Thursday, April 19, 2007

Aventurine


Aventurine is not a single gemstone. Digging into the history of this sparkling species uncovers the stories of very different crystals with a common elemental theme. Metallic inclusions that reflect light back to dazzle the eye and inspire the spirit.

The name aventurine comes from the Italian "per aventura". The phrase means by chance and refers to a story told by (or about) a glassmaker in Murano Italy (near Venice) during the 1700s.

This glassmaker accidentally drops Copper filings into molten glass creating a new kind of gemstone, completely by chance. The art of producing this man made gem was almost lost until 1827. Another Venetian glassmaker named Bibiglia spent several painstaking months of trial and error trying to replicate the formula. Today, the formula he successfully revived is still kept secret.

So, in the beginning Aventurine is not describing a natural gemstone or crystal, but a man-made glass with reflective Copper inclusions. Probably the first time a man-made material is identified and given a name before it is used to scientifically describe a natural stone. This man-made Aventurine is sold today under the name Goldstone.

Many of the crystals that now carry the name Aventurine are actually a part of our very ancient history. Tools and beads made from Aventurine Quartz (usually green) have been found in many archeological digs. Crudely carved artifacts found in the Omo Valley of Ethiopia are close to 2.5 million years old. Aventurine Feldspar (aka Sunstone) has been utilized for thousands of years in a number of cultures to honor and capture the power of the Sun.

Why do these very different crystals, Quartz and Feldspar carry the same name? In the scientific world of geology, an aventurine is a gemstone that exhibits aventurescence. Sparkles caused by light dancing off metallic crystal platelets within a stone. Sunstone, Goldstone and a variety of Quartzites are all types of Aventurine. Today we will study the Quartzite group which includes the familiar Green Aventurine.

Aventurine Quartz is a metamorphic rock whose technical classification is a Quartzite. Quartz is present is almost every stone. It is also extremely stable and hard, so as erosion eats away at the main rock, grains of Quartz remain. Sometimes forming huge sedimentary deposits. Traumatic geological events can cause heat and pressure to morph the Quartz grains and chemicals in the environment into a new stone. The new rock, formed by the interlocking grains is Quartzite.

McLaren's Bay in Canada is home to some of the rarest and most unique Quartzite Aventurines in the world. Some 3.4 billion years ago, a Quartz rich sandstone became molten and mixed with Mica in the vicinity. The large formation was buried deep beneath the surface until another geological turmoil lifted the Aventurine table up on its side. After several thousand years of glaciers moving back and forth smoothing off the top, gemstones can now be mined without digging or molesting the Earth's surface.

Green, black and a rare red crystal are all found at this one mine. Most mines yield only one color of Aventurine. Even more unusual, some of the McLaren specimens show duo color zones. Green with either black or red.

Aventurines in the Quartz group are available in many natural colors. Green is the most common, followed by greenish brown, blue, silvery/white, peach, yellow and red to reddish brown.

Green and blue Aventurines are found worldwide. Their color comes from a chromium rich Mica calls Fuschite. Some of the finest specimens can easily resemble Emeralds or Nephrite Jade. Beautifully translucent Aventurines containing microscopic Fuschite platelets are more rare than Nephrite and potentially more valuable. High grade gemstones sold under the trade name Indian Jade may not actually be Jade, but could be more collectable.

Significant deposits of Quartzite Aventurines are found in the Russian mountains, the US, India, Chile, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Tanzania, China, Austria and Scotland. Creamy white, gray, orange and peach colored specimens are mined in Chile and Spain. Reddish brown to orangish yellow Aventurines have been found near Siberia in Russia.

Browns, yellows and reds in Aventurine are caused by either Iron oxides or hydroxides staining the Mica plates. Pure Mica Aventurines are white to silvery gray.

We have worked with Quartzite Aventurines from our earliest beginnings. First creating tools and beads millions of years ago. The crystal remains a favorite carving material. Idar-Oberstein in Germany is world famous for its gemstone carvers. One carver, Helmut Wolf fashioned an obelisk of Green Aventurine that weighs 2.5 tons and is 5 1/2 feet tall.

A Green Aventurine vase with a six foot circumference and standing four feet high was presented by the Russian Czar to Sir Roderick L. Murchison in 1843 . The gift was to thank Sir Murchison for his geological survey of the Russian Empire. London's Museum of Practical Geology recently returned the mammoth vase to Russian. It is now displayed in the Hermitage Art Museum in St. Petersburg.

Ancient Chinese traditions consider Green Aventurine the Imperial Yu (gemstone) and was treasured more than Nephrite Jade, which was frequently traded there at the time. The old imperial seal is said to have been made from an exquisite emerald colored Aventurine.

Early Tibetans put Green Aventurines into the eyes of temple icons. The gems would increase the visionary powers of the monks working with the Gods the statues represented. Similar Aventurines were also used by Tibetan healers to correct nearsightedness.

You too can use Aventurine to help clarify your vision of the future. Learn to recognize opportunity intuitively then be brave enough to take chances with a lucky Aventurine in your pocket. Aventurine can spark your imagination, helping you see creative new solutions. Allowing you to hone and stretch your skills with confidence and trust.

Managers, teachers, parents, counselors and others in leadership roles will benefit from the balance and calm the crystal provides. It will assist you in focusing in on the real issues, so that problems can really get solved. Instead of getting tangled in the confused emotions caused by them. Aventurine promotes integrity, compassion, and strength. Important traits that humans like to see in their leaders.

If you are traveling this Summer, take an Aventurine on your journey. See what "chance" discoveries this adventurous crystals leads you on. Riding in a car with children for a few hours? Give everyone a Green Aventurine for their pockets. It will keep attitudes positive, encourage a happy spirit and provide some protection against the misadventures of other drivers.

Blue and white Aventurines are wonderful for meditation, vision quests or connecting with Guides and Angels. Blue gems work at opening the Third Eye, improving intuition and psychic skills. White stones open the Crown Chakra which helps connect you with the Universe and understanding. You will glow and succeed in the knowledge that the Universe only desires abundance and joy for you. Yes, I meant glow.

Green opens the Heart Chakra, allowing you to express heartfelt gratitude for your blessings. Use one in a ceremony to share your thanks for a recent success or victory. Infuse your Aventurine with the euphoria you feel from achieving a goal, then give it away to friend in need of some luck. Or return your blessed gem to Mother by burying it.

Green Aventurine, while excellent for business success or prosperity energies is one of the more popular healing gems. I've had a number of individuals recount personal stories of Green Aventurine's affect on fevers. It is also believed to have anti-inflammatory properties and may provide some pain relief. The gem works best when laid on the area of the body that needs help. Aventurines that are green may aid your heart in regenerating after an injury or heart attack.

The adrenal glands and urogenital system should benefit from the influence of this gemstone. Blue Aventurines should provide some help with throat and lung disorders. The reds to orange specimens will help with the first through third Chakra. Aiding with digestion and keeping the reproductive organs healthy and the feminine cycle balanced. A red and green Aventurine combination may provide the ultimate, drug free menstrual relief.

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