alkali attacks the iron in the surrounding lava, resulting in the loss of water. Bands of iron hydroxide are formed in the gel. The gel, losing water crystallizes. When cut in cross sections an agate can reveal some spectacular forms.
Types of agate
The peculiarities and the dissimilarities in the shape and color of these bands characterize the varieties of agate. Onyx, a magnificent, magical quartz with black, brown or red stripes on white is also an agate. It is called a Riband Agate. A Ring Agate has concentric bands of different colors giving the appearance of an eye[s] when seen. The Moss Agate is another fascinating form formed by filaments of a green color embedded in the agate. This often looks like a vegetal growth and hence known as Moss Agate.
The incredible variety of agate/ Sheer variety/ A stunning array of colors and forms
Agate occurs in an illimitable amount of colors and patterns. This contributes to its phenomenal, singular beauty and universal popularity. There are hundreds of agate variants coined with special variety names. Sometimes they are named after where they are found, for instance the Lake Superior Agate or the Brazilian Agate and sometimes they are named after the colors of the crystalline bands, for instance the Brown Zebra Stone Agate, so named for its zebra stripes of brown. This fascinating agate is found in Africa. Frog Skin Agate/ Jasper is the exact green of a frog's skin. Probably the prettiest agate is the Neapolitan Ice Cream Agate; a white agate alternatively banded with pink and red stripes. The Blue Lace Agate is also one of the most popular agates with its charming, blue lacy, wavy pattern on white. Grape Agate is found in the form of light purplish grape shaped nodules in a host rock. Plume Agate is a rare agate and as the name suggests, Plume Agate has feather like inclusions embedded in the stone. Leopard Skin Agate, a singularly striking stone, when polished, resembles the black edged rosettes of a leopard's coat. Another fascinating agate is the Turitella Agate which has bits of fossils of Turitella [a snail] in it. Crazy Lace Agate, Lizard Skin Agate, Fairburn Agate, French Agate and Carnelian agate or other common agates. But these are only a few and there are literally hundreds of agates. Every year new ones turn up and new names are coined.
History of agate
Discovered by Stone Age Man, agate was highly prized by antediluvian civilizations. But the agate working industry blossomed and flourished in the Idar-Oberstein district of Germany where it was found in abundant deposits.
Decorative and functional / Ornamental and practical
Its durability and property of being easy to fashion made early man use it in both practical and ornamental forms. Agate was crafted into weapons [axes] and stoneware [bowls], even furniture and of course jewelry. In fact collecting agate was a fashion among European royalty during the Renaissance period and museums across Europe exhibit some fine pieces. Due to its highly decorative and striking colors, it was used in 'Commesso'- a Florentine mosaic which is a technique of making pictures with wafer-thin, cut-to-shape pieces of colorful iridescent semiprecious stones. Commesso was an art form of 16th century Florence.
Facts and Properties
Despite its high hardness rating among gemstones of 6.5-7.0, it is not a very hard stone. It will chip and crack fairly easily. As with all gems, safeguard your agate from sharp blows and scratches. Avoid contact with household chemicals. It is non porous but the texture is greasy and is opaque. But they take to polish easily. In fact, agate's natural colors are enhanced by polishing. Agate has strong metaphysical properties. It is known to combat stress and alleviate worry. These stones are strongly believed to have protective, stabilizing and comforting properties. Legend and ancient superstition has it that wearing agate made a person agreeable, happy, cautious yet brave. Ancient cultures used it as a talisman as it was believed to bestow on the wearer, protection against all dangers. It is also believed to have a major significance in pagan cultures and Hindu astrology. Persian magicians used agate to avert storms. White agate was apparently a cure for insomnia and guaranteed pleasant dreams. So with its spectacular colors and forms, wide distribution and strong metaphysical properties, agate receives universal acclaim

Agate Folklore, Legend & Healing Properties:

Agates have been traditionally believed to possess healing and supportive qualities. They also have been believed to enhance intuitiveness and insight,Agate is one of the oldest stones in recorded history. Agates attract strength. It also protects from stress and energy drains. When you are very sad, the agate will let you know that this will pass and help you get on to another better day.


The gemstone Amber is one of the birthstones for Taurus.

