Friday, September 21, 2012

The Metaphysical Properties of Goldstone (Aventurine Glass)

[Goldstone glass]

What is goldstone?

Often mistaken as a mineral, goldstone is actually a glittering man made glass. It is typically reddish brown with coppery flecks but also comes in green, blue, and purple, with more silvery specks. The other varieties are named after it, like green goldstone, blue goldstone, etc. Goldstone was known historically as aventurine glass, from its Italian name avventurina, “accidental”, from the root avventura meaning “by luck, chance, or risk”. The name may refer to the random nature of its spangles or the difficulty in producing it.

In gem folklore, it was first produced accidentally. The legend has many variations. A monk, or factory worker, randomly knocked copper shavings into molten glass, alchemists discovered it during their attempts to produce gold, or monks practicing alchemy created the secret recipe. This explains its trade names: monk's stone, monkgold, gold flux, and even goldstone itself. Sometimes it is falsely represented as a natural material secretly mined by monks or still hand crafted by them.

When is the earliest documentation for goldstone?

The 17th century Venetian glass maker Vincenzo Miotti is credited with the invention of goldstone, although some believe it existed in antiquity. The island of Murano, part of Venice, has been a center of glass making in Italy for centuries. As a major trade good, glass artists were discouraged from leaving and their techniques were safely guarded. Goldstone was especially prized by the Chinese, who called it jinxing boli, “gold star glass”. It remained a trade secret until the process was disclosed during the early 19th century.

The word aventurine was later applied in geology to minerals that resemble the glass, most notably glittering varieties of included quartz. Green aventurine is a quartz colored by small pieces of fuchsite, a green mica colored by chromium. Confusingly both aventurine feldspar and goldstone may be known as sunstone.

How is goldstone made?

Glass is produced by melting silica (SiO2), made from ground quartz or quartz sand, with other chemical ingredients. The specific recipe depends on the application. When making goldstone, copper salts are added. While the glass slowly cools in a low oxygen environment, the copper transforms into a purely metallic state, producing the shiny flecks. Each is actually a microscopic copper (Cu) crystal suspended in the glass, triangular or hexagonal in shape. The other varieties use different coloring agents: chromium oxide (Cr2O3) for the green, cobalt (Co) compounds for the blue, and manganese (Mn) for the purple. The highest quality goldstone, with the most consistent color and flecks, is at the heart of each batch and must be chipped out.


Does glass have metaphysical properties?

There is debate today in the metaphysical community whether glass has energetic qualities. Some popular stones are naturally occurring glass: obsidian, tektites like Moldavite, created by meteor impacts, and fulgurites, produced by lighting strikes. Historically man made glass was used spiritually. Ancient Egyptian amulets were made both of gemstones and substitutes like glass and faience, a ceramic made from silica, rather than clay. Both materials are essentially melted quartz. These alternatives were luxury goods and often given the same names as their mineral equivalents, based on color.

Many people unknowingly work with man made glass. Some materials called “quartz” in the metaphysical market, like crystal singing bowls, are in fact fused quartz, a type of glass produced from high quality stones. "Reconstituted quartz" is the same thing. Trade names like “cherry quartz” may be an actual stone or colored glass.

Like treated and synthetic stones, the use of glass is a matter of personal preference. Natural forms of it are popular, man made kinds were used historically, and many people unknowingly work with it today. Because it forms quickly and lacks a crystal structure, the energy of all glass tends to be more diffused.

What are the metaphysical properties of goldstone?

The hidden virtues of a mineral are revealed in its geology, cultural associations, and effect on the chakra system:

1. Glass: Because it is reflective and forms a transparent barrier, glass represents spiritual protection. Traditional uses from Egyptian amulets to Greek evil eye beads draw on this symbolism. While goldstone is specifically associated with alchemy in gem lore, all glass supports personal transformation. Natural glass like obsidian, tektites, and fulgurites are the product of heavenly or underworld fire. Man made glass was once as magical. Because it allows light to pass through it, glass signifies the flow of spiritual energy between the physical and spiritual realms.

2. Good Fortune: Because of its etymology from the Italian avventura, “by luck, chance, risk”, aventurine glass is associated with abundance, good luck, and games of chance. It can also be translated as “by fortune”, so it is associated with reading future trends, like divination.

3. Adventure: Adventure, venture, and aventurine glass all come from the same Latin word, adventura, “a thing about to happen”. The words are so close, many people mispronounce it as “adventurine” glass. Many of goldstone's contemporary meanings come from this word play. It is recommended for ambition, confidence, and evaluating risk. Also safe travel, trip planning,and enjoying life.

