Quartz has several deviations. The color range of this stone covers the entire color spectrum, extending from purple in Amethyst to gold in Citrine to the opaque colors of Chalcedony—all of which fall under the Quartz family tree. Quartz isn’t just beautiful—it is home to numerous healing properties that are often used in meditation, healing readings and treatments. Rutilated Quartz is a variation of quartz that has bands or particles of foreign material inside the stone. Another type, Tourmilated Quartz has tourmaline bands running through the stone. These forms of quartz are thought to be stronger healers than quartz crystal.
Humans have used quartz in spiritual sermons and rituals throughout history. Spiritual customs from wide-spread societies have been known to use the stone for balancing chakras, transforming energy and a host of metaphysical uses. Because they are believed to possess healing properties they have been and still are used in meditative practices. The belief that, in meditation, quartz allows its possessor to transcend physical and spiritual dimensions and time spans Western, Chinese, Medieval European and Celtic cultures. It is said to intensify psychic power. This ability to align one’s psychic self with the cosmos is attributed to its piezoelectric properties—or, its capacity to become electrically charged under pressure. Quartz is also pyroelectric—or, electrically charged through heating the stone.
Did you know quartz is used in computer chips to relay information? It is a popular belief that, similar in its ability to transmit knowledge technologically, quartz can be used as a communication vessel with the spirit world. This powerful gem is thought to strengthen psychic power.
Now, quartz in its many forms:
In its crystal clear form, this very unique stone has qualities that aid in energy transmission. For this reason, this variety is commonly used in meditation. Quartz is said to dispel negative energy and assists in the balancing of emotions. This form of quartz promotes healing for all the chakras and creates balance between them.
Quartz deposits are located in Brazil, which also includes the site of the largest quartz crystal, weighing almost 90,000 lbs was found. It is also found in France (specifically, Dauphine), the U.S.A. (in Arkansas, California and New York), Alta, Canada, England, Australia, Germany, India, Japan, Madagascar, Mexico, Namibia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Switzerland.
This gem can either be solid black or crystal clear, with varying degrees of gray in between. Tourmaline bands running through the stone determine the clarity of the gem, which adds an organic quality to a primarily iridescent solid.
The quartz is thought to amplify and intensify the energies of the tourmaline running through the rock. It is said to balance male and female properties, neutralizing the extremes. It is an excellent stone for radiation and chemotherapy patients with its ability to remove toxins and elevate inner strength for change. Black tourmaline, specifically, is used to repel negativity and psychic attack.
Tourmilated quartz is deposited in India and Sri Lanka.
This variation of quartz that has bands or particles of foreign material inside the stone. Rutilated quartz has the properties to boost the life force through its regeneration of tissue, fortification of the immune system and ability to stimulate brain function. This type of quartz eases depression and facilitates inspiration by increasing clairvoyance and enhancing communication with the higher self.
Locations of deposits include Russia and Brazil. Also, New York produces very rare examples which display green bottoms and clear tops.
A variety of quartz with a brownish-gray hue, smoky quartz is a known healer and assists in dispelling negative energy. In addition, it is also helpful in enhancing dream awareness and channeling abilities. This stone helps to bring balance between the root charka, the navel charka and the solar plexus charka.
Smoky quartz can be found in Scotland’s Cairnigorm Mountains, where it is the national gem of Scotland. It is also found in Sri Lanka, Brazil, Spain, Switzerland, Maine, New Hampshire, Alabama and Colorado.
A pink crystal deemed the “love stone”, rose quartz is connected to the heart charkas in its ability to increase fertility and enhance self-confidence and creativity. This stone also helps the wearer experience the feelings of forgiveness, compassion and love.
Small rose quartz crystals are very rare in nature but can be found in Brazil, Maine and California. It can be found in it’s more common, large rock-form in Brazil, South Dakota, Colorado, Arkansas, California, Switzerland, Madagascar, India, Germany, Scotland, Spain, Malagasy Republic and Canada.
This stone has a color range stretching from soft violet to brilliant royal purple. The deeper the purple, the more valuable the stone. This stone provides healing, divine love, inspiration and intuition. It helps the wearer activate their crown chakra and heart chakra. It is known to purify and rejuvenate on all levels—physical, mental and emotional—and helps to trigger transformation and enhance psychic abilities.