Amber deposits have been found that range between 360 and one thousand years old and belong between the Carboniferous and Pleistocene geological periods. 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, the resin was encased in dirt and debris and through a process of heat and pressure it fossilized to become amber.

Amber increases in value with the rarity and perfection of the entrapped object. Complete insect specimens are rare though and command top price.

Copal, is also a tree resin but it hasn't fully fossilized to amber. There is strong debate about some deposits of African amber as to whether it is copal or true amber.

Amber can range in color from dark brown to a light almost clear lemon yellow. Most amber that has been used in jewelry is from the region of the Baltic Sea or the Dominican Republic.

Amber is very soft, between 2 1/2-3 on the Mohs scale and can be scratched easily. Bracelets and rings with amber cabochons should be worn with care to prevent marring the stone. Much of the amber used in commercial jewelry is actually reconstituted which makes it harder and less prone to scratching. Reconstituted and processed amber usually doesn't have natural inclusions.

There are many tests that can be performed to determine if the piece is natural amber or man-made. Of these, only the flotation test is recommended for the novice. Make a saturated solution of regular table salt and water and place the piece of amber in this mixture. If it floats, it is amber. If it sinks it is man-made (some natural copals will also sink and you would need to make more scientific tests to make a determination
Very rare examples of this material can contain whole or partial fossil insects, some of which are very well preserved.
Most amber sold today is from the Baltic region, and may consist of small pieces which are heated and pressed to form larger, more usable pieces which are then formed into cabochons for jewelry.

Amber Folklore, Legend & Healing Properties:

Is believed to help calm nerves and aid in the making of correct choices. Legend has it that amber helps keep a person well. It helps the body heal itself by absorbing negative energy and turning it into positive energy.



Apatite is a fairly soft stone (5 on Moh's scale) that comes in a variety of colors, though the most common colors are yellow and blue-green. Its softness, coupled with its tendency to be brittle, make it a rare choice for gemstones, as it can't be cut very well. Still, there are a few gem-quality stones out there. The darker the blue, the more valuable the stone. (Our Apatite chips are neon blue-green, a very common color for them.)** This is thought of as a "Humanitarian Stone." It helps earth-conscious people to help Mother Earth, and it promotes good will toward and love for others.** The word "Apatite" comes from the Greek apatos, which means "to deceive." Since Apatite looks like several other stones, the ancient Greeks gave it this "deceptive" name. ** Apatite used to be a source of phosphate for fertilizers.** Metaphysical healers use Apatite to reduce stress. It aids in alleviating "burn out," and quiets emotional upset during difficult times in one's life. It clears mental confusion, so it is a good stone to use while taking tests.** Crystal healers also find Apatite useful in decreasing hunger, believe it or not!


Azurite is a beautiful blue/green stone used for cabochons and carvings.It is a medium hard stone at 3.5 - 4 on the Mohs hardness scale.A copper bearing mineral, it is found by itself or sometimes in a matrix with malachite.

Folklore, Legend, Healing Properties:

This stone is believed to enhance psychic abilities and spiritualism. Many use it to calm and sooth the mind and for help in reaching a meditative state.Some people believe it can aid in recovering long lost memories. Because it is a soft stone, it can be scratched easily so care should be taken while wearing jewelry containing azurite. Although commonly set in rings, it is better worn in pendants and earrings because it will be better protected. It should not be immersed in liquids because it is a porous stone and will absorb moisture.Ultrasonic cleaning is not recommended!Cleaning with a soft dry cloth is best; a commercially available jeweler's polishing cloth containing rouge is OK,but afterward it should be rinsed with clean water and dried with a soft cloth

Black Onyx

Black Onyx

Black Onyx is an opaque black stone in the Quartz family. It's a form of agate.It is a very easy - to- care- for stone. Black Onyx makes great looking beads and cabochons.Virtually all Black Onyx is permanently dyed for uniform color.
Folklore, Legend, Healing Properties:
Black Onyx has been linked to lovers by causing discord and cooling of the fires of passion. It was once believed that dark onyx caused bad dreams and sad thoughts. Ancient Romans wore it believing it gave them courage. is known to help release negative emotions such as sorrow and grief. It is used to end unhappy or bothersome relationships. Onyx jewelry is worn to defend against negativity that is directed at you.
Black Onyx can be cleaned very easily. If it's set as a cabochon in gold or silver,it can be polished with any commercial jewelry polish. After polishing, the jewelry should be rinsed with clean hot water and then dried with a soft cloth.


