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CRYSTALS, GEMS AND MINERALS:
In Science, Metaphysics, History and Myth


PART TWO:

JASPER

Jasper is one of many forms of silicon dioxide. It is very closely related to quartz, agate, chalcedony and carnelian, which are chemically identical, but were formed under different conditions.

Jasper occurs all over the world. In most places, it is found in various colors, usually red-brown, yellow, brown and occasionally green. Green jasper with red spots is known as bloodstone. Patterned material is less common.

Jasper has a long history as a gemstone, and has many magical powers attributed to it. The Greeks believed that a piece of jasper tied to a woman's thigh would ease childbirth, Wearing jasper would prevent drowning, lung disease and scorpion bites. Some American Indians believed that the stone would bring rain and was a powerful protection from unseen dangers in the night. It was an identity gem for one of the "Tribes of Israel" and is featured prominently in the Breastplate of Aaron.

Modern metaphysical beliefs about jasper include:

Strengthening the liver, bladder & gallbladder.
Soothes the stomach and nerves.
Improves the sense of smell.

LEPIDOLITE

Rarely seen as a gemstone until recent years, lepidolite is a lithium - aluminum silicate, related mineralogically to mica.

It occurs only in pegmatite deposits, which are highly metamorphosed, mineral rich areas, primarily made up of quartz and feldspar minerals, but enhanced by other minerals which often contain less common to very rare elements. Lepidolite is often associated with tourmaline, beryl, mica, spouumene, topaz and other interesting minerals.

Lepidolite is usually pink to lilac to purple in color, although it can be gray, or yellow. It is most often seen as a massive, fine grained material, but can occur in crystals that can be easily confused with mica crystals. The major foreign sources of lepidolite include Brazil, Madagascar and Mozambique, while in the U.S. it is found near San Diego, California, in South Dakota, and the New England area, And especially from a locality near Taos, New Mexico.

The modern metaphysical powers attributed to lepidolite include:

Strengthens muscles, especially the heart.
Aids sleep.
Enhances emotional balance and stability,
Eases stress and anger.
Minimizes both illusion and confusion.
Generally beneficial to any mental problem.
When used with fluorite, it is very powerful in enhancing mental powers.

MALACHITE

Malachite is not only a popular gem and ornamental stone, it is a very important ore of copper. While it is found world wide, there are only a few places that it is found in a form that has the qualities required for jewelry. Zaire (central Africa), is presently the primary source of gem quality malachite. Other sources of gem grade malachite include the Ural mountains in Russia, and several locations in Arizona, including Bisbee and Morenci.

Chemically, Malachite is a carbonate of copper, with the formula of CuCo3 * Cu(OH)2. The name malachite is Greek in origin, so named because its color is similar to that of the leaves of the mallow plant. In addition to ornamental use, and as an ore of copper, malachite is also powdered for use as a pigment, especially in oil paints. And if you have ever seen old corroded copper plumbing or other copper objects with a green patina, what you saw was a coating of malachite "growing" on the surface of the metal.

In ancient times, the Egyptians believed that malachite was a potent talisman for protection for children. A piece of malachite attached to the child's cradle would drive away evil spirits. In Germany, it was reputed to protect the wearer from falling, and to foretell impending disaster by fracturing into several pieces. In Italy, malachite was worn as an amulet to protect from the "evil eye". These amulets were usually triangular in shape and mounted in silver. In Russia, It was believed that drinking from a goblet of malachite would allow one to understand the languages of animals. (I wonder if this is how Doctor Doolittle got his start?!) Another source indicates that malachite with the image of a sun engraved into it will protect the wearer from evil spirits, enchantment and snakes.

 

Current metaphysical authors have indicated that malachite aids in tissue regeneration, strengthens the heart, reduces stress, tension and aids in sleeping. It also seems to be a good stone for grounding excess energy, so if you are overwrought, or hyperactive, an amulet of malachite may be just the thing to calm you down. MALACHITE absorbs "NEGATIVE ENERGY" like crazy, so if you wear it or have specimens or decorative items made of malachite around CLEANSE them often

PSILOMELANE

Psilomelane is a fairly common mineral, yet is very rarely seen used as a gemstone. When polished, it closely resembles hematite which IS often used in jewelry, except that psilomelane may have alternating stripes or swirls of darker material within its silvery black body, forming patterns similar to those seen commonly in malachite. When found coated with tiny quartz crystals, it has been called "Black Druzy", a rare and expensive stone which has been popular in jewelry during the last few years. This black druzy has been called "MERLINITE" as a "Marketing Ploy" by a certain company in the metaphysical crystal business. and while I normally deplore using such a device to make a sale, I happen to know that Psilomelane is one of Merlin's favorite minerals

Chemically, it is manganese oxide, with a little barium thrown in. Another name for psilomelane is Romanechite. To complicate matters further, psilomelane often contains other manganese minerals such as braunite, coronadite, cryptomelane, hausmanite, hollandite, manganite, pyrolusite and a few others. So, when you get a piece of psilomelane, you may get a bonus of several other minerals at the same time.