Amethyst has had a variety of uses throughout history. In the Middle Ages the stone was cut for goblets in churches, but its main utilization is to promote healing through meditation. It is mined mainly in Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia, Tanzania, Zambia, and Namibia.
Amethyst is February’s birthstone.*
Named for the French word for “lemon”, Citrine is typically a pale yellowish-gold color and is relatively iridescent and clear; however, the darker variety is the more valued form of citrine in the gem trade. This stone is a known magnet for abundance. It brings optimism, hope and cheer into the life of its wearer and creates an aura of warmth and energy. It is helpful in heightening one’s self-esteem and in aligning its person with their higher self.
The vast majority of citrine comes from the Rio Grande du Sol in Brazil. It is November’s birthstone.
Chalcedony, like quartz, has several strains. Formed by the fusion of finely-grained microcrystals, these stones’ colors range from the bright green of chrysoprase to the vivid orange-brown color of carnelian, with many colors in between. The agates and the jaspers fall under the chalcedony family tree. The jaspers can be many different colors often times looking like a landscape.
One of the most valued stones in the gem trade, in its natural state this bright apple-green stone appears to have a waxy sheen—exhibiting a likeness to thick, green paste.
Chrysoprase is associated with the heart chakra and stimulates lightheartedness, joy and fertility. It is thought to enhance creativity in its ability to bring forth inner talents. It is a calming and balancing stone—it eases depression, brings about an increased sense of calm and security, and promotes deep sleep and sound rest. Historically, chrysoprase’s legend is that of magic: it is rumored to have helped its wearers attain invisibility.
Traditionally, Bohemia mined the bulk of the world’s chrysoprase, but today Australia remains the finest producer.
A deep orange, translucent stone, Carnelian is a highly evolved mineral healer: it energizes the blood and strengthens the immune system. This stone assists in the reparation of kidneys and liver, and revitalizes and realigns the chakras. Carnelian is a stone of social interaction, joy and openness. Carnelian has ties to the earliest of humans exhumed—as some of the oldest jeweled artifacts found (in the Middle East) contained Carnelian.
Carnelian is found in Brazil, Australia, Madagascar, Russia, India, the U.S., and some parts of Africa.
Called “The Stone of the Sea,” Aquamarine's hues range from light blue to a deep-sea blue—with the darker stones of the highest value in this selection. It is said to have come from a mermaid—ensuring the safety of seamen bearing the stone while on voyages at sea.
This peaceful stone calms the nerves and purifies the mind, so it is excellent for meditation. It is said to bestow a soothing effect on married couples. This stone can help couples to achieve a happy marriage which makes it the perfect anniversary stone.
Mined in Brazil, Zambia, Mozambique, Angola, Nigeria and Madagascar, Aquamarine is March’s birthstone.
The more vibrant, vivid, and green-like-grass an emerald is, the more valuable the gem. This stone is thought to assist in improving intelligence and heightening awareness. It is linked to love and the heart, and it is also said that emerald helps to enhance divinity within us. Emerald has been in high demand throughout history and still remains one of the most sought-after stones today. Treasured by scores of cultures for at least 4,000 years, Emerald was a favorite of Cleopatra and numerous Indian Moguls.
Columbia, with its stunning clear-green stones, produces the world’s most valuable emeralds. Other sources include Brazil, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Afghanistan and Madagascar. The emerald is May’s birthstone
Commonly presumed to be a dark red gemstone, the garnet actually encompasses a collection of hues belonging to every color except for blue. Black garnet is a spectacular variety with a sparkle that makes it worth every penny. Red garnet is relatively inexpensive compared to the tsavorite garnet, which is valued at thousands of dollars per carat.
Holistically, garnets are said to strengthen the blood and offer strength to the kundalini. Red garnets, thought to represent a pomegranate fruit, are historically known for being tied into battle and celebrations throughout history. It was used decoratively in metal wear and armor to resemble the small seeds. Thought to help aid in protection against evil, garnets were embedded in the actual swords and shields used in battle.
East Africa produces the most diverse selection of Garnets in Tanzania and Kenya. Madagascar, Mali and Namibia are also noteworthy sources. The garnet is January’s Birthstone
A deep blue color and vibrance comparable to that of tanzanite or sapphire yields Iolite a far more affordable price tag. Its defining property is its pleochroism, or capacity to change color according to the angle at which it is viewed.