· Bloodstone

This is one of my favorite stones, because of its beauty and the because of the Christian legend behind it!

Bloodstone is an opaque green stone with spotted red inclusions in the Quartz family.
It's a form of chalcedony, like carnelian and chrysoprase. It is a very easy-to-care-for stone.Bloodstone makes great looking beads and cabochons.Bloodstone is a March birthstone. (see our Birthstone List)
Folklore, Legend, Healing Properties:
Since ancient times, Bloodstone has been believed to be an effective cure for blood related diseases.Ancient warriors believed that it would stop bleeding if they pressed it to a wound.Many athletes wear bloodstone "power bead" bracelets, with the belief that it will enhance their stamina.
· The Christian legend of the bloodstone:
The bloodstone back in Christ time was a stone they gave each other as a sign of reverence. It is said that back then it was just a green stone. They placed it under the cross of Christ, when they pierced his side,his blood fell on the stone – hence came the red spots on the stone we now know as the bloodstone. I like to wear this stone to remind me of the blood Jesus shed for our salvation – this stone is great for baptismBloodstone can be cleaned very easily. If it's set as a cabochon in gold or silver, it can be polished with any commercial jewelry polish. After polishing, the jewelry should be rinsed with clean hot water and then dried with a soft cloth.

Bloodstone is a dark green Jasper with spots of reddish iron oxide. (Though some smaller stones do not have red spots.) ** It is also called Heliotrope. In ancient times, this stone when polished was said to reflect the sun.** Bloodstone is thought to enhance courage and promote understanding of the benefits of hard-earned victories, and therefore it is known as "Stone of the Warrior." It frees the wearer's energy to explore the unknown and take chances, and it is a good stone for those who are self-employed.** This is a very porous stone, and will reject its polish if placed in water.** In ancient times, Bloodstones were thought to slow bleeding. They were used to assist in labor and delivery, and to purify toxic blood.** Bloodstone is a claming stone, removing distractions that might cause a person to walk into dangerous situations.** The blend of red and green, which are opposites on the color wheel, are thought to allow Bloodstone to help integrate and blend opposites. This makes it a good stone to give to lovers who are very different from each other.** Legend has it that Bloodstone was formed when drops of Christ's blood fell on green Jasper at the foot of the cross. Thus, it is a highly revered stone among certain Christian groups. Medieval Christians often used Bloodstone to carve scenes of the crucifixion and martyrs, which helped it gain the name "The Martyr's Stone."** Bloodstone is a birthstone for March.

Blue Lace Agate

** Blue Lace Agate, also know as Banded Chalcedony, is comprised of white and light blue bands that look dull in their natural state but are brought to beautiful life when polished.** The word "agate" is thought to come from the name of the Achates River (now known as the Drillo) in Sicily. The Blue Lace name refers to its delicate lacy look.** Blue Lace Agate is said to be a calming stone. It helps the wearer achieve peace and wisdom. It is a gentle stone, and when worn by gentle people, it helps them to not be changed by the hectic events surrounding them. A Blue Lace Agate in the house reduces household tensions.** Crystal healers use Blue lace Agate in applications of the throat. It is said to soothe a sore throat, and reduce hoarseness of the voice. ** Being a throat stone, Blue Lace Agate is thought to be an aid in expression and is a good stone for public speakers to wear.** Agates in general are used for gifts for the 12th wedding anniversary

Blue Topaz

** Topaz, called "The Stone of Love and Success in All Endeavors," comes in a variety of colors, the most common being golden-yellow and blue. We are focusing on the blue today.** The word "Topaz" comes from the Sanskrit tapas, meaning "fire." The name was given to the original golden-yellow stone, and the same gemstone in different colors is still called Topaz, with a qualifier before it.** Blue Topaz is naturally a pale blue stone. The color is heightened by heat treatment, which sometimes occurs in nature but is usually done artificially. There are three basic colors of Blue Topaz: Sky Blue (the lightest), Swiss Blue, and London Blue (the darkest, which is often used as an inexpensive substitute for Sapphire). Pale blue Topaz is also occasionally dyed blue for the most inexpensive gems.** Blue Topaz is seen as a cooling, calming stone. It was believed to have cooling properties, both physical (it was thought to cool boiling water), and emotional (said to calm a hot temper).** Blue Topaz is used by crystal healers to aid in communication. It helps to clear muddled thoughts, clarify the mind, and put ideas into words.** Blue Topaz is the official gemstone for the 16th wedding anniversary, and is a modern birthstone for both March and December.** The ancient Greeks believed that Topaz would afford the wearer invisibility in threatening situations, and also that it would change color in the presence of poison.** Blue Topaz is said to be a lucky stone for people born in the 4th hour of the morning!** All of our "neighbors" will be pleased to learn that Blue Topaz is the US State Gemstone of Utah!



