Tag: semiprecious

The Top 5 Gemstones to Beat Winter Blues

It’s March.  Spring is around the corner.  By now a lot of people are feeling the effects of cabin fever.  I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for winter to be over!

Many people believe in the healing effects of gemstones.  Whether it’s metaphysical properties of the gems, or being inspired by the myriad colours, textures and sparkle of the stones, they certainly seem to have an effect on us.  So without further ado, here’s my top 5 list of gemstones that will help kick those winter blues. Click on any of the images to link to the matching Etsy post!

 

1. Citrine

Citrine "Sun Drops" necklace
Citrine "Sun Drops" necklace

Beat seasonal depression with bright, sunny citrine, November’s birthstone.  Citrine attracts positive energy, and is a stone that fosters joy, optimism, and hope.  As a bonus, citrine is also known as the stone of prosperity!

 

 

 

2. Carnelian

Carnelian and Amber "Pele's Tear"
Carnelian and Amber "Pele's Tear" on Etsy!

Carnelian is said to encourage initiative and stimulate creativity.  It boosts inner concentration and replaces negative energy with positive.

 

 

 

 

3. Lapis Lazuli

Lapis coin earrings
Lapis coin earrings on Etsy

Suffering from a little cabin fever?  Lapis lazuli is reported to release stress and bring inner peace and tranquility.

 

 

 

 

4. Garnet

Garnet and Smoky Quartz necklace
Garnet and Smoky Quartz necklace

If winter leaves you hiding inside, try wearing some garnet, January’s birthstone.  Garnet negates loneliness and isolation, and is the stone of passion and courage.  It also helps bring out your best qualities for others to see.

 

 

 

5. Aventurine

Aventurine Tree of Life pendant
Aventurine Tree of Life pendant on Etsy!

Feeling irritable?  Try wearing soothing aventurine.  This soft green gemstone relieves anxiety and calms the emotions.  It is also said to draw opportunities to its bearer.

 

 

 

 

Fun fact: Amber

Amber is a beautiful material, ranging from from rich orange, brown and umber colours to a striking yellow-green.  It is not actually a gemstone, but fossilized tree sap.  This makes it very lightweight.

Not sure if your piece of amber is real or a clever fake?  Try this test: Find a container large enough to submerge your amber in.  Fill it with water, and put in as much salt as you can dissolve.  Stir until the salt! crystals are completely dissolved.  Then, place your piece of amber in the salt solution.  If it floats, it’s real.

Spotlight on Turquoise

Turquoise is a popular gemstone that has been used in art for centuries. Egyptian and Aztec artists and artisans first used turquoise in jewellery, sculpture, and mosaics. Found in light blue to green hues, it may also be flecked with pyrite, or have white, brown or black “marbling”, or matrix. Iran, Egypt, and Arizona, USA are the current top producers of turquoise.

Traditionally, turquoise is the birthstone for December. This honour is now shared with modern December birthstones tanzanite and blue topaz. Believers in the healing power of gemstones believe that turquoise is soothing and grounding, and a great stone for meditation.

This relatively soft stone rates a 5-6 on the Mohs hardness scale. Because turquoise is naturally soft and porous, soemtimes even chalky, it is treated to enhance its colour and durability. Traditionally, turquoise was lightly waxed or oiled. A simple heat test can prove if this treatment has been used, and purists generally agree that this treatment is acceptable. More commonly, plastic and water glass treatments are used to “bond” or “stabilize” turquoise, and these treatments are more permanent and stable. It is up to the individual purchaser/wearer whether to purchase treated turquoise.

Because of its porosity, some care should be taken when wearing turquoise. Its colour can be affected by perfumes, body oils, cosmetics, and even strong sunlight. Store it in a location where it won’t be scratched by other items, and clean gently with a soft cloth.

Because great-quality turquoise is in such high demand, there are plenty of imitation and simulated turquoise items out there. Some common look-alike stones include dyed howlite, and magnesite, both of which are naturally white. These can often be identified by inspecting the beads – the inside of the drilled hole should be the same colour as the stone. If it’s white, it’s fake. There are also plastic and glass fakes, which can usually be identified by their feel/texture, and by the potential presence of bubbles. Plastic can be identified by introducing a hot item to an inconspicuous spot to see if it melts.

Find some great gift ideas for yourself or your favourite December birthday!

Turquoise and Moonstone necklace and earring jewellery set

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