Gemstone origins and meanings


Gemstone information is listed in alphabetical order. Information on Hill Tribe Thai Silver, Sterling Silver and Swarovski Crystals is at the bottom.

Amazonite

Amazonite is an iridescent stone that varies in color from pale green to blue green. Different shades of these colors can show up in the same stone. Amazonite is part of the Microcline class of the Feldspar group. Amazonite is found in granite rocks and is mined throughout the world in places like Brazil, Madagascar, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Australia, Russia, and the U.S. It is not produced synthetically. Its name comes from the belief that it came from the Amazon River in South America. Amazonite is thought to improve skin, alleviate stress and exhaustion, prevent osteoporosis & tooth decay. It is also thought to enhance self awareness, self love, and to sooth emotions. 

Amethyst

Amethyst is the birthstone for February. It is Micro crystalline quartz and is one of the most popular and best selling gemstones in the world. Amethysts can be found in Brazil, Argentina, Namibia, Canada and the U.S. Amethyst is found in geodes. It can vary in color from shades of red-violet to purple, from a milky color to green. The name Amethyst is derived from the Greek amethystos which means “not drunken”. Amethyst has also been used to encourage celibacy & erase evil thoughts. It represents love, wisdom, compassion, friendship, spirituality, healing, purification and peace. It is said to protect from insomnia, hearing, skin, digestive tract, teeth & nervous system disorders.

Aquamarine

Aquamarine is the Birthstone for March and is one of our most popular and best-known gemstones. Aquamarine is found in Brazil, India,Madagascar, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Aquamarine is a member of the Beryl family of gemstones, which includes emeralds and morganite. It is a transparent pale blue to sea green in color. Iron is the substance which gives aquamarine its color. Legend has it that aquamarine came from the treasure chests of mermaids, and because of this, became the lucky stone of sailors. The word Aquamarine is derived from the Latin words for aqua (water) and mare (sea). It is said to relieve one of seasickness, nerve pain and toothaches. It is also said to give the wearer feelings of trust and friendship.

Aventurine

Aventurine is said to improve creativity and treat lung, heart and muscular disorders. It is said to represent healing, protection, luck, will power, self-confidence & courage. The name Aventurine is derived from the Italian 'aventura,' which is a type of Italian glass. Mica inclusions create the glistening effect associated with the name.

Black Onyx

Black onyx can be natural or dyed and was valued by the Greeks and Romans. The name ‘Onyx’ comes from the Greek word “onux”, which means fingernail.  Onyx is a variety of striped chalcedony that is made up of alternating broad, flat bands of black and white. Onyx differs from other agate in the fact that the bands are parallel and regularly spaced. If the piece of onyx is brown and white, it is called Sardonyx. If it is red and white, then it is called Carnelian Onyx. When the stone is black throughout the bands, then it is called Black Onyx.

 Onyx was also used in India to ward off the “evil eye” and used as a worry stone in the Middle East. It can be found in Uruguay, Germany, Canadaand the U.S. It is said to eliminate apathy, stress and negative thinking.

Chalcedony

Chalcedony is a form of Quartz that is formed from finely grained micro crystals compared with one single crystal. The variety of chalcedony is even greater than transparent quartz varieties because it includes cryptocrystalline quartz with patterns as well as a wide range of solid colors.

Citrine

Citrine is a type of quartz that resembles topaz quartz. It is widely available and durable and is sometimes made by heating Amethyst from its characteristic purple-violet color to the yellow color of Citrine. Citrine itself can be anywhere from yellow to gold, to an orange-brown. Citrine derives its’ name from the French word for lemon, “citron,". .Most Citrine is from Brazil. It is thought to give protection from snake venom and evil thoughts.

Garnet

Garnet is the birthstone for January. It is found in Kenya, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Brazil, Canada, Spain and the U.S. Garnet comes from the Latin word “granatus”, which means seed-like, for the resemblance to the seeds of the pomegranate. Although known for being a deep red, it can also be found in shades of yellow, green, pink, white and gray. Garnet is a resistant stone that can stand up to everyday wear and tear, and is commonly used as an indicator mineral for locating diamonds. It is said to symbolize fire, faith, courage, grace, honesty, compassion and fidelity. Garnet is also said to stimulate the bloodstream, combat depression, treat disorders of the bones, spine, lungs and heart. Garnet is thought to enhance protection, courage and self confidence.

Howlite

Howlite is a naturally white stone with either dark gray or black spider webs throughout. It is commonly dyed to imitate Turquoise and Lapis Lazuli. It is named after the mineralogist Henry How, who found it in Nova Scotia in the 19th century. It is the stone of memory, knowledge and progress. It is also said to eliminate pain, stress and anger.

