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Gemstones for Winter

Updated: May 30, 2021

Summer and Autumn are now passed and the fruits of harvest gathered in and it is time to get ready for the short dark days and biting winds. At this time of year we might want to chose colours which reflect the silver and blues of ice, or the deep reds of Christmas. Below is a list of gemstones I think fit the bill. However, don't ever let anyone tell you what colours or gems you should wear of when you should wear them! You should always wear what you like, what makes you feel good and what makes you happy.

That said, here is my list. What do you think? What would change?

Sea Bamboo

Of the red gemstones I have listed, Sea Bamboo is the only one which is a true red...... but it isn't actually a gemstone at all! For a long time people used coral if they wanted jewellery that was pink or red. Coral, however, is under huge threat due to global warming and marine acidification.

Sea Bamboo is not a gemstone or coral, but a variety of sea kelp which grows freely in the temperate, shallow seas around the Southern Ocean. once dried and dyed it make a lovely, vibrant material which is better than coral as you can enjoy wearing it without feeling guilty.

To see my Sea Bamboo earrings click here

Blue Topaz

Topaz is a silica based gemstone which can be found in many places around the World, although the largest producer of topaz is currently Brazil. Its natural colour tends to range from brown to a yellow colour. To get the vivid blue of Blue Topaz, the gem is heat treated and irradiated.

Topaz is a hard stone and so can be cut into a range of different shapes making it ideal for jewellery making. It can also be faceted which gives it extra sparkle.

Our ancestors valued Topaz and the Romans believed that it could provide protection for travellers and in Mediaeval times people thought that carring a piece of Topaz could ward off the “evil eye”. Another lingering superstition in England holds that Topaz can cure a person of mental illness.

Blue Lace Agate

This gemstone is a type of banded Chaldony which is a soft blue colour and which ranges from being translucent to opaque. Although it has been used for a very long time, it was not fully recognised or scientifically described until large deposits of it were discovered at the Ysterputs mine in Namibia in the 1970s. It is a hard, glassy stone making it useful for both the carving of figurines and in jewellery making.

It was used by our ancestors and archeological finds suggest that it was used by the Ancient Egyptians, Persians and Greeks. The Egyptians believed it was useful in the treatment of eye ailments.

Some people believe that this stone provides calming energies and aids good communication, enabling the wearer to speak articulately and with confidence. Its ability to aid in clear, confident communication has lead some to call it the "Stone of the Diplomat".

I have a page dedicated to agate earrings of all sorts. Go the the page by clicking here.


Abalone is the name given to the shell of a number of marine mollusc species which can be found in warm seas all around the World. It is prized for its meat, but the lustrous and irridescent nature of its inner shell means it has long been used for jewellery making and other decorative purposes such as inlays on musical instruments. Although it can be found around the World, the main producers are Australia, China, Japan and the USA. Is it also known by a range of different names such as "ormers" in the British Channel Islands or "Paua Shell" in the Maori language.

Abalone was once very rare as it was being driven to the brink of extinction due to over hunting and increasing marine pollution at the end of the 19th and throughout the 20th centuries. From the 1950s, though, the method of farming Abalone was perfected and now huge numbers are farmed which has lead to a stabilising of the wild population.

Abalone shell has been used by people for a very long time and there is archeological evidence for its use by humans as long ago as 100,000 years! The Maoris used it in their warrior art believing it could strengthen the body and heart, and it is still used in Maori art today. It was also prized by some Native American people, the Apache people in particular.

Some people believe Abalone can strenthen one's intuition and help one to express emotions with clarity.

To see my range of Abalone and Mother of Pearl earrings, click here.

Black Obsidian

Black Obsidian is a type of natural, volcanic glass which forms in fast flowing lava. Although it is brittle, it is hard and beautifully shiny making it great for making jewellery. Its glasslike nature makes it easy to shape and sharpen meaning it was used by our ancestors for many thousands of years to make such tools as arrowheads, knives and spears.

Most famously, it was used by the Mesoamerican priests in their sacrificial rites. A really sharp obsidian knife would be used to cut the hearts out of sacrificial victims and, whilst still beating, offered to the Gods.

Some believe obsidian to be a very grounding stone, and it has been used by Shamans all around the World to make contact with the spirit World. It is also believed by some people to be a lucky stone which can promote financial prosperity.

To see all my obsidian jewellery click here.

Rock Crystal

Rock Crystal is the birthstone for the month of April and is a type of silica quartz. It is a very pure crystal which lacks colour making it a good stone for the making of jewellery as it tends to go with just about anything. Its clarity and durability means that it is not just good for making jewellery or carving figurines, but was also widely used for the making of prisms and lenses until glass production improved.

The name derives from the Greek word for ice which was "krustallos". In fact the Roman natural philosopher, Pliny the Elder, describes a widespread belief that Rock Crystal is actually water ice which has somehow become permantly stuck in its frozen state. For a long time it was used as a less expensive alternative to diamonds, although its optical properties are very different.

Quartz is an extremely common stone all around the World, but the best Rock Crystal comes from the USA, England, Switzerland and Brazil.

Rock Crystal is considered by many to be the best. all-round healing stone. It is said to soothe the nervous sytem and provide positive energies which cleanses and purifies the soul.

To see my Rock Crystal and other Quartz earrings, click here.

Fortunaearrings is a handmade jewellery store featuring a wide range of unique earrings made of gemstones and sterling silver. As well as gemstone earrings which will appeal to the gemstone collector, you will also find a range of earrings made of Venetian glass lampworked at my Devon workshop. See my full handmade jewellery portfolio by clicking the shop link at the top of this page.

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