• AB

    Short for 'Aurora Borealis'

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    is an ear-shaped shell often used for making ornaments because of its iridescent and colorful pearly interior.
    The swirling, interlaced colors include green, blue, cyan, purple, pink, and cream in abundant variety of shades and nuances.
    Abalone, paua, and mother of pearl are all in the same shell family, but in fashion jewellery the iridescent cream-white shell is referred to as the mother of pearl,
    the predominantly green shell as the abalone, and
    the distinguishable bluish shell as paua.
    The pearls made of abalone shell are known as awabi pearls.
    Abalones are members of a large marine class of mollusks of the genus Haliotis.

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    is a twisted beading wire constructed of either 21 or 49 stainless steel wires woven together and then nylon coated.
    Twice as strong as regular tigertail, it easily withstands the abrasion of glass, mineral or metal beads.
    Accu-Flex beading wire is hypoallergenic and flexible.
    It resists kinking unless severely bent, and it is simple-to-knot and crimp.
    It comes in seven colors colors + clear(silver look) and in 4 diameters (.012" .014" .019".024" ).

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    is a bead which is larger or in other way different from other beads in a project.
    It can be a special, unique bead or a bead of unusual shape, color, or pattern.

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    is a common name for beads that have been used for centuries instead of money as currency for trade and exchange in Africa, as well as in some other parts of the world.
    In Africa, beads are symbols of wealth and social rank.
    A considerable amount of the beads labeled 'African Trade Beads' were made in the late 1700's to the 1920's and traded to Africa from some foreign land.
    The large percentage of these beads were produced in Venice, Italy and are also called mosaic cane beads.
    However, not all African trade beads are old Italian bead from Venice, some trade beads are made in Africa, and some came from Holland, Germany and Bohemia.
    There are hundreds of different types and the prices on them have risen dramatically in the last ten years.

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    Agate is a cryptocrystalline variety of chalcedony, a stone composed of quartz layers. It comes in many different varieties such as Blue Agate, Blue Lace Agate, Crazy Lace Agate, Green Agate, Indian Agate, Moss Agate, Tree Agate, and Wood Agate.
    Agate is found in a wide range of transparency/opaqueness and colors, including black, gray, brown, reddish, green, pink, blue, and yellow.
    Due to its beauty, strength and durability agate has been used for making ornamental object and jewellery for thousands of years.
    Most agate used for ornamental purposes is frequently colored by artificial means to enhance the coloration and the banding. It is porous and takes dye easily.
    Most agate is in the low price range but some special 'picture' agates, carvings and unique pieces may command higher prices. The popularity of fire agate has increased in recent years, as has its price.
    Agate has a hardness of 6.5 to 7 and a specific gravity of 2.6.
    The major sources of agate are Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, USA, Canada, Australia, Russia, Egypt, Germany, Italy, Madagascar and India.
    Agate will chip and crack rather easily. As with all gems, protect agate from scratches and sharp blows. Avoid sudden temperature changes and household chemicals.

    Alleged metaphysical properties

    Sometimes referred to as the "Stone of Balance" agate is believed to provide strength as well as the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual balance.
    Agate is reputed for its ability to awaken one's inherent talents and enhance one's perceptiveness; to stimulate analytical capacity and precision.
    This common stone is also known to foster love, abundance, wealth, good luck, longevity, acceptance, courage, harmony, generosity and appreciation of nature.
    Among crystal healers today agate has been reported to promote healing in general, to strengthen the sight and improve circulation.
    Even in ancient times, agate was highly valued as a talisman and amulet.
    It was said to quench thirst and protect from fever and any kind of danger. Wearing agate was also thought to give pleasant dreams and cure insomnia.

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    is a variety of gypsum (a mineral) which is translucent and milky white, and can be carved into beads or statues.

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    is a mineral (a type of chrysoberyl) that appears to be different colors depending on whether it is viewed in natural or artificial light. color can change from blues and greens to reds and purples.
    Alexandrite has a hardness of 8.5 and a specific gravity of 3.64-3.74.
    Laboratory-produced alexandrite is common, and it is often sold as natural alexandrite.
    The major sources of Alexandrite are in Russia, Brazil, Burma, Ceylon, and Rhodesia.

    Alleged metaphysical properties
    Alexandrite is valued as regenerating stone. It refreshes body and spirit and helps boosts confidence. Invites positive thought and spiritual insight, love, and joy.

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    is a phenomenon in which a gem appears to be different colors depending upon the type of light it is viewed in.
    Many stones exhibit the "Alexandrite Effect," including garnet and sapphire.

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    an alloy is a combination of two or more metals.
    Common alloys used in jewellery are: gold under 24 Kt (mixed with silver, copper, and/or other metals),
    sterling silver (92.5% silver, 7.5% copper), brass (roughly half copper, half zinc),
    bronze (at least 60% copper with tin and perhaps other metals), and pewter (tin, lead, antimony, and a bit of silver or copper).

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    (also spelled alpacca) is an alloy consisting of mostly copper (roughly 60 percent), and approximately 20 percent nickel, about 20 percent zinc, and about 5 percent tin.

    Although it contains no silver at all, this metal is often used as a silver substitute.

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    is a rare, iridescent stone, variety of microcline (a feldspar mineral), that ranges in color from green to blue-green.
    Most Amazonite is opaque, but rare crystals are transparent.
    Amazonite is often found with white, yellow or gray inclusions and a silky luster or silvery sheen.

