Lapis Lazuli is a stunningly beautiful blue stone that has been used since ancient times. Mostly mined from Afghanistan, Lapis artifacts have been found in ancient Egyptian and Sumerian archeological sites. Composed mainly of the mineral Lazurite, Lapis can also contain calcite, sodalite, and even gold coloured pyrite.
Kyanite is an alumino-silicate mineral often found in metamorphic rocks, such as pegmatites. It forms thin blade-like crystals that often radiate from a common centre. The name kyanite comes from the Greek kuanos or kyanos, meaning ‘deep blue’, however not all kyanites are blue! Kyanite can be black, green, orange, with the white/grey variety called rhaeticite.
Jade is a beautiful green ornamental stone that has been used for centuries in many parts of the world. However gemstone jade can actually come from two metamorphic sources, both similar in texture, hardness, and appearance. Nephrite is a form of Actinolite (an amphibole-silicate mineral whose fibrous form is known as Asbestos), and the other source is Jadeite, a pyroxene.
Amber is not a stone in the traditional sense, as it is composed of fossilized tree resin. But its warm yellow tones and natural beauty makes it a great gemstone. Amber is also known for its healing properties.
Quartz is such an interesting mineral. Ancient Greeks called the clear crystal ‘crystalos’ (permanent ice) because they thought the ice was frozen so solid that it wouldn’t melt. Simply put, quartz is the most abundant mineral in the earth’s crust, and has been prized for centuries.
Jasper is a type of quartz-chalcedony, similar to other stones like Carnelian, Agate, and Flint. What gives Jasper its unique colour is impurities:
- Hematite makes them red
- Limonite makes them brown/yellow
- Chlorite makes them green