Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rock Review: Pietersite

Pietersite was discovered by Sid Pieters in 1962 while he was prospecting farmland in Africa. After discovering this gemstone, he registered his find in the mineral records of Britain. There are only two known sources of Pietersite: Africa & China. The China form of pietersite came to market in 1997. This China pietersite exhibits slightly different color variations from Mr. Pieter's original mineral, but both are stunning and are now universally recognized as one-in-the-same.

Chinese pietersite has striking combinations of gold, red and blue color segments, which sometimes also includes a deep golden brown color. Blue is the rarest color, followed by red. The blues range from a baby blue to dark midnight hue. Golds can be light to very deep and rich, sometimes having a reddish hue. All fibrous color variations will have a superb and striking chatoyancy (NERD ALERT: chatoyancy means the bright and subtly changing shimmer of color that moves along the surface of a gemstone as it is viewed from varying angles.)

The fibrous structure in pietersite has been folded, stressed, even fractured and/or broken apart via the Earth's geologic processes. The fibrous materials have then been reformed and naturally recemented together by quartz. Stones and crystals that go through this process are referred to as brecciated, creating a finished product with multiple colors and hues.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


February already?!? Time for a new BIRTHSTONE Rock Review. This month’s birthstone is a beautiful stone ranging in hue from a nearly transparent lilac to deep purple – the lovely amethyst.

Amethyst is a type of rock belonging to the quartz family. Derived from the Greek word meaning "not drunken,” historians believe that the name came from the reddish purple shades of amethyst popular in the Greek states. Most of the amethyst used today comes from areas or regions of Mexico, Brazil, Africa and Uruguay.

According to legend, amethyst originated with Bacchus, the God of Wine. It was believed that drinking wine from a cup made of amethyst would prevent drunkenness and that wearing amethyst would prevent the wearer from becoming drunk being poisoned.

Amethyst is used as faceted stones or polished cabochons (a highly polished rounded unfaceted gem) and is carved in various shapes. Amethyst beads are used in necklaces, earrings and other jewelry in both rough unpolished forms, smooth glossy shapes, faceted beads and briolettes (a gem cut in the shape of a teardrop or oval.) One of the largest cut amethysts in the world is 343 carats and is housed at the National History Museum in London.

For another example of a gorgeous amethyst, please visit my Etsy shop:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Rock Review: Rose Quartz
I chose Rose Quartz today simply because it was pink and that seemed appropriate for Valentine's Day. Little did I know that Rose Quartz is actually known as the stone of love! It is believed that the stone can make the wearer feel a sense of self worth, and ignite passion in marriage. The stone is thought to heal and strengthen unconditional love rather than attract new love.
This stone is great for any kind of jewelry because it is very durable and resistant to scratches. It is also very comfortable to wear. At first it is cold to the touch but as it is worn, it becomes closer to your body temperature. Care for the stone is minimal, if you own a piece of rose quartz, it may be cleaned with soap and warm water and a toothbrush.
All stones in the quartz family have a very stable crystal structure and vibrational energy that is used to receive, send and hold energy. For this reason, quartz is used for practical purposes in watches and radios. This may be why healers and shamans from around the world have used the stone for centuries before this special property was proved by science. According to an article on, the Amazonian shamans believe that spirits can become visible in quartz crystals.
While I may not be interested in seeing spirits in Quartz crystal, I am interested in the idea that this stone, worn close to my body is receiving and attuned to my body's vibrational frequency. I am interested that it is the stone of love and that perhaps it is able to use this balancing property to strengthen the bond between me and my love. How interesting indeed.