I am still looking for information on this stone. Check back for updates.

Brown Snowflake

Brown Snowflake

I am still looking for information on this stone. Check back for updates

Brecciated/Poppy Jasper


Brecciated and Poppy Jaspers are rocks that have been broken into small pieces, and then "glued" back together by other rocks. They consist of angular particles that are larger than sand, surrounded by finer grained matrix.** The name "Brecciated" refers to the structure of the stone, not the minerals included. Red Jasper is usually a component, but Brecciated Jasper can contain any of many different types of Jasper. The stone commonly called Brecciated Jasper has fairly large (6-15mm) chunks, whereas the stone commonly called Poppy Jasper usually has smaller (1-5mm) chunks.** The nature of the stone--where a formerly existing stone had been broken and fixed--is very significant to crystal healers, who use the stone to help heal any "broken" part of the body that has been "glued" back together, such as broken legs. Its heavy concentration of Red Jasper also makes it an excellent stone for blood disorders.** The name Breccia comes from the Old Teutonic brekan, which means "to break."** Brecciated and Poppy Jasper are thought to aid in dream recollection, provide a playful, joyous attitude, and to break any "drought" the body may be experiencing, whether it be creative, intellectual, fear, or acceptance. The stone produces an adrenaline-like awakening to areas of the body that are inactive. The stone is not recommended for use by pregnant women.** This stone is thought to be very animal-friendly. It aids in communication with animals, and so makes an excellent stone for people in the animal business, such as veterinarians and farmers


** Calcite is one of the softest minerals, and one of the most common on earth. It is often used in cements and mortars, and is the major component in Limestone and Limestone's igneous cousin, Marble.** While most minerals show only a few crystal formations, Calcite comes in over 300 different crystal forms! It is also one of the most colorful stones, covering all areas of the rainbow, and some are even iridescent. Calcite fluoresces purple or bright red under a black light, and also displays the interesting property of triboluminescence. This can be seen when Calcite is struck or put under pressure--it will glow in a dark room.** The word "Calcite" comes from the Greek chalix, meaning "lime" (as in "limestone").** Crystal healers use Calcite as an aid in memory and to enhance learning abilities (which makes it a good stone for students). It is said to increase prosperity and aid intuition.** Calcite has electrical properties. It shows electrical impulses under pressure, and is thus believed by crystal healers to amplify energy in the body.** Clear, smooth Calcite crystals show double refraction. Light beams enter the crystal and split into a fast and a slow beam, which leave the crystal at different angles. Thus, when you lay a Calcite crystal against writing or a line on paper, a perfect double image will be seen. This double image is said to double the healing properties of the stone.** You can see some amazing samples of Calcite simply by visiting a cave. Most cave formations are the result of Calcite in the rock. Calcite is very soft and dissolves quickly, thus helping in the creation of stalactites, stalagmites, arches, and a host of other cave formations.



Carnelian is actually a form of chalcedony. As such, it's a member of the quartz family. Like onyx or agate, it has a microcrystalline structure and is opaque (unlike amethyst, a quartz found in large crystals). Almost all Carnelian is heat treated to enhance and bring out the characteristic reddish brown "caramel" color.Carnelian is used to make beautiful cabochons, carvings and beads.
Folklore, Legend, Healing Properties:
In the eighth century, the Muslim leader Ja’afar ibn Muhammad proclaimed that wearing Carnelian would guarantee the granting of all desires. This belief made the stone a popular talisman among the Muslims. In the 1700’s, carnelian was known to bring luck, protection, and comfort. In the 1800’s, carnelian was said to help those who needed courage to speak. This gemstone is used for clear thinking and to balance creativity and mental processing.Carnelian is believed beneficial in the treatment of infertility and impotency, and to enhance desire.It is also believed to cleanse and purify the blood.It is an energy booster. It protects from bad vibrations, guards against poverty, helps give a sense of humor, and calms the temper Like other stones in this group, Carnelian is a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale and is an easy to care for stone.When set in sterling silver or gold jewelry, it can be cleaned and polished in the usual manner using a commercial jewelry polish.As with all jewelry, it should be rinsed well and dried with a soft cloth after polishing



