For centuries, ancient civilizations have utilized the magical powers of crystals and gemstones for beautification and healing. Formed by the accumulation of minerals in the Earth, crystals have very distinct appearances and attributes given to them. Choosing a gemstone or natural stone for use in jewelry can be greatly personalized by choosing a stone that appeals not just to the recipient or visually but also based on the intention and purpose a gem has traditionally been used for.
Choosing on color is important. Color has a profound effect on the brain, influencing our internal neurochemistry through the interaction of light frequencies in our eyes and our perception of the color spectrum. There thousands of types of gemstones and crystals (semi-precious gemstones) crystals found on earth, each having their own meaning.
When designing custom jewelry, the metal matters as much as the stone that will be used in it. Some stones are higher of the Mohs Scale that measures the hardness of a gem and are more suitable than others, while others are chosen for their delicate iridescence and require special care, like opals. Purchase only from a reputable seller as well to avoid lab-grown or modified stones that are made to appear as a different gemstone. Quality counts.
Choosing a stone with meaning and purpose is essential to creating a piece of custom jewelry that has deep sentimental value. There are many other stones beyond the precious gems that are normally used in custom jewelry. Diamonds, Emerald and Rubies are not the only beautiful gems that can be considered.
The Symbolism of Gemstones
Abalone- Mother of Pearl
The nacreous iridescence of the abalone shell is a common and very affordable jewelry material. Mother of Pearl/Abalone is considered to be a material that gives protective and soothing healing energy. Abalone is associated with shields and positive emotions of peacefulness, beauty, compassion, and love. Certain Native American tribes use it abalone shell and sage in their spiritual practices to carry messages to their Divinities.
Green and lush looking as a rainforest, the Amazonite is considered a stone that absorbs negativity and encourages the release of past trauma and hurt. It is claimed to encourage creativity and self-expression by enhancing the ability to communicate. It is a stone that also comes in a wide range of greens and can have beautiful variations in a single stone.
The deep blue and blue-green and white veins of the apatite are a perfect stone to use for someone whom you are choosing a stone for who is a creative type. This is a stone associated with enthusiasm, creativity, and passion. Apatite is a softer stone and fractures easily so it not hardy but is a relaxing calming color and very vivid. Cool tones can be stimulating.
Aquamarine is a semi-precious gem named for its resemblance to seawater. Aquamarine is a blue-green translucent beryl. It is a gem relative of the emerald and ruby. It is a perfect stone to choose for a Pisces or jewelry that is for a person with a water astrology sign. It also makes a lovely gift for your favorite swimmer or scuba diver. Aquamarine has the metaphysical properties of renewal, relaxation and cleansing a person from negativity. It is said to protect the mind.
Heliotrope, also known as bloodstone, is a variety of jasper or chalcedony. The "classic" Bloodstone is green Heliotrope is sometimes used in carved signet rings and is the traditional birthstone for March. It is associated historically with magic and invisibility and is even the subject of a famous play by Boccaccio. It is often used in jewelry that is considered protective, shielding and denotes the attributes of passion, strength, and bravery.
The Agate comes in nearly every color and can be chosen for its color alone. It is a popular and common stone for jewelry. It has variations and patterns that form in the stone during formation and the inclusion of other minerals so it can be a beautifully speckled, lined, striped or solid stone. It is considered to be a great gem for grounding and focus.
Amethyst is a purple form of quartz that has always been used in jewelry. It’s soothing colors make it one of the most popular gemstones in custom jewelry. It has always been considered a stone of strength and self-discipline in history. It is supposed to increase intuition and to prevent nightmares even. It is a harder semiprecious gem and can be carved and faceted.
Citrine is a variety of quartz whose color ranges from a pale yellow to golden brown due to iron. Natural citrines are incredibly rare. Most commercial citrines are heat-treated amethysts or smoky quartzes. A treated amethyst will have small lines in the crystal, as opposed to a natural citrine's clouded appearance. It is nearly impossible to differentiate between cut citrine and yellow topaz visually. The name comes from the Latin word "citrina", which means "yellow" and is also the origin of the word "citron". Citrine and amethyst can be found together in the same crystal, forming orange and purple stones called ametrine. Ametrine is considered more exotic and is rare. Citrine has long been associated with bringing prosperity to the wearer and is a fine stone choice for those in finance. It is more modernly associated with confidence, power, and endurance. The sunny-hued citrine is a great idea for a businessman or businesswoman’s gift.
Garnet species are found in many colors including red, orange, yellow, green, purple, brown, blue, black, pink, and even clear. Red garnets are most common. Garnets that are transparent are used in jewelry while opaque forms are used as in industrial uses as an abrasive. Garnets are incredibly durable hard minerals. Garnets can be considered vitreous (glass-like) or resinous (amber-like). Garnets are the January birthstone and are considered to enhance health; pleasure and help people reach their potential.
Jade refers to an ornamental mineral, mostly known for its green varieties. It is important in Asian and other cultures and is associated with nobility and status. It is considered a stone for good fortune and success as well as prosperity and is a common stone. Jade can be enhanced (sometimes called "stabilized"). Some merchants will refer to these as grades, but the degree of enhancement is different from color and texture quality. Ethical jade sellers will list the type of jade they are selling. It is often waxed or dyed to enhance color or used as a laminate over plastic.
Peridot is gem-quality olivine. Peridot is one of the few gemstones that occur in only one color: an olive-green. The shade of green depends on the amount of iron in the crystal structure; so even a single peridot gem can vary from yellow to olive, to brownish-green. Olivine is found in meteors, the moon and in Mars and is a magnesium-rich gemstone. Peridot is semi-precious; deep green olivine without iron and other inclusions is so rare to be considered a precious gem. It is the birthstone of October. It is claimed to be protective against jealousy, negativity, and resentment. Olivine is often confused with emerald.
Turquoise is an opaque, blue-to-green stone that often has black or metal veining from mineral inclusions. It is rare and valuable at its finer grades and has been prized as a gemstone and ornamental stone for thousands of years owing to its unique color and patterns. Turquoise has been devalued like most opaque gems by imitations and synthetics being mass-produced. Turquoise is normally treated to enhance both its color and durability.