a guide to obscure gemstones

Written by Dan Farthing
26.08.2019, 11:00

| Abalone | Agate | Amber | Aurora Borealis | Blue Zircon | Champagne | Coral | Howlite |
| Moonstone | Onyx | Opal | Rose Quartz | Tanzanite | Tourmaline | Turquoise |


It’s unsurprising that the abalone stone comes from the shell of the Haliotidae family of sea life, given its oceanic range of colouring. With pretty purples to turquoise to blues, the stone’s delicate tones mirror the calming, soothing effect on the wearer that it’s believed to bring.


Agate belongs to a family of chalcedony, stones defined by their characteristic colour bands. Agate itself sports ringed bands, and it’s said to symbolise strength and solidity. Agate stones can be found in colours ranging from pretty whites and lavenders to deep purples and jet blacks! They’re traditionally believed to centralise internal energy, protecting the wearer from external negativity.


The Baltic region in Northern Europe is the world’s greatest source of amber. Beginning as tree resin, amber is formed in a process that takes thousands of years. Over time, amber has been used in various different ways but it’s traditionally believed to provide relief from pain and many believe it to stabilise spiritual energy.

Aurora Borealis

Many travel hundreds of miles to witness the natural phenomenon of the aurora borealis (the Northern Lights) in the night sky. The Lights have inspired the aurora borealis crystal which reflect its spectacular colours. Although the lights are only visible in the darkness of winter, these stones shine all year round!

Blue Zircon

First of all, zircon is not to be confused with cubic zirconia! Zircon is a gemstone of the chemical compound zirconium solicitate. When pure, zircon is colourless. But it can take on so many stunning colours, from greens to pinks to blues. Blue Zircon is considered to heal body and soul, empowering the wearer with an assuring sense of peace and relieving them of emotional tensions.


Gaining its name from the colour it shares with everyone’s favourite tipple, champagne crystals typically come in a beautiful golden yellow but many also have a delicate rose or auburn tinge to them. It was only recently that champagne-coloured crystals became more widely worn, and so they add a touch of modernity and class to any outfit. Champagne gemstones are, unsurprisingly perhaps, thought to bring vitality and wealth to one’s life. So we’ll drink to that!


The coral gemstone is believed to be one of the healing gemstones, soothing the wearer of emotional distress. Coral is formed as calcium carbonate in the decomposing minerals of sea creatures is deposited to the sea bed. When polished, it has a recognisable pink-red hue and it’s traditionally considered the 35th anniversary stone.


Howlite is a white, colourless stone. Its tranquil tones range from pearl white to light and cloudy greys and it’s said to help relieve the stress of emotional tension and pain, bringing a zen-like serenity to the wearer.


With its pearl whites and silky blues, its colours mirror that of the moonlight and so it’s no wonder that moonstone’s have been said to induce lucid dreaming. The gemstone is also the birthstone for June and it’s believed to inspire positive feminine energy in the wearer.


The black onyx gemstone is the birthstone for Leo, its zodiac sign being the lion. Belonging to the same family of chalcedony as agate, onyx stones have bands that run parallel to each other, whereas agate’s have a ringed formation. It’s said to have protective properties, bringing emotional as well as physical strength and so it’s often worn in times of hardship.


Opal gemstones can come in every colour of the spectrum, for which the Romans considered it one of the most precious gemstones. Its rarity, along with its unique splashes of colour, mean that no one stone is the same. It’s said to symbolise the capacity for human love and passion, bringing enduring strength to the wearer.

Rose Quartz

Rose quartz has a lovely, delicate and almost chalky rose colour. It’s no wonder that it’s associated with love and is said to cleanse the heart, bringing positive feminine energy. It may be no surprise then that it’s considered one of the most important, and therefore one of the more popular, crystals in the quartz family.


Tanzanite is unique to the Merelani Hills of Tanzania (hence the name)! In fact, as a scientific mineral it is classed as Zoisite. It’s one of the birthstones associated with December and its blueish violet colour mirrors the frost-bitten beauty of its month! Tanzanite is said to stabilise mental energy and soothe the mind, meaning that it has also been hailed as a form of relief from insomnia.


From lime greens to glowing pinks and even black, tourmalines can come in a wide range of vivid colours. Tourmaline is one of few gemstones which occurs in almost every colour on the spectrum, so it’s no wonder that it’s also one of the most popular of them all. Tourmaline’s colour range is so diverse due to the capacity for variation in its’ chemical composition, having said this the most frequently occurring tourmaline is black. It’s said to support the release of negative energy, soothing the wearer and bringing them a closer connection their spiritual self.


Turquoise is a gemstone, its distinct blueish-green hue means that it has remained popular for jewellery over centuries. It’s traditionally worn as a protective stone, guarding its wearer from negative energy. Its subtle blues and greens stimulating clarity of thought and character.

[zilla_alert style=”grey”]Not had enough gemstone goodness? You can read about birthstones here! [/zilla_alert]