is the name for an ancient seaport. In the 3rd or 4th century A.D., Greek seafarers wore chalcedony to avoid drowning. It was once believed that someone seeing nocturnal phantoms took in disease though their eyes, but the “alkaline” content of chalcedony could remove it.


** This is a stone that is almost NEVER used for jewelry. The Chrysotile chips you find on Ephemerala Online are the only ones you will be able to find online in North America. They are really pretty, so perhaps Chrysotile as jewelry will eventually catch on.** Chrysotile is the main component in asbestos. There are two types of asbestos. One has hard, straight fibers, and can cause lung cancer if inhaled. The other type, which is Chrysotile, is less hazardous. Its fibers are silky in texture and curly. They do not get inhaled as readily as the other type, and the fibers are easier for the body to exhale.** Approximately 99% of asbestos used today is Chrysotile.** Also known as White Asbestos, Chrysotile is made up of lots of curly fibers. It is part of the Serpentine group, and it is what gives Tiger Eye its chatoyancy (shimmer). Chrysotile in itself is usually chatoyant to a small degree, but our chips don't show this very well.** The name "Chrysotile" comes from the Greek chrysos, meaning "gold," and tilos, meaning "fiber."** Being that this stone is seldom used for jewelry or decoration, few medical and/or metaphysical properties have been attributed to it. However, it is said to help the bearer find his or her true self. Physically, it is though to aid in problems with veins, arteries, and the pores of the skin.

Dalmation Jasper

** This is a stone for those who want more fun in their lives. Dalmatian Jasper is said to help the wearer relax and enjoy life, to be more open to fun situations and finding joy in everyday things.** While Dalmatian Jasper helps to find fun in everyday situations, it also helps the wearer to stay grounded in reality and lessens and remove disillusionment.** The origin of the stone's name is obvious--it looks just like a Dalmatian dog! Much like the dog, this stone promotes loyalty and is beneficial for long-term relationships.** Dalmatian Jasper is primarily found in Mexico.** Healing properties include the ability to purify the blood, and the protection from nightmares, depression, and negative thinking. It also helps to increase patience.** Dalmatian Jasper is said to be a good stone for vets and other people who work in the healing of animals. It calms animals and lets them know that the person is trying to help them.


** Diamonds are the hardest mineral there is. Not only are they harder than anything else, but the degree of hardness is greater between Diamond and Corundum (the next hardest mineral) than it is between Corundum and Talc (the softest mineral). Some Diamonds are harder than others. For example, Australian Diamonds can cut South African Diamonds. Even though Diamonds are the hardest substance known on earth, they are also very brittle, so they can shatter under a hard blow.** One of the things that makes Diamonds unique is that they are always found as crystals. There simply are no non-crystal diamond specimens. This is likely because they are so hard that they cannot be eroded like other minerals can.** Another unique feature about Diamonds is that they are the only gemstone that are made up on one single element. Diamonds are pure crystallized carbon. ** While Diamonds can come in several colors, the colorless variety is the most prized. Chemical impurities create the different colors, so an impurity-free Diamond will be perfectly colorless. The famous blue Hope Diamond, as well as other Diamonds with a smoky blue tinge, are not actually blue. The blue color is an effect caused by a complete lack of color paired with perfect transparency. These so-called Blue Nile Diamonds are the most prized of all.** If heated, a Diamond will decrease in size and finally disappear without any residue.** The word Diamond comes from the Greek adamas, which means "hardest steel" or "unconquerable."** Diamonds are called "ice" because they are actually naturally cold stones, often several degrees below room temperature.** Diamonds are known as the "King Gems."** Hindu lore says that Diamonds were created when bolts of lightning struck rocks. They believe that Diamonds are very powerful, but will lose their powers if bought or sold. They must be given as a token of love or friendship in order to be used as a talisman.** Long ago, Jewish high priests would use Diamonds to determine the innocence or guilt of the accused. A Diamond was believed to grow dull and dark in the presence of guilt.** Even though we tend to set Diamonds in gold, they are actually thought to be most potent, powerful, and valuable if set in steel.** Diamonds are the official birthstone for April. They are the traditional gemstone for the 30th and 60th anniversary, and are the winter stones of the season.



