Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Rock Review: Chinese Writing stone

Chinese writing stone is a naturally occurring gem that is actually mined in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas in California. Those who discovered the stone felt that the white crystal structure against the black stone looked like Chinese characters, hence the name Chinese writing stone. The majority of the stone is limestone, and the white flecks are andalusite crystals. Porphory is a second name for the stone exists which is rarely used in trade, though perhaps it is more PC. This gem is a recent discovery as rocks go. It was discovered during highway construction in the 1960's. It's beauty and durability make it a fantastic stone for jewelry making. It is a 5-6 on the Moh's scale of hardness, which makes it a reasonably tough stone. It is thought that Chinese writing stone is helpful in making a person dream. Pretty cool! Try sleeping with this ring on!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Rock Review: Serpentine

Serpentine ( hydrated magnesium silicate)
More of a mineral than a rock, Serpentine is so named because of its green, yellow or brown hue which resembles the skin of a serpent. Handle serpentine with care because it is porous and relatively soft, ranging from 3 to 5 on the Moh’s scale of hardness (that’s out of 10). This means that it should not be cleaned with an abrasive and chemicals including perfume should be avoided.
Although you may not have heard of serpentine, it has been used for thousands of years. It was used in ancient Assyria to invoke special blessings from the gods. It has also been used as a healing stone to aid in stomach and kidney ailments when laid directly on the skin. Here is a link I found on how to alleviate back pain with serpentine:
Serpentine is found in New Zealand, China, Afghanistan, South Africa, USA, England, and Italy. While it is pictured here in a striking yellow with flecks of black hematite, it is also found in many other colors. Red, green, brown-red, brown-yellow and white are other colors varieties of the same mineral substance.