Found world wide, it is common in Germany, Russia, India and Mexico, while Michigan, Arizona and New Mexico have been major sources in the U.S. When traveling through arid areas in the Southwest U.S., and you see rocks with a natural looking black stain, it is often psilomelane or one of its cousins.

A major ore of the metal manganese (not to be confused with magnesium, another metal) it is primarily used in steel manufacturing to make very tough alloys. Finely powdered psilomelane or other manganese oxides are also used in glass manufacturing to produce violet, purple and amethyst colored glass.

There is very little metaphysical information available on psilomelane. "Michael" says that it is good for kingly powers, especially in the areas of relationships, politics and money. He calls Hollandite a power stone for warriors and for empowering one to be productive, Pyrolusite a stone that enhances determination and ambition, Braunite as healing and balancing to the reproductive system, Coronadite as enabling one to commune with the spirits of nature, and Romanechite to ease the fear of open spaces.

My own experiences indicate that Psilomelane is a very good talismanic stone for WARRIORS, therefore it is good for Soldiers, Police, Martial artists and anyone who has to face danger and conflict. It is also a favorite of the Sea god Poseidon, and therefore a good amulet for sailors.

RUTILATED QUARTZ

Rutilated quartz is actually two minerals- Rutile, which is enclosed in quartz. The mineral rutile is made up of the elements titanium and oxygen, combined to make titanium dioxide. Rutile comes in blocky prismatic crystals, but it also forms into slender needle-like crystals which may then be enclosed in quartz to form rutilated quartz.

Rutile comes in several colors. Golden, silvery, pinkish gold and coppery colors are most common in rutilated quartz. However rutile also can be red, red-brown, brown, gray, black, yellowish and even colorless.

When found in quantity, rutile is an ore from which the metal titanium may be extracted. Rutile is found in Norway, Switzerland and Brazil, as well as several locations in the U.S. including at Graves Mountain, Georgia; Magnet Cove, Arkansas; Alexander County, North Carolina; Laws, California. It is also found in minor amounts at several localities in Arizona, especially near Duquesne and Jerome.
Rutilated quartz may occur in minor amounts wherever rutile is found, but primarily comes from Bahia, Brazil.

Some metaphysical beliefs about rutilated quartz include:

Strengthens the immune system and 'life-force'.
Stimulates brain functions.
Eases depression, quells fears and facilitates inspiration.
Increases clairvoyance.
Can lead you to love and in positive directions to achieve your goals.
Also known as Venus Hair Stone (after the Goddess, rather than the planet.)

SMOKEY QUARTZ

Smokey quartz is one of the many varieties of silicon dioxide. The smokey or brownish color is caused by exposure to gamma radiation. (Don't worry, the radioactivity in all natural pieces has been gone for thousands of years). In natural smokey quartz, the radiation was present due to the presence of naturally radioactive minerals or solutions. There is a lot of artificially radiated clear quartz "running around" masquerading as smokey quartz.

People are probably most familiar with smokey quartz as faceted stones in inexpensive jewelry. Such material has been called "smokey topaz", yet it is not topaz by any criteria, the term smokey topaz is used only as a marketing ploy. It has also been known as morion, and as caringorm, so named after a famous smokey quartz deposit found many years ago in the Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland.

The major source for smokey quartz in crystals and for cut gems is Brazil, although smokey quartz is not uncommon in other areas. Until a few years ago, Switzerland was the source of the most aesthetic smokey quartz crystals, which were highly prized by collectors and very expensive, although not as large as crystals available from other localities. Then in 1987, an amazing discovery (by yours truly) in New Mexico produced a quantity of superbly aesthetic crystals.

An interesting experiment that you can perform on smokey quartz is to slowly heat it to about 800 degrees F. It will lose all of its color permanently, unless it is re-exposed to sufficient gamma radiation.

Modern metaphysical powers attributed to smokey quartz includes:

Strengthens adrenal glands, kidneys and pancreas.
Increases fertility, endurance and energy.
Relieves depression, mildly sedative.
Enhances dreaming and dream awareness.
Enhances emotional and physical love.

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Copyright 1996 Robert L. Thompson.