4. Copper: There are ancient associations between copper, the planet Venus, and love goddesses across cultures, from the Egyptian Hathor to Greek Aphrodite. Each of the spangles in goldstone is a microscopic copper crystal that formed as the glass cooled. Goldstone shares the metal's metaphysical properties: attracting abundance, harmonizing relationships, and creativity. Because copper is a good conductor of electricity, it is a popular tool to direct spiritual energy. Goldstone can be used for energy work, physical vitality, and to charge other minerals.

4. Gold: Although it is produced from copper, its golden color and trade names associate it with gold. Gold is the metal of the Sun and goldstone may also be known as sunstone. Like copper, the metaphysical properties of gold are abundance, energy, and creativity.

5. Second Chakra: Most modern stone books derive their metaphysical properties from the mineral's corresponding chakra color. Goldstone's coppery brown connects it to the second or sacral chakra, located on the spine at the level of the pubic bone. It represents water, sexuality, and the unconscious. Use goldstone to transmute heavy emotions, balance pleasure, or become more creative. The second chakra represents the womb, where things develop before being released to the world. Stones connected to it help us develop the things we intend to manifest.

6. Healing Qualities: Where do the healing properties listed for a mineral originate?

A: Chakra: Healers who work with the modern chakra colors recommend goldstone for the second chakra parts of the body: the lower back, the urinary tract, and reproductive system.

B: Planet: Healers who work with astrology instead associate it with Venus or the Sun. Like the second chakra, Venus rules the lower back, urinary tract, and reproductive system but also the neck and throat. The Sun rules healing generally but specifically the heart, spine, and back.

This article is part of a series for Whatever Works Wellness Center, located in Cincinnati, Ohio. To find goldstone, check out their retail location:

7433 Montgomery Road
Cincinnati, OH 45236
(513) 791-9428

For more information about Whatever Works, check out their website and Facebook fan page:

The spiritual use of stones is one tool among many for helping us with our problems. This information is not intended to replace the care of your doctor or mental health professional.

© 2012, C. L. Matthews
[Image Source: Public domain, Wikipedia Commons]

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Metaphysical Properties of Girasol Quartz

[Tumbled Girasol Quartz]


What is girasol quartz?

Girasol ("jir-uh-saul" or "jir-uh-soul") is a clear, milky white, or extremely pale pink variety of quartz.  The word comes from the Italian girasole, “turn towards the Sun”, and originally referred to a milky blue glass first produced in Venice during the Renaissance.  The term in geology describes any mineral that displays the girasol effect: either an internal floating glow that moves with changes in the light, often white, blue, or golden yellow in color, or a haziness produced by scattered light instead.

Varieties of opal, moonstone, and sapphire are the best known examples. Their resemblance to girasol quartz explains some of its other trade names: moon quartz, blue opal quartz, and girasol opal quartz. Unfortunately this also leads to confusion among them, especially girasol opal and girasol quartz.

While girasol refers to several minerals, this optical effect is specifically called adularescence ("adj-uh-luhr-ess-ence") in moonstone.  It comes from the word adularia, after a Swiss location where stones with the effect are found. 

How are girasol quartz and rose quartz related?

Girasol quartz comes from the same mines that produce star rose quartz. It can appear pink, especially on a white surface, sometimes smoky, and may be starred itself. Polished gems can display a star shaped sheen on their surface if they contain fibers of another mineral, typically rutile. Recent research suggests not only the star effect, but the color, cloudiness, and small crystal size of most rose quartz are instead due to a previously unknown variety of pink dumortierite. These fibers are so small, they are only visible with a scanning electron microscope.

These inclusions produce the opalescence and girasol effect in girasol quartz. Star sapphire and girasol sapphire are related in the same way, although rutile is responsible. Because of this connection to star rose quartz, girasol quartz is also known as white rose quartz or white star quartz.

What other materials are called girasol?

An opalescent glass more commonly called opalite may also be sold as girasol. Also milky quartz colored by inclusions of water or rutile. Because rutile contains titanium, titanium quartz is another trade name for that variety. However the girasol quartz mined with star rose quartz does not contain rutile.


