kerravonsen: colourful circles: "Cool" (cool)
[personal profile] kerravonsen
My Favourite Semi-Precious Stones, From A - Z

Well, probably not every letter of the alphabet, though.
Why am I thinking about Semi-precious stones? Because I've been sorting my beads, and delighting in the semi-precious ones I have.

I think part of the reason I like semi-precious stones so much is that they are not mechanical, regular, regimented, but natural, irregular, unique. No two stones are exactly the same. I like lampwork beads for the same reason.

A - Amethyst. Lovely. Purple.
A - Amazonite. Delicate shades of pale blue-green.
A - Aventurine. I prefer the green to the red.

B - Bronzite. One of those stones that surprises you; there it is, this brown colour, and then you glimpse that metallic sheen like bronze. Hence the name.
B - Bloodstone. Deep green with dots of red, like blood spattered on leaves.

C - Chrysocolla. Green/blue/black. Just delicious.
C - Carnelian. From deep orange-red to pale yellow; translucent, smooth.
C - Crazy-Lace Agate. Dynamic lines and circles bursting all over the place. Shades of tan, grey, black.

D - Dumortierite. Such a deep dark blue.

F - Fluorite. Purple and green, two of my favourite colours. And it's what fluorescence was named after!
F - Fancy Jasper. So many different shades, from brown to pink to grey to blue.

G - Goldstone. Technically not a stone, since it's man-made, and glass. Standard Goldstone is coppery-brown with flecks of copper, glittering bright. But my favourite is Blue Goldstone, with its deep cobalt blue and silvery flecks like stars; it's the stone of the TARDIS.
G - Garnet. Such a deep red it's almost black.

H - Haematite. Shiny silvery-grey, smooth, solid, heavy. (Alas, so much of the Haematite on the market is fake.)
H - Howlite. Natural un-dyed Howlite is lovely; white with delicate grey veins. What do they need to dye it for?

J - Jade. Of course, most of what is sold as "jade" isn't actual Jade. But still pretty enough to be called Jade, hmmm? Not just the green Jade, but white and yellow. One of the varieties of yellow Jade I have has this lovely creamy swirl through it, harmonious and non-boring.

K - Kyanite. Another lovely blue stone.

L - Labradorite. An unprepossessing grey-green stone, and you turn it, and see a flash of blue, or blue-green. The symbolic meaning of the stone is "hidden beauty", subtlety, mystery. Thus it is no surprise that I associate this stone with Severus Snape.
L - Lapis Lazuli. The real thing, blue with veins of gold.

M - Moss Agate. A stone which is green like moss! Moss growing on whiteness.
M - Malachite. Stripy green.

O - Obsidian. Tossing up between plain black obsidian, and Snowflake Obsidian, which has these white/grey inclusions like stars or lichen.
O - Opalite, aka Moonstone Quartz. Milky-white through to translucent, with overtones of blue and pink. Most of the Opalite on the market is synthetic, but it's still pretty.

P - Pyrite. Fool's Gold. Looks more like brass than gold, but it has a nice hefty feel to it.
P - Picture Jasper. Like someone took a sandy desert sprinkled with iron ore and squished it down.

Q - Quartz. I think I prefer clear quartz to Rose Quartz, though one could argue that it's too similar to plain glass, so how could one tell the difference? Two ways - one is that quartz, like most crystalline stones, is colder to the touch than glass, due to the different way they conduct heat. Another is that, if you have large nuggets, they can have flaws that really do make one think of fossilized ice, which is what the Greeks originally thought clear quartz was.

R - Rutilated Quartz. Yeah, quartz again, but then amethyst is actually quartz too, as are many others. Rutilated quartz is clear or translucent quartz with black spikes of Rutile through it. Pretty cool.
R - Rhodonite. An unexpected dark opaque pink, with touches of black.

S - Serpentine. Or Russian Serpentine, in this case: dark yellowish-green stone with a black spiderweb-like matrix over the top.
S - Seraphinite. Rare and beautiful. Green with feathers of pale green, like angels' wings. Hence the name.
S - Sodalite. Blue and white interweaving with each other.

T - Tiger Eye. My first love in semi-precious stones. And while I like red and blue tiger-eye, my favourite is still the standard gold/brown tiger-eye, that gold chatoyancy in the dark brown context, just beautiful.
T - Tiger Iron. Tiger-Eye's more eclectic cousin; a mix of tiger-eye, haematite and jasper. Layers of icy-black, golden-brown and reddish-brown. Never boring.

U - Unakite. Because it ought to be named after my friend Una. And it's green and pink, an unusual combination of colours.

Date: 2014-03-14 09:34 am (UTC)
vilakins: (Default)
From: [personal profile] vilakins
I lust after some of those; they're just so beautiful. I love, love, love the jasper beads you link to. I've never heard of amazonite but I want some. Too many of the beads I have to make up are glass, even though beautiful.

I do have some real haematite, bought from the museum. but sadly not enough of these.

Date: 2014-03-14 01:04 pm (UTC)
kalypso: (Moon Kalypso)
From: [personal profile] kalypso
[personal profile] julesjones got some nice dichroic glass pendants last year. Of course that would be one piece per pendant, rather than a lot of beads.

Date: 2014-03-15 09:09 am (UTC)
vilakins: (art)
From: [personal profile] vilakins
Yes, I can easily get greenstone and paua, and I love both. Paua by its nature is flat so you have to do different thing with it, like string longer pieces interspersed with seed beads or clips to hold them a distance apart.

I've bought several pieces of dichroic glass, large ones that I put alone on tigertail, but only if it's a reasonable price. The most recent ones were a beautiful rich turquoise and a bright lime green, both with a silvery stripe. Gorgeous!

Date: 2014-03-14 12:59 pm (UTC)
kalypso: (Chess)
From: [personal profile] kalypso
Seeing raw haematite, I finally understand the name! The polished version doesn't look at all bloody.

When I was at school in the 1970s, there was a craze for pendants with semi-precious stones, polished but still irregular in shape. (Not that we wore them at school, but people were allowed to sell them at break as a fundraiser.) Are people still wearing those? I can't remember seeing them for a while.

Date: 2014-03-14 09:10 pm (UTC)
kalypso: (Jarriere)
From: [personal profile] kalypso
Not quite; the ones I remember were smooth though irregular lumps, rather than slices.

Date: 2014-03-15 12:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] marta-bee.livejournal.com
Thanks for this. A moment spent thinking about all the different shades of loveliness is just what I needed.

Date: 2014-03-16 01:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sallymn.livejournal.com
Oooh... I adore beads anyway, but I think my favourites are tiger's eyes, moss agate and amethyst.

Sis adores lapis lazuli.

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kerravonsen: (Default)
Kathryn A.

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