Learn About Gemstones – Prehnite

History of Prehnite?

Prehnite has the distinction of being the very first mineral ever to be named after an individual. The gemstone Prehnite was named for its discoverer, Colonel Hendrik von Prehn (1733-1785), a Dutch mineralogist and an early governor of the Cape of Good Hope colony. Prehnite was also the very first mineral to be named and described from South Africa (where I now live), long before South Africa became an important source for precious gems.

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Loose Prehnite faceted beads

So What is Prehnite?

Prehnite occurs in an unsual soft yellow-green to apple-green color. It is a fairly strong crystal, quite resistant to pressures and scratching. Prehnite is composed of aluminum, calcium and silicon with a few specimens containing small trace of iron as well. It is considered a secondary or second stage mineral, meaning that the crystal did not form during the initial volcanic activity, but instead the crystals were formed by events caused by the volcano, much after the fact.

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Prehnite and Hematite Gemstone Collar Necklace – $72 from Big Skies Jewellery

Prehnite Meaning

Prehnite is a stone of unconditional love.   Wear prehnite to strengthen your intuition and recognize truths.  Prehnite is said to encourage composure, forgiveness and acceptance and is excellent for meditation. Interestingly, some people also believe that prehnite helps sufferers of claustrophobia.

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Prehnite and Hematite Gemstone Necklace – designed and created by Big Skies Jewellery

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It’s All About Amethyst


Amethyst is the most well-known purple gemstone.   It has been highly esteemed throughout the ages for its stunning beauty and legendary powers to stimulate, and soothe, the mind and emotions.

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Amethyst necklace using raw amethyst crystals and tiny facet cut amethyst beads – $53 from Big Skies Jewellery

It is a semi-precious stone in today’s classifications, but to the ancients it was a “Gem of Fire,” a “Precious Stone” worth, at times in history, as much as a Diamond!!

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Amethyst Pendant Necklace – $28 from Big Skies Jewellery

Amethyst ranges in hue from pale red-violet to deep violet, and can be transparent or opaque. It is also sometimes layered with white Quartz, which is known as Chevron Amethyst.

Ever wondered how Amethyst got it’s name?  Read this from my series of posts on gemstone folklore and legends.

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Amethyst and Diamante Charm Necklace – $33 from Big Skies Jewellery

Throughout history the special virtue of Amethyst has been that of preventing drunkenness and overindulgence. Ancient Greeks and Romans routinely studded their goblets with Amethyst believing wine drunk from an Amethyst cup was powerless to intoxicate. Catholic bishops also wore Amethyst in a ring to protect from mystical intoxication. Kissing the ring kept others from similar mystical intoxication and kept them grounded in spiritual thought.  This is why Amethyst is also known as Bishop Stone.

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Amethyst Earrings on Sterling Silver Ear Hooks – $12 from Big Skies Jewellery

Whether its crystals are left natural, polished as tumblestones or faceted, Amethyst is a gem whose beauty transcends its commonality. It is actually a variety of Quartz and is found in many locations around the world.

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Fabulous Fluorite

What is Fluorite?

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Natural Raw Green Fluorite Crystals

Fluorite (also called fluorspar) is a halide mineral composed of calcium fluoride (CaF2). Fluorite has a wide range of colors including yellow, blue, pink purple and green. It is an isometric mineral with a cubic habit, but octahedral and more complex isometric forms are not uncommon. The natural fluorite crystal beads I recently purchased were of the octahedral form.

Octahedron 3D image, octahedron shape, octahedron image

Octahedron 3D Image

History of Fluorite

Fluorite derives from the Latin noun fluo, meaning a stream or flow of water. In verb form this was fluor or fluere, meaning to flow.

In 1852 fluorite gave its name to the phenomenon of fluorescence – due to certain impurities in the crystals found in certain locations, many samples of fluorite exhibit fluorescence under ultraviolet light.

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Gemstone Necklace Featuring Octahedral Raw Fluorite Crystals – created by Big Skies Jewellery

Fluorite Gemstone Meaning

The ancient Egyptians used flourite to carve statues and scarabs, the Chinese have used it in carvings for over 300 years. In the 18th century, fluorite was powdered in water to relieve the symptoms of kidney disease.

Fluorite is said to help with absorbing new ideas and bringing order to chaos.

Fluorite is said to absorb and neutralize negative vibrations.  It is believed to be effective against computer and electromagnetic emanations (says she, sitting in front of her computer for 8 hours a day!)  It is also known as the “Genius Stone” by helping us increase our concentration and make decisions.

