This November I celebrated my 25th birthday and it got me thinking — its been over a year since I moved to New York and called this city home. It’s surreal and has been such a great experience, but in doing so I’ve neglected this blog. As I’ve been getting the hang of everything — my new job, the subway system, making friends, exploring, my new rock climbing hobby — its taken my time away from this space. I had so many hopes and plans before I moved, as this was supposed to be my escape and informative space into the gem/mineral world. This year, Flaxccentuate took a backseat, but 2020 is going to be a fresh new start! There will be a ton of new content and if all goes well — a new business. I’m excited to be back in this space and get started!
Speaking of new content — lets jump in to Gem Talk 101 and learn all about Citrine’s!
Being my birthstone, I’ve always been intrigued by this stone. Its beautiful yellow hue has always been so warm and inviting. Said to provide positive energy, Citrine’s associated with wealth and abundance known as the “Success Stone”. Naturally found all over the world, including Brazil, Africa, Madagascar, Spain, Russia, France, Scotland, and the U.S. [**] What a lot of people don’t know is that a lot of the citrine sold in todays market is fake — say, what?! Yes — it’s true! Here’s what to look out for when you’re shopping for your own citrine to add to your collection.
You may have seen citrine stones like these sold in gem stores or out shopping. What you aren’t being told is that these are heat treated amethysts. You can see a side by side comparison below. If it has an orange hue, it’s fake.
Real citrine is a clear, yellow stone that can also come in a smokey hue.
So now you know what to be on the look out for the next time you’re in the market for citrine!
Welcome to ‘Now it’s Crystal Clear’ series! This week’s topic is all about Tourmaline.
Tourmaline gemstone is a semi-precious mineral similar to granite. With colors ranging from magenta to teal-blue, meadow-green to vibrant yellow, and even black, tourmaline gets its name from the Singhalese phrase “tura mali,” which means, “stone mixed with vibrant colors.” It’s believed that no two tourmaline stones have the exact same color!
Historicaly revered as a “magic” stone that is capable of protecting its wearer, it is said that Tourmaline has powerful effects such as: helps with detoxification, supports fat loss, reduces water retention, improves circulation, supports the liver and kidney, promotes a healthy mood, helps eliminate toxic metals and reduces lactic acids and free fatty acids. [**]
I’d have to agree that these stones are magical — just by looking at the colors they naturally form in are absolutely incredible!
Many tourmaline color varieties have inspired their own trade names:
Rubellite is a name for pink, red, purplish red, orangy red, or brownish red tourmaline, although some in the trade argue that the term shouldn’t apply to pink tourmaline. Indicolite is dark violetish blue, blue, or greenish blue tourmaline. Paraíba is an intense violetish blue, greenish blue, or blue tourmaline from the state of Paraíba, Brazil. Chrome tourmaline is intense green. In spite of its name, it’s colored mostly by vanadium, the same element that colors many Brazilian and African emeralds. Parti-colored tourmaline displays more than one color. One of the most common combinations is green and pink, but many others are possible. Watermelon tourmaline is pink in the center and green around the outside. Crystals of this material are typically cut in slices to display this special arrangement. [***]
Deposits of Tourmaline are in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, Burma (Myanmar), Sri Lanka (Ceylon), and the United States (California and Maine). Several African countries have recently become big producers of gem Tourmaline, specifically Madagascar, Namibia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Nigeria, and Malawi. [****]
Welcome to ‘Now it’s Crystal Clear’ series! This week’s topic is all about Sodalite.
Dating back to ancient civilizations, Sodalite is linked to the ethereal energy that promotes the highest form of self-expression. Sculptors, painters and artists were known to carry it around for inspiration! The crystal’s meaning has a long-held association with the color of the heavens. [**]
Called the blue “Logic Stone,” Sodalite emits an easy, tranquil energy that clears the mind and elicits deep thought, expanding the ability to arrive at logical conclusions based on rational consideration. It enhances one’s powers of analysis, intuition, observation, creativity, strengthens self-discipline, efficiency and organization. Sodalite does not stimulate wisdom, but rather clears one’s vision and intellect opening the mind to formulate wisdom. [***]
Being a salty combination of manganese and calcium, Sodalite crystal is commonly found in large deposits in Brazil. It can also be found in Russia, Greenland, Romania, France, India, Myanmar, Namibia, Canada and the USA.
This crystal is classified as a feldspathoid and is well-known for its rich blue color intermingled with white Calcite. It may also form as gray, yellow, green, or pink. [****]
One of my Instagram friends Valentina, who is the artist behind Solis.Designs, recently had a shop update with a great selection of beautiful pieces. From large statement rings to dainty layering necklaces, it was such an inspiration to see her creative designs as well as her abundant use of turquoise and other natural stones!
I just love her work — so you can imagine how hard it was deciding which of the pieces in her collection to choose from!
I ended up purchasing this beautiful dainty White Buffalo turquoise necklace!
However, it got me thinking — as beautiful as White Buffalo turquoise is, I don’t know much about the stone.