The hidden virtues of a mineral are revealed in its geology, cultural associations, and effect on the chakra system:

1. Light: Its milky color and optical phenomena are both produced by light scattering off the microscopic fibers within it. Light is a traditional symbol of spiritual energy. Girasol quartz is a good tool for energy workers using modalities from Reiki to Healing Touch. It helps them tap into the flow of universal energy at the heart of their practice. Girasol quartz also supports those undergoing channeled processes like Light Body and Merkaba Activation, with its connection to light and six rayed stars.

2. Alignment: In regular rose quartz, the pink dumortierite fibers are more randomly distributed. In star rose quartz and girasol quartz, they are aligned along the axes of the crystal. This creates the star and girasol effects when the material is polished into a rounded shape. Like a double terminated crystal, minerals with parallel inclusions are used to align the chakra system, attune to people, places, or new energetic states, and connect to the Divine or individual spiritual beings like angels, ascended masters, and guides. Historically starred gemstones represented the watchful eye of God and were worn for protection, good luck, and psychic development.

3. The Sun: Because of its etymology, from the Italian girasole, “turn towards the Sun”, girasol quartz could be considered a solar mineral. In both Italian and Spanish, girasol also means sunflower. Just as the plant turns to follow the daily path of the sun, the internal glow of the girasol effect moves with the light. The Sun is an ancient symbol of the Divine and reflective materials represent devotion. Girasol quartz can be used for spiritual development, meditation, and psychopomp work, helping the dead transition into the afterlife.

4.  Solar Flares: Its solar name, electric qualities as a form of quartz, and optical effect produced by scattered light reveal that girasol quartz can help the subtle body readjust after phenomena like solar flares.

Its white to pink coloring and blue to golden glow associate it with the chakras above the navel. They are the most likely to be thrown out of balance by electromagnetic events, as shown by their effects in sensitive people: lethargy, fluctuations in energy levels, stomach and digestive issues (Third Chakra), difficulty communicating and thinking (Throat Chakra), irritability, agitated emotions (Heart Chakra), headaches, psychic congestion, and inability to ground (Third Eye and Crown Chakra).

Like New Moon and a solar eclipse, other potentially harsher expressions of solar energy, solar flares can be harnessed for your benefit. Because they draw heavier energies to the surface, use them for purification. Because they over activate certain chakras, use them to balance and align the subtle body.

4. The Moon: Rather than the Sun, most trade names reveal a lunar or water connection instead: Moon quartz, Blue Moon quartz, milk quartz, and pearl quartz. The energy of girasol quartz is soothing, cool, and peaceful. With its frosted appearance and bluish white glow from scattered light, it looks like the Moon. It can be used to harness its energies, set intentions based on its monthly cycle, and connect to lunar spiritual beings. Watery minerals help us develop qualities culturally associated with the feminine like intuition, emotions, and dreams. Since divination is also ruled by the Moon, girasol quartz is good for scrying and keeping tools like Tarot cards cleansed.

5. The Upper Chakras and Beyond: With its white to pink coloring, and white, blue, or yellow glow, girasol quartz bridges the Crown to Third Chakra. Although it is primarily focused on the Crown and Throat Chakras. It helps balance thinking (Crown) and feeling (Heart) and supports their expression (Throat). It is a powerful tool for psychics, mediums, and channelers to maintain their connection (Crown) and accurately pass along their messages (Throat). Some models of the subtle body have an additional eighth chakra above the Crown, called the Soul Star, which represents our connection to the Divine. As a starred white mineral, girasol quartz is especially well suited for it.

Dumortierite, the fibrous mineral responsible for the color and optical effects of star rose quartz and girasol quartz, is typically dark blue.  It is associated with intuition, psychic abilities, and communication.

6. Healing Properities: Because of its lunar connections, astrologically oriented healers recommend it for parts of the body ruled by the Moon: the stomach and digestion, chest and breasts, reproductive system, bodily fluids, emotions, and unconscious mind. Those that use the modern chakra system instead recommend it for parts of the body ruled by the fifth, sixth, and seventh chakras: anything between the throat and top of the head.

This article is part of a series for Enter the Earth, located in Asheville, North Carolina.  To find girasol quartz, check out both their retail and online stores:

1 Page Avenue
Suite 125
Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 350-9222

Online Store:
On Ebay:
On Etsy:

To find more information about using girasol quartz and other tools for solar storm mitigation, check out my counterpart Stacie's blog: Solar Storm Mitigation.

The spiritual use of stones is one tool among many for helping us with our problems. This information is not intended to replace the care of your doctor or mental health professional.

© 2012, C. L. Matthews
[Image Source: Enter the Earth]