The Stories of Some Striking Stones *

-*This post is in collaboration with Tateossian-

If any of us are lucky enough to be thinking of giving someone we love a carefully chosen piece of high-end jewellery, maybe some classy cufflinks or luxury bracelets, the choice we make needs to be meaningful. The recipient’s tastes and style choices are a big part of that, but there’s also the story of the stones to consider. Different gems have different meanings, symbolism, and historical connections. The more we know about these, the even more extra-special we can make our gifts. Here are five stories of some striking, but perhaps lesser known stones you might want to consider.

Amethyst – This violet and purple hued stone has been a central part of gem and jewellery tradition in ancient Egypt, classical Greece, and pre-renascence Europe. Rare stone jewellery incorporating this gem could be ideal for someone with a past history battling alcoholism, as in Greek mythic tradition Amethyst could ward off intoxication, while soldiers in armies of the Crusades or other Medieval conflicts wore items of Amethyst as they believed the stone had healing and calming properties.

Carbonado – Otherwise known as the ‘black diamond’, Carbonado is the hardest form of natural diamond known to exist on earth. That last part is very important when you hear the story of its possible origin, and who it might be special for. Many scientists think Carbonado came to earth after a distant star exploded into a supernova some 3.8 billion years ago. The asteroid it was carried on landed on Earth some 2.3 billion years ago, crashing into areas that would eventually become Brazil and the Central African Republic. If there is a star child in your life who dreams about what is out there, maybe find them a jewellery item that could give them the tiniest slice of an answer.

Tanzanite – There are very few minerals, gems, or metals that can only be found in one place. Most of the time, geography or geology don’t let that happen, which is what makes Tanzanite so very special. This unusual gem that comes in colours varying from royal blue through to indigo, and sometimes even violet, can only be found natively in Tanzania. It was so special and rare that the American Gem Trade Association made it the December birthstone in 2002, the first change to the birthstone listings since 1912. If someone special in your life is of antipodean ancestry, maybe have a look for jewellery featuring a stone like this.

Opal – A mysterious and multi-coloured jewel that is sometimes known as “queen of the gemstones”. Until the discovery of Australia, Opal was only known to be found in very small deposits in modern day Slovakia. No one is entirely sure on how it forms, but it is believed to emerge from rain falling into veins of quartz. When the water evaporates away, silicate residue blends with the quartz to form a spectacular kaleidoscopic blend of colour. Ancient Aborigines believed Opal formed where a divine rainbow touched the earth’s surface. Classical Greeks held that Opal was formed by the tears of joy Zeus shed as he laid waste to the titans. A divine and other-worldly origin sees entirely appropriate for the only precious gemstone to also be discovered on Mars. If you want the recipient of your gift to know just how special they really are, Opal could be a perfect choice.

Moonstone – An ethereal milky white stone that carries the dubious honour of being the state gemstone of Florida, even though you won’t find any of it naturally in the bedrock of the sunshine state. The Ancient Romans and Greeks associated moonstone with the titular celestial body to such an extent that they believed the mineral was in fact solidified moonlight. In fact the Greeks combined the names of their moon goddess, Selene, with their love goddess, Aphrodite, to give the mineral the name Aphroselene. If you want jewellery to symbolise affection and adoration in a more interesting, off-beat way, Moonstone could be ideal.