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Raw Fluorite Crystal and Pearl Necklace – designed by Big Skies Jewellery

Healing properties of Fluorite

Fluorite can be used as a meditation stone to help energize the body and raise the power of concentration.

Healers use it to help with ulcers as well as the respiratory tract by stimulating cell regeneration in these areas. It fortifies bones, improves arthritic or other joint ailments.

It is reputed to be a powerful healer and is believed to be good at fending off colds and flu, reducing the pain of arthritis and reducing the discomfort of shingles and other nerve related pain.

The Finished Fluorite Jewellery Piece  – Green Fluorite Crystal Necklace

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Green Fluorite Crystal and Pearl Necklace – $75 from Big Skies Jewellery

Pictured above is how I used my “octahedral” raw fluorite crystals.  I favoured a simple design, just using square bead caps to complement the cubic crystals and pretty iridescent grey freshwater pearls to act as highlights between the crystals.  I find this necklace very calming and soothing…..

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Q. When is a Pearl Not a Pearl? A. When it is Mother of Pearl

Mother of Pearl and pearls are similar, but not the same.

Mother of pearl, known as nacre, is a blend of minerals that are secreted by oysters and other mollusks and deposited inside their shells, coating and protecting them from parasites and foreign objects.  It is strong, resilient, and iridescent.

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Mother of pearl appears iridescent because the shell has a microscopically fractured surface which interferes with the wavelengths of visible light.  This in turn produces different colours (called structured light) when viewed or illuminated from different angles.  It is the same the effect that you see on soap bubbles.

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Jewelry made from mother of pearl falls in the group referred to as organic jewelry — jewelry that originates from a living creature, plant or organism.

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Gold Mother of Pearl and Faceted Black Onyx Necklace – $35 from Big Skies Jewelry

Mother of pearl is very lightweight making it an ideal choice for those who do not like heavy jewellery.

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Gold Mother of Pearl and Faceted Black Onyx Necklace – $35 from Big Skies Jewelry

To view other beautiful and unique gemstone necklaces, please browse through the Big Skies Jewellery shop on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/bigskiesjewellery

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Learn About Gemstones – Solar Quartz

Ever wondered what a cross-section through a stalactite would look like?  Well then… let me introduce you to Solar Quartz.  Solar Quartz is ordinary agatized quartz that is cut from stalactites in lucid, pale or grey, as well as with mossy inclusions – it is a quartz stalactite that has been sliced crossways into discs.  I think they look like beautiful crystal flowers.

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Solar Quartz, like agate, is often dyed vivid colors – natural Solar Quartz does not have electric coloring.  All the photos in this post have been reproduced with the kind permission of Inspire GemandCrystal, which is full of beautiful and unique stones and findings – please check our their lovely shop.

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As with all quartz, solar quartz is an energy enhancer – connecting to both spirit and harmony. Solar Quartz is said to bring emotional strength and upliftment, with great power and energy. Solar Quartz also has all the properties of clear quartz and is protective, purifying on spiritual, mental and physical levels.

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Quartz is possibly the most flexible, multi-purpose curative stone – it increases power and healing, pulls out and transports energy as well as increases natural crystals within the body’s fluid and tissues in order to reverberate new healing frequency.

Amethyst – February’s Birthstone

Bite-Sized Facts About Amethyst

  • Amethyst is February’s birthstone
  • Amethyst is used as a dream stone and to help insomnia. Put an amethyst under your pillow to bring about pleasant dreams, or rub it across your forehead to offer relief from a headache
  • The amethyst is known as the Bishop’s Stone and is still worn by Catholic Bishops.
  • Amethyst symbolizes piety, humility, sincerity and spiritual wisdom
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Beautiful Amethyst and Sterling Silver Bracelet by Big Skies Jewellery – only $30!

Find this Amethyst and Sterling Silver Bracelet, and lots of other lovely gemstone jewellery pieces, in the Big Skies Jewellery Etsy store here.

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Discover the Power of Black – with Gemstone Jewellery

Stop and think about all the ways negativity can hold you back. Wouldn’t you rather be filled with positive energy? Think of what can be achieved with a positive frame of mind and a positive outlook.

Negative energy

Did you know that you can use gemstone jewellery to help you achieve this? Two gemstones which have particular power in defending you against negativity and dispelling negative energy are black tourmaline and black onyx.

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Black Onyx Bead Strings

Discover the power of black gemstones….

