Saskia’s designs incorporate stones of different size color and composition. From iridescent moonstone to shimmering pyrite each stone has its unique qualities, but just how they got those qualities is often more amazing than the stones themselves.
In honor of this week’s Gemstone Earring sale, today we take a dive deep into the center of the Earth to uncover the hidden history of a few of our favorite stones.
Quartz, one of the most common stones on the planet making up close to 12% of the Earth’s crust, forms under very high temperatures in areas of volcanic activity. High in the Brazilian mountains in the 1940’s, a unique variety of quartz containing golden “angel hairs” was first discovered. These tiny veins are rutil - a form of titanium that grow into gas bubbles within the quartz as it cools. Though inclusions usually lessen the value of crystals, this incredible, golden interweaving has made Rutilated Quartz a highly prized gemstone known as an illuminator for the soul, promoting spiritual growth and giving protection against the ill thoughts of others.
The mineral with perhaps the most fascinating history took its nickname “fools gold” from the Queen of England in 1610. Intrepid British explorers wanted to establish the colony of Newfoundland on the island of Labrador, but had found no gold to entice Elisabeth’s interest. Instead they sent her golden-hue specimens of Pyrite, and - much to their surprise - the ruse worked! The colony was build with the consent of the crown and the rue was not uncovered for 100 years! Though not related to gold, the mineral pyrite has almost as long a history. Dating back to writing by the naturalist Pliny the Elder, pyrite derives its name from the Greek word pyritēs meaning “in fire” as it creates sparks when struck against steel. Today it is used as a conductor in batteries and solar panels and once served as a key element in crystal radio transmitters. It’s striking natural cubic shape and mirror-like luster make it a symbol of prosperity and good luck, and when worn on the skin, is said to bring feelings of harmony, vitality, and positive energy.
Known to the ancient Egyptians as “the setting sun”, Carnelian has protected and inspired throughout history. Known as a stone of motivation and endurance, leadership and courage, carnelian appears in the Bible as one of the stones in the Garden of Eden. It also adorned the breastplate of Moses brother Aaron as he confronted the Pharaoh and was worn as a talisman by the Prophet Mohammed. Born in fire, this subset of quartz is created when liquid magma from a volcanic explosion cools down and transforms into igneous rock. During this cooling down period, silica acid bubbles shift from being a gas/liquid into a solid compound and create the deep orange tone we know as carnelian. Today carnelian crystals are prized for their beauty and worn to increase creativity, courage, and physical energy.