Iolite

Iolite is sometimes referred to as “water sapphire” because it is commonly found in water deposits. It can be mistaken for sapphires. Iolite is found in the U.S., Sri Lanka, India, Madagascar, and Brazil. It changes color if viewed from different angles. Iolite is derived from the Greek word “Ios”, which means violet. While Iolite is usually blue, inclusions of Hematite can cause a reddish sheen. Iolite is said to help the wearer with detoxification by protecting and/or healing the liver, heals sore throats and blisters and malaria.

Labradorite

Labradorite is a smoky gray stone that is plagioclase feldspar. It is found in the U.S, Canada, Mexico, Ukraine, and Australia. A metallic rainbow reflection is seen from different angles. Labradorite is in the same family as Moonstone and was discovered in 1770 on St. Paul Island inLabrador, Canada. Labradorite is said to help in detoxifying the body, slow the aging process, and treat brain, digestion & metabolic disorders. It is said to enhance strength, perseverance, patience & creativity.

Moonstone

Moonstone is a mystical stone that belongs to the large mineral family of feldspars, which provide almost two thirds of all stones on our Earth.Moonstone is found in the U.S., Sri Lanka, India, Madagascar, Australia, and Brazil. Moonstone is a transparent to translucent gemstone that can have a yellow-brown to a blue-white sheen. Incoming rays of light are refracted inside the stone and scattered. Because of this, a unique play of light is created, which makes Moonstone so special and coveted.

It is named for the moon-like reflection of light within it. Moonstone is considered a sacred and magical gemstone in India. It is sometimes called a “dream stone” for the beautiful dreams it is said to bring to its wearer. Moonstone is considered the ideal stone for lovers, as it brings forth feelings of tenderness. Another name for Moonstone is Selenite, after the ancient Greek goddess of the moon, Selene. Moonstone is also said to align the spine, aid digestion, enhance creativity and eliminate toxins.

Mother of Pearl

When an object gets inside the shell of a mollusk, it will protect itself by coating the invading object with nacre, which is the same material it uses to coat pearls. Nacre is found in pearl oysters, freshwater mussels and abalone. Mother of Pearl is the name given to the iridescent coating on the inside of mollusk shells. This is where the name creator (mother) of pearls comes from. In China, mother of pearl was used to treat heart palpitations, high blood pressure, said to stimulate imagination and help with decision making. It is also thought to be a symbol of faith and innocence.

Pearls

Pearls are organic gems that are created when an oyster covers a foreign object with layers of nacre. Long ago, pearls were important financial assets because pearls were rare and only created by chance. Thousands of oysters had to be searched for only one pearl.


Today pearls are cultured by man, most in Japan. Shell beads are placed inside an oyster and the oyster is returned to the water. When the pearls are harvested, the oyster has covered the bead with layers of nacre creating a pearl. 

Larger oysters in the South Pacific produce South Sea cultured pearls and Tahitian black cultured pearls, which are also larger in size.

Freshwater pearls are cultured in freshwater mussels, mostly in China. They are much smaller and less expensive to harvest than saltwater pearls. One mussel can yield more than twenty or more pearls in each harvest.

The quality of pearls is judged by the orient (the soft iridescence caused by the refraction of light by the layers of nacre), and luster (the reflectivity and shine of the surface). Fine pearls have no flaws or spots in the nacre: it has an even smooth texture. Other factors which affect value are the regularity of the shape, size, and color: rose tints are the most favored.


Cultured and natural pearls will feel slightly rough against a tooth, like fine sandpaper, because of the texture of natural nacre. Imitation pearls will feel as smooth because the surface is molded or painted over a smooth bead.

Peridot

Peridot can be found in the U.S., Australia, China, Pakistan, Egypt and Norway. 
Peridot is the birthstone of August. It is a yellow-green gemstone that is colored from the ferrous iron within. Peridot has been used to slow the aging process, eliminate stress, and help in finding lost items. It is also said to treat heart, lung, spleen and intestinal disorders.

Quartz

Twelve percent of the earth's crust is composed of Quartz, or 'rock crystal'. Quartz is considered to be the universal healing stone. There are two forms of quartz, macro crystalline quartz, which is quartz that can be seen with the naked eye and micro crystalline , which is too small to be seen without a microscope. Chalcedony is a micro crystalline quartz. Quartz can be found in the U.S., Brazil, Madagascar, Namibia, and the French and Swiss Alps.

