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Natural Phenomena

Natural Phenomena

Gemstones have been in our lexicon for at least 10,000 years. Truly wondrous, the earliest specimens were shrouded in mystery and worn as amulets and talismans – carried by doctors, spiritualists, and clairvoyants, long before they became the subject of science.


Buried underground, gemstones are born from the boundless deep, formed in the vast depths of the Earth’s outer layers. Known as the Earth’s crust, the dense shell makes up less than 1% of Earth’s volume and resides beneath unchartered waters, breaching the seabed and its bounty of rare elements. These elements include the 4,000 minerals that could potentially transform into gemstones. Found in ordinary-looking rocks, gem-quality minerals can lie dormant in Earth’s echoing chamber or may eventually find their way above ground – traveling great distances, rising up from the sea, and floating across rivers and lakes, before coming to rest on shallow land. 


On shore, they are identified by their physical properties, including hardness, luster, density, magnetism, and color. Interestingly, many minerals are colorless in their pure form - it is the inclusion of impurities in their makeup which determines where they fall on the color spectrum. 


Here are two of our favorite stones, thought to bring relaxation, hope, and strength.

Be3Al2Si6O18 + Fe = Aquamarine

From oceans deep

Depicted as mermaid treasure in ancient folklore, Aquamarine is named for the sea. A member of the Beryl stone family, its color stretches the breadth of the ocean in depth and clarity, from pale crystalline blue to a more vibrant turquoise. The gradients of color displayed in Aquamarine are due to traces of ferrous iron, which gives it its green-blue hue. Commonly found in granite stones, its connection to the earth’s life-giving water element is said to bring relaxation, truth, and the power to let go.


Our Aquamarine is sourced ethically by artisanal miners in Gamo Gofa, Ethiopia, and is cut and polished by our partners in Addis Ababa. 

SiO2 · nH2O = Pink Opal

From the heart

Also known by its affectionate nickname ‘Peppermint Candy Store’, the Pink Opal is a pleasing confection. An opaque stone, its pastel hues range from baby pink to shell pink, French lavender, or even cream. It owes its coloration to the presence of manganese in its composition and does not contain iridescent particles like its opal sisters. Instead, it is distinguished by its white ‘veins’ that spread outwards, linking the stone to affairs of the heart, as well as hope and healing.


Our Pink Opal is sourced in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia in Debre Tabor, and is cut and polished by our partners in Addis Ababa.   


Illustrations by Kathy Phan
Kathy Phan is a pet portrait, illustration, and letter artist based in Austin, Texas. Her @kathyphantastic products include watercolor pet portraits, pet portraits on ceramics, paper goods, stickers, and magnets.
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