It turns out that it’s a rare stone! Found and mined by the Otteson family in Tonopah, Nevada, it’s the only location in the world where it’s found! Sometimes called ‘albino turquoise’ or –incorrectly– ‘white turquoise’, this white stone is surrounded by black and brown flint-like chert (an opaque variety of quartz). This creates beautiful patterns, and sometimes in rare pieces, a spider-web matrix. The stone appears in veins and is as hard as turquoise (Mohs hardness scale of 5.5 to 7.5). It cuts and polishes just like turquoise, which is why a lot of people incorrectly call this stone ‘white turquoise’. [**]
For in reality, there is no pure ‘white turquoise’ that exists — white turquoise-type material that surrounds turquoise in the mines and tests as turquoise, is too light and soft to use. Most pieces that are usable will have some form of a blue or green tint to them. [***]
Being in such high demand and very popular, some stones are sold off as ‘white turquoise’ to consumers in the market. Those stones are Howlite and Magnesite. So — how can you tell which is which and what is sold to you is real or fake? I’m here to tell you how in Gem Talk 101!
Howlite is a porous borate mineral that often appears in irregular nodules resembling cauliflower. It is a snow white to milky stone, often with brown, grey or black veins. It is sometimes passed off as white turquoise or White Buffalo. It is also dyed to imitate blue or green turquoise. It is quite soft with a Mohs hardness of 3.5 in contrast to turquoise which usually ranges from 5-7. It also scratches easily — which is something you should look out for when purchasing jewelry with this stone. [**]
Here’s an example … a White Buffalo turquoise pendant vs. a Howlite pendant — can you tell the difference?
If you look closely, you can see that on the left — the veins are a grey/light black and the stone looks soft, opaque and milky, which makes it a Howlite stone. On the right — it’s a harder looking stone with black veins and some flecks of brown mixed in, which makes it a White Buffalo turquoise stone.
Magnesite is a calcite group mineral that contains the chemical formula “magnesium carbonate” (MgCO3). It usually forms in three-dimensional rhombohedral shaped crystals and cleavage fragments when magnesium-rich rocks come into contact with carbon dioxide-rich water.
When mined, Magnesite usually appears as chalky white, but can also be found in gray, brown, yellow, orange, pale pink and colorless varieties too. In terms of luster, it is often dull, with a matte surface in its original state. A little harder than Howlite, it rates 3.5 to 4.5 on the Mohs scale, still below that of most turquoise.
It is often dyed to a light blue color and because of its dark veining, it very closely resembles turquoise. In some cases, Magnesite is passed off as turquoise by unaware or unscrupulous dealers and sellers. [**] So be on the look out for it next time you’re in the market for turquoise!
Ever since I’ve started to get into gemstones and crystals — it has become such a fixture in my home.
It’s said that different gemstones and crystals give off certain energies and healing properties. They can range from protection, calmness, self-esteem/confidence boost, wisdom, balance and groundedness — just to name a few.
With all of these different types of stones and properties — it’s hard to know which to add to your home. Now, it’s strictly up to you for which stones call out to you and feel the best / have the right fit! However, for those – like me – who can’t decide — here’s a few suggestions on which gemstones and crystals to add to your home and various living spaces! [*]
The Best for your Desk and Workspace – Amethyst
I’m definitely going to bring a chunk of one to the office for my desk! This stone is a natural stress reliever — it encourages inner strength, peace, spiritual growth and intuition. [**] I also suggest having one (or a cluster) of these in your workspace at home as well!
The Best for your Bedroom – Rose quartz
Known as the stone of love, its gentle qualities are said to open your heart to all types of love. Whether it be self-love, romantic, family and for everything else — the bedroom is the best place to surround yourself with love. [**] Since it’s not necessarily a very neutral color, placing this pink stone in your room can be in areas where it’s hidden or to bring a bit of color to your decor — whether it be in a bowl with other stones, a candle holder, book-ends — the possibilities are endless!
The Best for your Kitchen / Dining room – Calcite
Does it still count as being in my kitchen if I placed this stone in my living room which is right next to my kitchen? I’m going to say yes — especially since I only have so much space in my 700+ sq ft apartment. Calcite radiates calm and soothing energy. It helps restore balance to the mind, body and spirit! [**] The kitchen is a great space for this crystal because it’s where we keep ourselves and our loved ones nourished, as well as being a busy and frequent gathering area. Calcite comes in a variety of colors, so you’re able to still get its properties while choosing whichever fits your color palette best!
The Best for your Living room / Family room – Selenite
Selenite is ideal for energy cleansing. It’s said to unblock stagnant and remove negative energy. Bringing peace and mental clarity, this is a great crystal for this space because it’s where we gather to be with our loved ones and or an area to rest/relax after a long day. [**]
The Best for your Bathroom – Clear Quartz
Clear Quartz amplifies energy and enhances clarity of the mind. [**] It’s a good crystal to have in this space because it’s an area we are with our thoughts and have time to ourselves — whether it’s taking care of business or relaxing with a hot shower or warm bath.
I can’t wait to add some of these new crystals to my home ASAP! Are any of these in your home? How are you experiencing + enjoying them? Let me know!