Agate can be found in clear or translucent brown varieties but is very often dyed to form the deep purple and blue hues that are more commonly found in jewellery.
It is considered to be a stone of courage, longevity and truth and is the birthstone for Gemini. Moss Agate, a speckled green variety, is often considered a gardeners' friend as wearing a piece whilst tending to one's garden may provide you with a healthy crop and beautiful blossoms.
Aquamarine is a form of Beryl, which is the same family as the Emerald. Unlike this precious stone however, Aquamarine is more common but no less beautiful.
This stone is said to promote self-knowledge which allows the wearer to judge with compassion. It is also reputed to open the mind to spiritual happenings, as well are provide the wearer with clarity of thought. In the context of relationships, Aquamarine is considered the stone of joy and happiness so would make a perfect gift for couples on their wedding day.
Aquamarine is also said to alleviate the pain caused from toothache, and generally be beneficial in the healing of jaw and throat complaints.
Known as the "gambler's stone", green aventurine is considered to be the luckiest stone, above that of even jade.
A form of quartz, green aventurine has a soft pastel green colour and is often flecked with tiny inclusions. Besides its notability for luck, aventurine is often considered to enhance creativity and promote a sense of calm and balance.
The health benefits of aventurine are said to be aligned with the circulatory system and the stone is thought to alleviate sleep disorders.
Carnelian is a form of agate that is often dyed to enhance its deep red colour. As well as its obvious striking beauty, few other stones have as many reputed metaphysical properties as the humble carnelian.
The ancient Egyptians held the belief that carnelain would dispel anger and hatred, and today it is still considered to be a stone of courage, eloquence and self-confidence.
Possibly due to its blood red colour, carnelian is also considered to promote general good health.
It is a hard bead that does not chip easily and as such, they may be many vintage pieces availbale with well preserved carnelian features.
Citrine is a form of quartz with a glowing golden colour, and it is due to this property that promotes the lore that citrine is an energising stone that channels the powers of the sun and dispels negativity.
It is also said to enhance creativity and promote harmony as well as being beneficial to the digestion and circulation.
Also known as the stone of joy and self-esteem, citrine is thought to enhance the pleasure found in new experiences.
Fluorite has soft undulating bands of colour ranging from pinks, to purple, greens and blues. It is said to bring order to a chaotic situation and focus the mind.
Wearing fluorite is said to aid depression by enhancing emotional-stability, as well as being a general aid to good health.
When fluorite is exposed to ultra-violet light it glows a different colour to that of its properties in natural light, and as previously mentioned, it is a particuarly soft stone.
Haematite is rich in iron ore which gives it the striking metallic properties. When it is cut and polished it gives a high shine mirror finish to jewellery pieces.
The stone is said to relieve stress, balance emotions and enhance harmony. It is also thought to enhance mathematical abilities and creativity.
With regards to health, haematite is thought to help relieve insomnia and regenerate unhealthy tissue.
Jade comes in many different varieties and colours, the most notale being green Jade, however it is available in a range of other colours inlcuding the lemon jade used in the designs on this site and in the above photo.
Jade is more commonly thought to be the stone of luck, and the wearer of a jade butterfly said to be lucky in love. It is also well known as being a stone of healing, with particualr focus on the heart and kidneys.
Jade is considered to the stone for the zodiac sign of Taurus.
As with many gemstones, there are several different forms of Jasper, all with their own unique colours and properties. Jasper is often found in dyed varieties to give striking looks to jewellery pieces.
The ancient world particuarly prized jasper for its reputed healing powers, often carving amulates and talismans from the hard stone to wear and store around the home.
It is considered especially lucky for a mother to hold a piece of jasper in her hand during chilbirth to pass on the protection offered by the stone for both physical and mental health of the child.
Moonstone is a form of feldspar and as the name suggests, it often connected to the moon. As such, it is reputed to enhance the wearers attunement to cycles and rhythms.
It is also said to provide protection for those who travel across the sea or regulalry swims in deep waters, and its association with the moon has obvious links to female cycles, fertility and childbirth.
Moonstone is known as the birthstone for Cancer.
Pearl is a gemstone that is multi-generational, with jewellery pieces made with the beautiful stones ranging from victorian vintage chokers to modern day contemporary pieces.
Whilst pearls are not technically gemstones, they are often considered in the same category, as they are naturally made by layers of nacre forming over a foreign object in certain shellfish. These can be cultured, where foreign objects are inserted into the shell, or entirely natural.
Pearls are thought to symbolize purity and innocence,and it is belived that they enhance honesty, improve fertility and reduce the pains of chilbirth.
Pearl is the birthstone for June.
Rose quartz is from the same family as Amethyst and Citrine, and is generally reputed to promote beauty, friendship, happiness and love. If worn in a heart shape it is said to attract true love from a soul mate.
Amongst all stones reputed for their healing qualities, rose quartz tops the list as being known for its emotional healing properties. It is also said to aid the lungs and circulatory system.
Rose quartz is thought to be a stone for both Taurus and Virgo.
References taken from "Making Jewellery with Gemstone Beads" by Barbara Case