Drusy, druse, druzy, drusies - different spellings, but they all mean tiny quartz crystals that form within or on the surface of other stones.

When ground water carrying dissolved silica is forced into a porous area of the rock, rapid cooling often occurs, causing the formation of tiny crystals on the surfaces or in cavities of the rock. The clear crystals often form on top of previously deposited minerals. This is called a drusy. Some minerals found in this form are chrysocolla, malachite, hematite, psilomelane, uvarovite, pyrite, carnelian and cobalto-calcite.

The image on the right is a collage of some stones in my collection and the image below it is a photo of a chunk of chrysocolla rough with a formation of drusy crystals in a crevice.

Titanium drusy is agate drusy that has been coated with titanium in a vacuum chamber. It produces a permanent metal coating in spectacular shades of bight, dark blue or an iridescent white.

Folklore, Legend, Healing Properties:

See specific base stones: chrysocolla, malachite, etc.


A member of the Beryl family, Emerald is a beautiful transparent stone with a pure, green color.It is a hard stone with a hardness of 7.5 - 8 on the Mohs scale.
Many commercial grade emeralds have been "oiled" - they have surface fractures that have been sealed or filled.
Although it is very rare to find perfect, clean stones in larger sizes, the supply of excellent smaller stones has actually risen. Most emeralds will have internal flaws.Colombia has produced fine emerald for many years, but exceptionally good quality material has been found in several other locations, most notably Afghanistan. Opaque stones with good color are cut into cabochons, or "promotional" grade faceted stones used in inexpensive Birthstone jewelry. Emerald is a May birthstone.
Folklore, Legend, Healing Properties
Emerald is traditionally worn and carried by many people who believe that it enhances and strengthens perception and the ability to clearly understand complex problems. It is also believed to possess money attracting properties - probably due to its green color. Easy to care for, jewelry containing emerald can be easily cleaned with a toothbrush and dishwashing detergent. Any jewelry polish can be used with great results. Your emerald jewelry will retain its original beauty for many years with minimal care. Do not use an ultrasonic machine to clean emeralds.


** Dumortierite is a very pretty stone, usually found in denim-blue but occasionally found in black and red as well, that is used for carvings and decorative items.** Dumortierite was named for the paleontologist M. E. Dumortiere.** Dumortierite is said to be a calming stone that helps the wearer collect his or her thoughts. It prevents the wearer from being scatterbrained; it resorts order and organization in one's life. It promotes metal clarity to reduce excitability and stubbornness.** Dumortierite is often confused with Sodalite and other dark blue stones. Sodalite has more white, and is much lighter.** While Dumortierite is usually found in its massive state (meaning that large, solid hunks are often found), it does have a much rarer crystalline form. The crystals are pleochroic, which means they change color depending on what angle from which you view them. The color changes from red to blue to violet. (Unfortunately, my chip beads are all of the opaque type.)** Dumortierite is the main colorant in Blue Quartz . Tiny Dumortierite crystals grow in the Quartz, giving it its blue hue.** Dumortierite is found in several places around the world, but one special fact for me is that it is often found in Yuma, Arizona, which is at the very southwestern corner of the state.