Rhodonite

Rhondonite can be found in Japan, Australia, Canada, Madagascar, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, New Jersey & Colorado. Rhondonite comes in rose to deep pink and has black inclusions. It gets its’ name from the Greek word “Rhodon”, which means pink. It has a flat finish and has been called the “singer’s stone” because it makes one more sensitive to sound. It is also said that it helps the nervous system & female reproductive system. Rhondonite is said to treat inflammation of the joints, emphysema & heart disorders.

Rose Quartz

 Rose Quartz is a pale pink quartz which can range from transparent to translucent. The pink color is very pale and delicate. Rose Quartz can be found in the U.S., Brazil, India and Germany. It is one of the most popular quartz’s and is called the “love stone”. It is said to bring forgiveness, compassion and tolerance. Rose Quartz is also said to benefit the heart, alleviate headaches and pain, depression & earaches, and reduces disorders of the kidneys and adrenal glands.

Smoky Quartz

Smoky quartz is brown transparent quartz. Smoky Quartz is often confused with smoky topaz, or topaz.

It is considered the universal healing stone that has been used as a substitute for more expensive gemstones throughout time. There are two forms of quartz; Macro crystalline quartz, which is quartz that is recognizable with the naked eye and Microcrystalline or Cryptocrystalline quartz, which is too small a crystal to be seen without high magnification, such as Chalcedony. Both varieties can be found in Brazil, Madagascar,Namibia, both the French and Swiss Alps and the U.S.

Tourmaline

No two pieces of tourmaline are the same. Tourmaline is mined all over the world, from Brazil to Sri Lanka, South and Southwest Africa,Madagascar, Utah and Maine. The stones can be red and green, blue to yellow, often with two or more colors. Red Tourmaline is called “Rubellite”, Pink Tourmaline will change color in different levels of light. The blue variety is called “Indigolith” and “Schorl” is the name given to black tourmaline. “Achroite” is the colorless variety of Tourmaline. The most popular form of Tourmaline is “Verdelith” or the green variety. Tourmaline derives its name from the Sinhalese word “tura mali”, which means stone of mixed colors. According to the Ancient Egyptians, Tourmaline traveled along a rainbow on its way down to earth, which is why it’s sometimes called the “rainbow stone”. Tourmaline is said to have a powerful influence on love and friendship. Heating, rubbing and pressurizing Tourmaline will give it an electric charge. It is said to help dispel fear and grief, can lend itself to give tranquil sleep and enhances healing.

Turquoise

Turquoise can be found in China, Peru, Mexico, Iran, Tibet, Australia and the U.S.  Turquoise is thought to help the immune system and with detoxification.  It is also said to represent love, wisdom, compassion and to eliminate stress.

Unakite

Unakite is a mix of red, pink, white, grey and epidote (a pistachio-colored gemstone). Unakite is mined in the Southwestern U.S. and is a granite gemstone that is named after the Unaka Mountains. Unakite is considered a balancing stone that releases mental or emotional blocks. It can stimulate the health of the heart and circulatory system.

Karen Hill Tribe Thai Silver

Hill Tribe Silver is made in Thailand by the Karen Hill tribe. Each bead is handmade & the silver content is between 95-99%. This makes the silver softer & easier to form into beautiful beads & pendants. No two pieces are exactly alike. Hill Tribe Silver also tends to tarnish less than Sterling Silver.  Hill Tribe silver is also Fairly Traded, which means that workers are ensured fair wages and safe and healthy working environments.

Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper. Copper improves the hardness of the metal without affecting the color. The copper provides durability and strength since 100% pure silver is too soft. The small amount of copper added to sterling has very little effect on the metals value. Instead the price of the silver item is affected by the labor involved in making the item, the skill of the craftsperson and the intricacy of the design.

Wearing your silver jewelry is the best way to prevent tarnish build-up. Cleanings with a soft 100% cotton polishing cloth will keep your silver jewelry bright and shinning and prevent tarnish. To minimize scratches and other damage store your silver jewelry in a cloth pouch or in a separate compartment in your jewelry box.

Avoid exposing your sterling silver jewelry to household chemicals when cleaning with bleach or ammonia, swimming in chlorinated water such as pools or hot tubes. Avoid using toothpaste or other abrasives to clean your silver jewelry.

Swarovski Crystals

Swarovski crystals are made in Austria and are the best crystals available. Swarovski crystal is machine-cut, which creates flawless consistency.

Jablonex Fire Polished Czech Glass Beads

Similar to Swarovski crystals, these glass beads contain no lead.

They are used in all baby and children's bracelets.