THE METAPHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF GOLDSTONE
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.
THE HIDDEN VIRTUES OF GOLDSTONE
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
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.
[Image Source: Public domain, Wikipedia Commons]