Black Tourmaline / Schorl

Black Tourmaline crystal is a powerful gemstone for protection against negative energy of all kinds, and it will protect the wearer. It is a very good gemstone to wear when you’re experiencing any kind of stress – and who of us is not stressed!?!

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Black Tourmaline Facet Cut Bead

Regardless of the circumstances you find yourself in, black tourmaline will help you create a positive attitude and mindset. It will be a positive force for good in your life. Emotionally, black tourmaline is excellent for bringing stability.

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Black Tourmaline, Pyrite and Carnelian Necklace

Rub black tourmaline for luck and happiness. This is a powerful stone and a very lucky stone. When the tourmaline is rubbed it becomes charged with magnetic electricity and the luck intensifies.

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Rough Black Tourmaline


Onyx is strongly associated with protection, and can be used to deflect or absorb the negative energy of others. It is a good gemstone for protection from negative forces and influences, and will defend you against negativity directed towards you.

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Black Onyx Tooth and Lemon Jade Necklace

Onyx is used to assist in letting go of a specific person, place or thing – it helps people overcome emotional upheavals associated with change, and helps lessen emotional intensity.

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Black Onyx and Gunmetal Rhinestone Bead Necklace

It is also considered to be a strong “grounding” stone, helping you focus your thoughts and concentrate on specific tasks.

Have a look at the gemstone jewellery in the Big Skies Jewellery Etsy shop, which lists the gemstone necklaces featured here and many other beautiful gemstone pieces. Gemstones not only add visual beauty to your life through jewellery, their hidden properties and powers can also help you out, in so many other weird and wonderful ways – I will be exploring these uses in future posts.

no negativity

Say no to negativity with some black gemstone jewellery – and look fabulous in the process!




Weekend Blues

The only blues this weekend were in the three types of lovely blue gemstones I worked with – blue imperial jasper, blue goldstone and cobalt blue dyed quartz.

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Blue Imperial Jasper Bead – nature really is the greatest artist!

Isn’t this stone amazing? It has such an intense colour.  The blue in this gemstone has a green undertone, which means it looks awesome when you wear it with green.

The name Jasper means “spotted or speckled stone”. It is an impure variety of quartz, containing various amounts of other minerals which give it different colours – reds, greens, pinks, yellows, browns, and more rarely, blues. This association with other minerals gives jasper nice bands and patterns. 

Blue Imperial Jasper Gemstone Necklace

Jasper is usually named according to its pattern, e.g. picture jasper, ribbon jasper, ocean jasper, etc. Jasper is found worldwide, but Imperial Jasper and the sub-variety known as Royal Imperial Jasper are found in Zacatecas, Mexico about 50 miles north of the city of Guadalajara.

Blue Imperial Jasper Gemstone Necklace

This necklace showcases beautiful blue imperial jasper oval beads – stunning!

Goldstone isn’t actually a natural mineral, but a type of glittering glass made in a low-oxygen reducing atmosphere. The finished product can take a smooth polish and be carved into beads, figurines, or other artifacts suitable for semiprecious stone. Isn’t this carved rose pendant lovely?

Blue goldstone rose necklace 1

The most common form of goldstone is reddish-brown, and contains tiny crystals of metallic copper. Goldstone also exists in other colour variants based on other elements. Cobalt or manganese can be substituted for copper in the creation process; the resulting crystals have a more silvery appearance and are suspended in a strongly coloured matrix of the corresponding colour, resulting in blue goldstone or purple goldstone respectively.

This necklace uses blue goldstone, in combination with black onyx and shiny grey hematite.

Blue Golsdstone Rose Pendant Necklace

Quartz is the most common and cheapest crystal for color treatment, because of its clarity and neutral color. The best technique for dyeing quartz is called quench crackling, and it allows the normally non-porous quartz crystals to absorb dyes.

Dyed Blue Quartz Bead

This chunky statement necklace utilises dyed cobalt blue quartz beads. I just loved the rich blue colour when I saw them in the bead shop. Cobalt blue is currently my favourite colour, so this is a piece of jewellery I would wear a lot.

Chunky Cobalt Dyed Quartz and Silver Bead Chunky Statement Necklace

Read more on how to dye quartz:  How to Dye Crystals | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_6012423_dye-crystals.html#ixzz2HsZK8eWa

For sneak previews of other pieces of handmade gemstone jewellery that I am currently working on, please visit my Facebook page http://facebook.com/bigskiesjewellery – please give it a “like” whilst you are there and share it with others!