Iolite promotes physical health on all levels but, specifically, alleviates headaches and heals the liver by eliminating toxicity. It is considered a strong shaman stone because it helps one achieve deep trance states and invoke visions, making it useful for guided meditations and in healing work.
Coming from the Greek word ios, its name means violet, and its color ranges from deep blue to indigo (or blue-violet). Its historical significance dates back to the times of the Vikings, who would utilize this stone as a compass on overcast days to determine the course of the sun and moon, as it is oftentimes cloudy in Scandinavia. Thought to possess magical qualities as well, Vikings used thin pieces of iolite as the world’s first polarizing filter with which they could determine the exact position of the sun and navigate safely.
The Vikings obtained this stone in Norway and Greenland. Today iolite is found in India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar and parts of Africa.
Named for its moon-like glow, the iridescent blue moonstone’s powers lie in its ability to align one’s self with their higher self and is said to bring about psychic awareness when held on a full moon. Its uses can be traced back to the Romans in 100 AD, who thought moonstone was made from actual moonlight. Also known as the “Goddess Stone”, this gem is representative of female ideology, perhaps because it is extremely soft and vulnerable to tarnishing.
Mined in Southern India, Sir Lanka, Burma and Mexico, the moonstone shares its June birthstone rights with Alexandrite and Pearl.
This stone has several color variations including bright oranges, a muted rainbow, white, and black forms. Pink opal, a version of white opal, has a subtle hint of soft, pastel-pink.
Said to strengthen one’s chakra by aligning it with one’s true essence, Opals have been treasured stones amongst royalty and sacred to many cultures over the years. The rainbow color symbolizes divine beauty and was worn by queens in the Roman Empire.
Found in Australia, Mexico and Oregon in the U.S., the opal is October’s birthstone
The bright, lime-green colored Peridot is thought to reduce stress and purify the mind. It is used to accelerate personal growth and open up new doors of opportunity. The Romans coined this gem the “stone of the night” due to its glow and appearance to radiate and reflect light even in the dark. Peridot has been used in adornment and utilized for its holistic attributes by several cultures over the years.
Volcanic activity and fallen meteorites are credited with the production of peridot. Native Americans mine this stone in Arizona, and though tiny grains of peridot are found on some Hawaiian beaches, these samples are too small to cut. Hawaiian mythology portrays these shards to be tears of Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess. Hence the false popular opinion that peridot is mined in Hawaii instead of Arizona.
Peridot is August’s birthstone
Like its sapphire sister, the dramatically vibrant red ruby is an exceptionally hard and durable stone. It is very rare and incredibly valuable—regarded by some to be the most valuable stone in the world.
Ruby is considered to be a love stone that not only has the power to open the heart, but heal it, as well. It is considered an emotional laxative, releasing the emotional congestion blocking the heart. Representing courage, power and leadership, hey have been used in battles to protect against injury and were thought by Burmese soldiers to have the power to make them vanish. In India, they were held up to be the highest of all spiritual stones.
Rubies are found primarily in Burma. Thailand was a major producer in the past, but today Thailand mainly finishes and cuts outsourced rubies. Rubies can also be found in Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Madagascar.
The ruby is July’s birthstone
The most popular sapphires are deep blue—but they are actually found in all colors except for red. “Red sapphires” are rubies: the sister stone to the sapphire. Hard like a ruby, the sapphire is a very valuable stone—with the pink variety fetching the highest prices due to its scarcity.
Thought to expand cosmic awareness and dispel confusion, sapphires have long been associated with royalty and romance. Representing honesty, purity and loyalty, they are the perfect gift to express love and friendship. The rare, pinkish-orange strain of sapphire was dubbed “padparadscha”: the Sinhalese word for “lotus flower”—a symbol of divine beauty. Prince Charles gave Lady Diana a sapphire engagement ring.
Found primarily in Sri Lanka, Burma and Madagascar, sapphires are also mined in Tanzania, Kenya, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.
Sapphire is September’s birthstone.
A blue-violet stone often referred to as being purple, tanzanite is revered for its trichroic effect—that is, the exhibition of other colors when viewed at different angles. A single stone can look purple on one side, blue on another, and bronze on another. Tanzanite is more valuable when it has a bluish color, which is more pronounced when the stone exceeds 5 carats.