Fiber Optic Cat's Eye

** As you might have guessed, this is a synthetic (man-made) stone. It is composed of a substance known as Ulexite, which is spun glass fibers fused together and then machine-cut to form the shapes.** Any stone that displays the cat's eye effect, including Fiber Optic Cat's Eye, Tiger, Eye, and Chrysocolla to name a few, is said to have chatoyancy, which is a single streak of light that can be seen when the stone is rotated.** Crystal healers put Cat's Eye into the same category as many other chatoyant stones. Even though the stone is man-made, it still contains the chemical properties of some types of natural glass (primarily Quartz), so it is said to posses the same metaphysical attributes. Cat's Eye brings serene happiness, it stimulates intuition and enhances awareness.** All Cat's Eye stones (natural or synthetic) are considered to be lucky for gamblers. ** All Cat's Eye stones are said to protect from the Evil Eye and bring good fortune.** Fiber Optic Cat's Eye is the same material used in fiber optic telephone technology

Fire Opal

** Please see general information about Opals ** While "fire" in Opals usually refers to the play of color across the surface, Fire Opals generally do not show any opalescence. The "Fire" in this case refers to the color of the stone, which ranges from dark red to orange to yellow. This color is caused by iron impurities, and is unlike any other gemstone.** Fire Opals are the only Opals that are faceted instead of made into cabochons. They can be transparent or slightly milky, and occasionally show flame-like reflections when turned. Color play is very unusual, and any flash raises the value of the stone considerably.** Most Fire Opal is mined in Mexico, so the stone is often called Mexican Fire Opal. Bright red Fire Opals are also sometimes called Cherry Opals.** Crystal healers use Fire Opals in the healing of blood disorders, and problems with the back and intestines.** This stone is thought to be useful in eliminating apathy, preventing burnout in stressful situations, freeing the spirit, promoting optimism and creative power, easing depression, and releasing deep-seated fears and grief. It helps the wearer deal with the past and let go of painful memories. When a person feels deeply mistreated or outraged, feeling that circumstances are not fair, Fire Opal will help the wearer to get through the shock and indignation.** Fire Opal was known to the Aztecs.


** Fluorite has a very wide range of colors, with only Tourmaline featuring more colors. The most common colors are purple, green, blue, and clear, but Fluorite also comes in yellow, pink, red, and orange.** The name Fluorite comes from the Latin fluere, meaning "to flow." This refers to the fact that Fluorite was often used as a flux in smelting metallic ores, and also because it is very easy to melt.** Crystal healers use it for transferring certain types of negative energy into positive energy. Its mental healing powers make it a good stone to aid in sleep. It is believed to bring prophetic dreams.** Often called The Genius Stone, Fluorite is said to help amplify, focus, open, and expand the mind, creating new pathways for knowledge.** Fluorite's high percentage of fluorine is said to help strengthen teeth and bones, and aid in the absorption of nutrients.** Fluorite can be used as an alternate birthstone for February.** Fluorite exhibits two interesting physical properties. One is "fluorescence" (named for the stone), whereby the stone glows under a Black Light. The other is "thermoluminescence," whereby the stone glows when heat is applied. This can be seen by taking a stone and heating it over an electric range in a dark room! However, this thermoluminescence is a one-shot deal; once it is seen, the glow will fade and will never again be seen in the same specimen.** Faerie Lore names Fluorite as a favorite stone of Faeries!

Freshwater Pearl

** Natural pearls form when a tiny irritant such as a bit of sand or grit finds its way into the shell of shellfish such as oysters or mussels. Over time (as many as ten years!), the irritant is covered with layers of nacre, also known as Mother of Pearl, to form the roundish Pearl. ** Long ago, pearls were as valuable as real estate, because one would have to search thousands of oysters to find one single pearl! These days, pearls are "farmed" by placing a small bead into an oyster shell, and harvesting the completed pearl a few years later.** Freshwater pearls are formed in mussels rather than oysters. They are formed naturally in rivers and lakes, and cultured on farms.** There are three major things to look for in a pearl:1. Orient (the depth of the inner glow of the nacre layers),2. Shape (the rounder the pearl, the more valuable),3. Color (pearls can naturally occur in several colors, but most colored pearls on the market are dyed).** Pearls are known as the "Stone of Sincerity;" promoting faith, charity, innocence, integrity, truth, and loyalty. They are said to represent purity of body and mind.** Pearls are thought to inhibit rough behavior, and are a good stone for children to wear. ** Pearls are the official birthstone for June, and are traditional gifts for the 1st, 3rd, and 30th anniversaries. Freshwater Pearls in particular are good for 1st anniversary gifts, symbolizing the purity of the young union.** Pearls are very sensitive, and should be treated gently. Any perfumes or cosmetics should be put on an hour before donning the pearls, and after wearing they should be gently wiped with a soft cloth.

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