These are some of the gemstones I enjoy using along with a little information about each one. The gemstone descriptions and information is courtesy of Rings n Things. For this information and much more, visit their website www.rings-things.com.
Agate – No gemstone is more creatively striped by nature than agate. This distinct and dramatically banded variety of chalcedony is composed of layers of quartz. This composition varies greatly and can be of many colors. Agates tend to be translucent because of a composition of microscopic "fibers" of crystalline quarts. Each individual agate forms by filling a cavity in a host rock. As a result, agate often is found as a round nodule with concentric bands like the rings of a tree trunk. Agate is a cooling stone and is said to cure insomnia, protect against danger, promote strength and healing and ensure a healthy life. Major sources of agate are Australia, Canada, Mexico and the US.
Blue Lace Agate – has light blue bands in a lacy or wavy pattern and is known by this name. It is said to lighten situations and nurture maternal impulses.
Botswana Agate – from Botswana, Africa. Banded with fine, parallel lines of tan, mahogany, pink and white, this gemstone may be almost mined out.
Moss Agate – This agate has dense inclusions of green hornblende. Because of its organic appearance, this stone is thought to enhance a love of nature, as well as cleanse the soul and restore wit.
Tree Agate – White or off-white with green flecks. Said to encourage inner peace through certainty and bring awareness of personal strengths, creating security and stability.
Amazonite – A rare blue-green variety of microcline (a feldspar mineral) used as a Semiprecious stone. Amazonite is an opaque stone, often found with white, yellow or gray inclusions and a silky luster or silvery sheen. Believed to have many healing characteristics, including improving your skin, marriage, clarity of thought and social interaction. Also credited with alleviating muscle spasms, stress and exhaustion. Found mainly in the US, Russia, Madagascar, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Australia.
Russian Amazonite is the brighter, teal form of amazonite.
Amber is the fossilized tree resin of now-extinct conifer trees and ancient pines. Resin exuded by the trees hardened and became preserved in the earth's crust for millions of years. True amber often has insects fossilized within it. Often imitated by plastics, real amber is much harder than other resins. Usually distinguished from plastics by its inclusions and its ability to float in salt water. It's said the bring luck, improve eyesight, and ease glandular swellings of the throat and lungs, also to balance the endocrine and digestive networks. Major sources include the Baltic coast, Dominican Republic, Mexico Russia and the US.
Amethyst – is the most highly prized variety of quartz. Formed in the silica-rich liquids deposited in gas cavities (geodes) in lava, it occurs in crystalline masses. However, the crystals are generally not well developed so they are generally found as clusters of crystal points. Some amethysts will lose their color in sunlight, so keep them away from direct exposure to help maintain their rich purple. Fortunately, the original color of amethyst can be restored by X-ray radiation; so next time you get an X-ray, ask if the technician will let you bring some amethyst along! Said to prevent drunkenness, encourage celibacy and symbolize piety, therefore it was very important in the ornamentation of churches in the Middle Ages. Also said to alleviate feelings of victimization, balances high energy, eliminates chaos and helps keep one grounded. Found in the US, Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia, Argentina, Zambia, Namibia and other African countries.
Andalusite – Named after Andalusia, Spain where it was first discovered. The angle of light refraction aids in the wide array of colors seen in the stone. It's very hard and is suitable for wearing, but is not often seen in jewelry pieces in its purest form. It's used as a gemstone and in ceramics, particularly in the manufacturing of spark plugs.
Hiastolite (Chiastolite) is an impure variety of the colorful Andalusite. It contains carbonaceous inclusions that arrange in the stone in cruciform. It is most often used to create crosses or amulets.
Aventurine – Is a form of chalcedony that contains small inclusions of various shiny minerals. These materials, usually spangles of mica or iron oxide, give the stone a glistening effect. Its granular appearance and particular translucence are the most distinctive characteristics of this gemstone. Most is naturally reddish brown or yellow, though a green variety is also known. Said to calm a troubled mind, thereby bringing inner peace. Also supposed to increase confidence and gratitude, and promote emotional tranquility and positive attitudes. Found in Brazil, China, Japan, Russia, Tanzania and the US.
Bloodstone – This dark green variety of chalcedony is doted with nodules of bright red jasper. Polished sections therefore show red spots on a dark green background resembling drops of blood and inspiring its name. In ancient times, bloodstone was attributed with the power to stop hemorrhages at the merest touch. Greatly prized in the Middle Ages, as the spots were thought to be the blood of Jesus Christ; for this reason, bloodstone was commonly used in sculptures representing martyrdom. Mystics today hold that bloodstone relieves stomach and bowel pain, strengthens blood-purifying organs and improves blood circulation.
Above Information Courtesy of Rings-N-Things (www.rings-things.com)