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Lapis Lazuli / Lazurite

Known to the ancient Egyptians as the ‘Sky Stone’, Lapis Lazuli (or Lazurite) is one of the oldest gemstones – a blue stone mottled with white calcite and brassy pyrite.

Lapis Lazuli has been mined in the Kokcha valley in Afghanistan for roughly 7000 years. This gem was considered sacred and thus the mines were guarded intensely. Unauthorised approach to a mine was punished with death and the miners were secured to the shafts by chains, to avoid sticky fingered workers running away! Not that you would have wanted to be a refugee in the narrow desolate Kokcha defile with its steep and jagged sides, riddled with wolves, and wild hogs.

Lapis lazuli from Afghanistan in its natural state. By Hannes Grobe [CC BY-SA 2.5], from Wikimedia Commons
Lazurite has been used throughout the centuries as a protective stone and was also used by the Pharaohs to ward of the ill effects of incest, as they traditionally married their eldest sister.

Not only was it a favourite jewellery stone, but is also a historical pigment having been found in Egyptian tomb paintings as far back as the Fourth Dynasty (6th Century BC ). The statue of pharaoh TutmosIII is covered with Lazurite, and Egyptian ladies loved to wear the pigment as cosmetic eye shadow.

Later, painters like Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci, used Lazurite in their oil paintings.

The Europeans called it Ultramarine, which means ‘over the water’.

Lazurite is associated with the 6th chakra or third eye, and is thought to enhance wisdom, inner vision and mental clarity. It can also help to overcome depression, and enhances feeling of self acceptance.

Even though smaller deposits of Lazurite have been found in Chile, Siberia and Burma, the Afghanistan stones are by far the better quality. Thus with the political turmoil in Afghanistan, the future of this noble gem hangs in clouds of uncertainty.


Goldfish Jewellery Design Studio works with all precious metals, stones and diamonds. For further information, please contact us.

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According to the Greeks the Amethyst was formed when Bacchus, the ancient god of wine, was insulted by a mere mortal. For revenge he vowed to have a tiger eat the next mortal he came across, however, it happened to be a beautiful young lady named Amethyst. She cried out to the goddess Diana to save her and turned into a brilliant white crystal.

When Bacchus saw what he had done he felt really bad, so he poured wine all over her. This didn’t turn her back but rather turned the crystal a violet colour. He didn’t colour her feet or head though and this is why the Amethyst is usually unevenly coloured and tends to have pale ends.

This lovely gem varies in colour from a deep violet (the most sought after) to a pale Lavender (just as stunning), and has been used by the Chinese for about 8000 years. It is possibly the most popular semi-precious gem not only for jewellery, but also for healing purposes. It provides peace of mind and understanding when a loved one is lost, and relieves stress, grief and depression.

The Amethyst derives its name from the Greek word “Amethustos” which means “not drunken”. Apparently wearing this stone or drinking from an Amethyst cup prevents you from getting drunk (I haven’t tried that one yet, but I get drunk just staring into any beautiful Gem).

It is the stone of Bishops, so all bishops of the Catholic church wear an amethyst ring to symbolise their moral victory over all worldly indulgence. Sacred to Buddha as well, prayer beads are often fashioned from Amethyst. It is also symbolic of royalty and features quite prominently in the British Crown Jewels.

Amethyst is the February birthstone.

The Amethyst is also recommended for men when they wish to attract attention from the fairer sex. Promoting pleasant dreams, providing immunity to poison, improving memory, providing security and peace of mind  and freeing ones self from those addictive personalities (oneself or others) are just a few of the many uses of our featured gem.  Give it a try, or you may never know.

— Zak

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Carnelian Jewellery - Goldfish Jewellery Design Studio

A type of chalcedony that has been used thousands of years before the birth of Christ, this semi-precious gem has been cherished and loved through the ages, and been used extensively in the jewellery industry.

Being the favourite stone of the Islamic profit Mohammed, it is not unusual to find these stones engraved with Arabic characters or even verses from the Koran. In the western world its main uses were family seals, signet rings, cameos and even scarabs.

Carnelian was believed to calm the temper and still the blood. It is used to stimulate analytical capabilities and precision, and can be used in the treatment of rheumatism, gall and kidney stones, pollen allergies and colds.

Carnelian is the ancient stone of the zodiac sign, Virgo.

The red colour of this gem is due to the presence of iron oxide, and in India they are left to bake in the sun to transform brown stones to red. Most carnelians nowadays originate from Brazil or Uruguay, and have been stained to enhance their colour.

The most interesting thing about Carnelian is most definitely its history.

In Egyptian culture, Isis uses a carnelian amulet named “Thet” to grant protection to those passing through the afterlife, and it is one of the three most powerful gems (with Turquoise and Lapis Lazuli). In Muslim culture it is referred to as “The Mecca Stone”, and those wearing this powerful gem would be granted their every desire.

One very famous Carnelian was worn by Napoleon I, Napoleon III, and Prince Imperial. It was an octagonal shaped seal and disappeared from his body after he was killed by the Zulus in South Africa, since then the stone has never been recovered.

The name carnelian is derived from the Latin word “cornum”, which means berry or cherry.  You will all be most delighted to know that it not only brings good fortune, but it is also recommended for the treatment of infertility and impotence.



Goldfish Jewellery Design Studio works with all precious metals, stones and diamonds. For further information, please contact us.