Mai Mai Jewels Semi Precious Stones Guide
Agate is a variety of Quartz (Chalcedony) and comes in a variety of banded, striped tones and colours. Agate comes in a number of varieties from Brazilian agate which can be found as large geodes of layered stone or Greek Agate which is pale white to tan coloured. Agate stone is centuries old and was known to both the ancient Sumerians (ancient Iraq) and the Egyptians who used agate for jewellery, decoration and religious ceremony.
Botswana Agate is striped and is a dramatic looking stone. Other forms of agate include carnelian agate which has a reddish hue, blue lace agate, fortification agate (which exhibits as a block colour), fire agate (which glows like an opal) and Mexican crazy-lace agate which exhibits a brightly coloured, banded pattern).
Amazonite is an opaque stone and is a milky green colour. It is usually blue-green in colour but can range from blue to silky white. The stone is found in India, Russia and Norway. Properties of the Amazonite stone are success, joy, self-expression, anxiety, calming and soothing the mind, promoting courage and bravery, communications awakening the heart, soothing, harmony and balance. .
Amethyst can range in colour from light purple to dark purple. It is dichroic, showing a bluish or reddish purple tinge when viewed from different angles. Colour is usually an indicator of the quality of the stone - the clearer and darker the colour the more valuable. Amethyst is found in Zambia, Namibia, Canada, Brazil, Sri Lanka, India, Uruguay, Madagascar, Australia and Russia. Amethyst from Russia has a reddish tinge and Amethyst from Canada is violet. Properties of Amethyst are contentment, spirituality, dreams, healing, peace, happiness, courage, love and intuition.
Aqua Quartz is a member of the quartz family. The colour is a light, clear blue.
Aventurine ranges in colour from light, mid to dark green and if you look closely you will find tiny specks of green mica. Aventurine can also be found in pink and peach. Aventurine is in Brazil, India, Russia, Japan and Tanzania. The properties of Aventurine are healing, money, good luck mental agility, visual acuity, peace, opening of the heart, motivation and leadership.
Calcite is translucent and waxy in appearance, and markings are frequent and often banded. These calcite round beads vary widely in colour within strands offering interesting combinations of whites, greens, yellows and browns. We use a Calcite which is a warm lemon colour with faint streaks of white.
These beads also vary in colour between strands. Some show an overall light appearance with a mix of mainly whites, pale greens and yellows where some contain a lot of brown
Carnelian is a red variety of Chalcedony which is a type of Quartz. Carnelian comes in a range of colours from intense amber to red-orange. Carnelian is found in the deserts of Arabia and Egypt it can also be found in India, China, Colombia, Saxony, Scotland and Germany. The properties of Carnelian are precision, analytical capabilities, physical energy, verbal skill, peace, spirituality, ambition, drive and confidence.
Chalcedony is related to the Quartz family of stone. It ranges in colour from lemon, aqua, pink, mid blue. The properties of Chalcedony are memory improvement, enhance listening, enhance communication skills.
A cherry red colour similar to deep raspberry in colour.
Citrine is a type of Quartz and is related to the Amethyst which is the purple form of Quartz and also to Rock Crystal which is the colourless variety of Quartz. Citrine is a yellow quartz which ranges in colour from pale lemon to a deep sunny yellow. The name Citrine comes from the French 'Citron' which is French for lemon. The properties of Citrine are intuition, comfort, protection, creativity, physical energy, wealth, mental awakening, feel good and emotional well being.
Coral comes in a variety of colours from deep red to pink, white, black and blue. Sponge Coral is another variety. Coral is the vacated home of marine life and grows in branches. Coral is found in the Red Sea, the African Coast, Hawaii and Japan. The coral we use comes from sustainable sources and is not included in the international preservation programmes. Black coral is protected as it is an endangered material and should not be bought. The Properties of Coral are diplomacy, quieting emotions and visualisation. We use Red Coral, Sponge Coral and Turquoise Coral in our jewelry collection.
Garnet is usually found in a deep pomegranate colour flecked with red. Garnet also comes in orange, yellow. Garnet is found in Sri Lanka, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Scotland, Switzerland and Tanzania. The properties of Garnet are protection, a protection against negative energy, emotional cleansing, dispersal of fear, protection against melancholy.
Hematite is a form of iron oxide and is a shiny dark grey/black colour. It is very sleek and reflects. Hematite can be found in Brazil, Canada, Italy and the United Kingdom. The properties of Hematite are mental attunement, memory, calming, balance, focus, peace and inner happiness.
Honey Jade is a deep honey/butter colour and is particularly beautiful when it is cut into faceted beads and other shapes.
Iolite is a deep purplish blue colour and it is also sometimes known as 'water sapphire'. Iolite is found in Madagascar, Tanzania, India and Sri Lanka. The properties of Iolite are intuition, spiritual growth, healing, balance, inner knowledge.
Jade is part of the Serapandine family and comes in a variety of colours from white, denim, red, green, pink and honey. We use new jade, white jade and honey jade in our Jewellery collection. The beauty of jade lies in the many rich variations in colour, translucence and pattern. Jade is an overall good luck stone to attract wealth not just financial but in friendship, health and happiness. Jade is found in China, Myanmar, Italy, Russia and the Middle East.