The rare, clear-ish variety is often used in healing meditation. It helps improve one’s hair, skin, audio perception and physical sense of sight as well as expanding mental clairvoyance. Tanzanite is a stone of the 21st century discovered and introduced by Tiffany and Co., who named the stone after its country of origin. Tanzanite was first stumbled upon in 1962 Masai herders in the hills of Tanzania by Mt. Kilimanjaro, so it is still relatively new to the market.
Tanzanite is only mined in the hills of Tanzania near Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Found in many colors, the topaz family’s most valuable variety is the pink and orange hued imperial topaz—. Generally speaking, deeply orange saturated topaz are the most prized selections, whereas blue topaz is readily available and the least expensive. Blue topaz and other unnatural variations are likely manipulated through a heat-treating process discovered in 1970 as a means of enhancing colorless topaz.
Topaz is said to aid in improving one’s sight and providing inner clarity. It is also enhances communication with the higher self and brings out psychic insight. Topaz, deemed the “stone of light” in ancient times, is rumored to have been a great protector and help in the attainment of invincibility.
Imperial topaz is mined in Brazil. Pinkish topaz is found in Pakistan and Russia. The colorless topaz that is used to make blue topaz is found in China, Nigeria and Sri Lanka.
Topaz is December’s birthstone.
Few natural gemstones have the color variation of the tourmaline family, making it highly sought after. A slice of tourmaline can sometimes resemble a watermelon; these specimens are referred to as bicolor or particolor. The most valued forms of tourmaline include the most infrequent colors: copper, bright blue, and deep green.
This stone enhances sensitivity and understanding. In addition to the electromagnetic healing properties it radiates, tourmaline is thought to render artistic expression and induce a creative atmosphere. Known as “The Ruby Imposter” tourmaline is often mistaken for its more expensive counterpart.
Brazil is the main source, but it is also traced to Kenya, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Madagascar, California and Maine.
Tourmaline is October’s Birthstone.
Coming in shades of blue, green, or yellow, and exhibiting inclusions that create distinct internal patterns, Turquoise is said to bring about creative expression, peace of mind and emotional balance.
Throughout history turquoise has been valued and praised by a variety of cultures. It has been used by the Egyptians, Incas, Aztecs, Native Americans, Chinese, and Tibetans. Egyptians embedded turquoise in jewelry and décor—in fact, the stone has been found in art dating back 5,000 years. In Tibet, turquoise is the national gemstone and is believed to bring to those it surrounds with good health, fortune and overall prosperity. Chinese cultures carved sculptures from turquoise, as it is an excellent carving stone. The Incas and Aztecs valued the stone over gold. In Europe, the gift of turquoise is a gift to “forget me-not”.
Turquoise is found in the United States and China. In the U.S. it is mined in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada.
Turquoise is December’s birthstone.
Made of carbon crystals formed by extremely high temperatures and intense pressure, the diamond is among the hardest known materials existing in the natural world. The “Four C’s” of a diamond—color, clarity, cut, and carat—are examined when evaluating its worth. Diamonds come in an array of colors, yet the colorless variety proves to be the most precious and expensive.
A diamond that exhibits brilliance, clarity and colorlessness is of the most value. It must demonstrate little or no color in order to have “fine color,” which is gauged by the Gem Institute of America (GIA) D-Z color grading scale. Clarity is measured by the GIA clarity scale and is as follows:
|VVS1, VVS2||Very, Very Slightly Included|
|VS1, VS2||Very Slightly Included|
|SL1, SL2||Slightly Included|
|I1, I2, I3||Included|
The cut of a diamond is assessed by three major parts of the polished stone. These are (from top to bottom) the crown, the girdle and the pavilion. The final factor in the appraisal of a diamond’s value is its carat weight—the bigger, the better.
Holistically, diamonds are thought to be master healers, dispeling negativity and bringing faithfulness to its wearer. They are also said to reflect the power of human will and the intensity of God.
Diamonds are sourced primarily from Africa. However, Canadian diamonds are becoming a popular alternative to so-called “blood diamonds” due to ever-increasing publicity of the diamond-driven conflicts in Africa. Regardless, diamonds have become the most popular stone among buyers. De Beers, the diamond industry owners have promoted diamonds for every occasion from engagements to any type of purchase imaginable. The result of their heavy marketing campaign has put diamonds in high demand.
The diamond is April’s birthstone.
*Months correspond to the United States’ birthstone allocation.