Jasper is a form of Chalcedony and usually comes in colour tones of red, yellow, brown or green. It can also be opaque. Jasper is highly polished and the colour formation can also come out in a striped or banded formation. The name ‘jasper’ means “spotted stone”and comes from the Anglo-French word ‘jaspre’, and from the Greek word ‘jaspis’.
Labrodite comes in a range of colours from charcoal grey to light brown. It can also be spotted and speckled and can exhibit streaked stripes. Other names for Labrodiorite are Moonstone and sunstone.
Black Lava stone is a light weight material usually texturised with small holes. Most Lava stone is harvested from volcanoes and is also known as volcano stone.
New jade is the most common colour. It is a translucent sea green colour.
Onyx is a variety of Chalcedony formed by the deposition of silica within gas cavities in lava. It is a glossy black stone with distinct faint banding. It is particularly beautiful when it is carved into faceted beads that reflect the light. The properties of Onyx is protection. It is found worldwide.
Prehnite is a translucent or semi-transparent to opaque stone and is typically cut into cabochons, and is rarely facetted Prehnite appears similar to apatite, peridot, or jade because of its medium green colour.
Peridot is the gemstone of the summer month of August. Peridot gets its colour due to the presence of iron. Peridot is a very old gemstone and it can be found in Egyptian jewellery from the early 2nd millennium B.C. Peridot can be found in Egypt, Hawaie, Arizona, South Africa, Norway, Myanmar, China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Africa and Australia. The properties of Peridot are protection against harm and the attraction of wealth.
There are a number if different types of quartz each differentiated by composition and crystalline structure. Aqua quartz is a light clear blue colour. Smokey Quartz ranges from light brown to a deep coffee colour with darker flecks of stone, Rock Crystal or Crystal Quartz is totally clear with no colour. Cherry quartz is a cherry red colour. Rose or strawberry Quartz is a soft pink to almost milky pink colour. Quartz can be found in Namibia and South Africa. The properties of Quartz are many from love, peace, happiness, gentleness, healing, clearing the mind, personal pride, joy, protection.
Rock Crystal is the transparent, colourless variety of quartz and is known as rock crystal. Rock Crystal is found in Brazil, Swiss and French Alps, Madagascar and Russia. The properties of Rock Crystal are meditation, healing, health and spiritual well-being.
The pale pink colour of Quartz, which can range from transparent to translucent, is known as Rose Quartz. The colour is a very pale delicate powder pink. The pink colour comes from the presence of Titanium. Found in Madagascar, Brazil, Russia, Scotland, Colorado and Spain. The properties of Rose Quartz are the promotion of peace, happiness and fidelity and love.
Pearls and Mother of Pearl
A pearl is a naturally formed quirk of nature. A pearl is naturally formed when an irritant enters and lodges in the mantle tissue or either a salt water or freshwater oyster or mollusk. In order to protect itself the oyster will seal the irritant in a coating of conchiolin which triggers the production of nacre. Nacre is a combination of crystalline and organic substances. Nacre is the same material found in the inside of oysters and mollusks and is also known as Mother of Pearl.
It is the nacre which gives luminosity to each pearl. The oyster will then produce numerous coatings of nacre around the irritant until the layers harden to form a pearl. The pearl forming process can take a number of years. Pearls are now produced using the cultured production method. This means that an irritant (a bead for saltwater oysters or a piece of shell for freshwater mollusks) is deliberately placed to initiate the pearl production process. This modern method of pearl production is called the cultured pearl method.Nacre is the same material found in the inside of oysters and mollusks and is also known as Mother of Pearl. Nacre is a combination of crystalline and organic substances. In order to protect itself the oyster will seal the irritant in a coating of conchiolin which triggers the production of nacre. A pearl is formed when an irritant enters and lodges in the mantle tissue or either a salt water or freshwater oyster or mollusk.
Smokey Quartz if found in Brazil, Madagascar, Swiss Alps, Colorado, Australia and Spain. Smokey Quartz is a grounding stone known as a mood elevator.
Pure Topaz is actually a colourless stone and is transparent. Its various colours comes from the tint of other materials found in Topaz. Topaz comes in yellow, pale grey, light orange, blue, and brown.. It can also be found in white, green, blue, gold, or pink (rare). Topaz is mined in a number of countries such as Brazil or the US.
Turquoise comes in a range of colours and is known for coming in blue or green. Turquoise was one o the first gemstones to be mined. Turquoise is normally stabilised as it is naturally a very delicate stone. Stabilising strengthens the stone. Turquoise often has dark streaks the result of the effect of iron compounds which are also found where Turquoise is mined. Turquoise is found in Africa, India and the US. Sky blue turquoise is from Persia. The greener variety is found in Russia, Chile, Australia and Cornwall. Native American Indians used it as a protective stone. Properties of Turquoise are spiritual attunement, cleansing, healing, protection, valor, soothing, peace of mind, guidance, romance.
White jade is a type of jade that is hard and white or semi-translucent white in colour. It is a white glossy/matt colour. The properties of White Jade are decision making, peace and progress.