    Its brilliant color was once thought to be caused by copper, but now is attributed to the presence of lead or possibly iron.
    It maintains a somewhat raw, natural texture even after polishing.
    Amazonite has a hardness of 6 and a specific gravity of 2.56-2.58., it breaks easily if faceted, and that is why it is usually set as a cabochon.
    Its name is derived from the Amazon River, although no deposits have been found there.
    Amazonite has been found among artifacts of ancient Egyptians and other Middle Eastern cultures, of Pre-Columbian Central and South America.
    Today major sources of Amazonite are found in the Ural Mountains, Colorado , Virginia, Australia, Madagascar, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

    Alleged metaphysical properties

    Among crystal healers also known as "The Balancer", amazonite is believed to have a soothing and balancing effect on the nervous system.
    It is said to inspire self acceptance, to help improves the clarity of thought, aids creative expression, and it alleviate stress.
    Helps one to analyze and sort out information.
    Facilitates joyful mood and feelings of universal love.

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    is translucent fossilized resin from ancient trees (now-extinct conifer trees and ancient pines), a natural hydrocarbon that comes in many colors, including yellow, reddish, whitish, black, and blue.
    Trees exuded the resin as a protective mechanism against disease and insect infestation, and then it hardened and became preserved in the earth's crust for millions of years.

    Most amber is 25 to 60 million years old.
    The use of amber in human adornment is nearly as old as mankind.
    Real amber is much harder than other resins and can usually be distinguished from fake by its inclusions and its ability to float in salt water.
    Major sources of this stone include the Baltic coast, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Russia and the USA.
    Amber has a hardness of 2.5 and a specific gravity of 1.05-1.10.
    It is easily scratched, and it loses its luster when exposed to alcohol or ether. Therefore, it is best to keep amber away from perfume, hair spray and other cosmetic products.
    Amber beads should be cleaned in lukewarm (not hot) water with a little dishwashing liquid. Dry with a soft cotton cloth. Afterward, it's helpful to rub on a little vegetable oil.

    Alleged metaphysical properties
    Sometimes referred to as the "Mindful One" amber is believed to be of special help for persons who get depressed easily or suffer from overwhelming negativity;
    it helps calm the nerves and revitalize the spirit.
    Excellent talisman, amber is said to bring luck and protect the wearer from evil.
    It is reputed for it's ability to absorb and transform negative energy.

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    is a highly prized macrocrystalline variety of the mineral quartz.
    It can range in color from pale lavender to deep purple. Deeper-colored amethysts are more highly valued.
    The purple color of amethyst is due to small amounts of iron impurities at specific sites in the crystal structure of quartz.
    Amethyst is formed in silica-rich liquids deposited in gas cavities (geodes) in lava. Though geodes are the best place to locate amethysts, they also sometimes grow as stalactites.
    Keeping the stones away from long, direct daylight exposure will help maintain their rich purple color.
    The original color of amethyst can usually be restored by X-ray radiation.
    The difference between amethyst and citrine is only the oxidation state of the iron impurities present in the quartz.
    Upon heating, the iron impurities are reduced and amethyst's purple color fades and becomes yellow to reddish-orange (citrine), green, or colorless depending on the amount of iron impurities present and the amount and duration of the heating.
    At the present, it is not possible to determine whether or not an amethyst or citrine was synthetically irradiated or heated.
    Synthetic amethysts are hard to distinguish from the real stone too.
    Amethyst has a hardness of 7 and specific gravity is 2.65.
    Major sources are found in Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia, Argentina, USA, Zambia, Namibia and other African countries.
    Amethyst has been used in ornamental objects for thousands of years.

    Alleged metaphysical properties

    sometimes referred to as "The Elevator", amethyst is considered to be the stone of spirituality and contentment, bringing serenity and calm, assisting with the transformation of negative energy into positive.
    Amethyst is said to enhance one's ability to assimilate new ideas.
    It is thought to heal, stabilize, ground and calm, while bringing about strength, mental stability and greater sense of awareness.It helps alleviate feelings of victimization and keeps one well grounded.
    On a physical level amethyst is believed to be an exceptional blood cleaner and energizer.
    Amethyst is reputed to facilitate self healing, to help remove toxins from the body and strengthen the immune system.
    It also said to be useful in treating a number of disorders including those of the digestive system, heart, nervous system, skin and hearing and to help provide relief from pain.
    Some crystal healers claim that amethyst has particularly good effect on the right brain activity.The ancient Greeks believed that amethyst made one immune to the effects of alcohol.
    In ancient cultures, amethyst amulets were worn as antidotes against poison, to dispel sleep, as protection against harm in battle and to sharpen one's wits.
    The name amethyst comes from the Greek word amethustos which means - not drunken.
    The early Greeks believed that amethyst would protect one from the effects of drunkenness when consuming alcohol.For this reason, wine goblets often were carved from it!
    In medieval times, amethyst was still credited with protecting one from the effects of drunkenness, both of the cup and also from the intoxicating effects of being in love.
    Leonardo Da Vinci wrote that amethyst had the power to dissipate evil thoughts and quicken intelligence.

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    is an object (jewellery or ornament) commonly worn on the body, carried within the clothing, or kept in a certain place within the house or any other place place as a protective charm.
    The term 'amulet' also indicates a medical treatment and a substance used in medicine.
    It is worn in the hope of protecting the wearer from evil or illness, cure disease, give strength or to bring the wearer good luck.
    It is often inscribed with a magic incantation or symbol with magical significance.
    A magical formula (charm) may be recited over an amulet, which may then itself be referred to as a charm.
    Amulets have been treated as goods to trade in several cultures.

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    is a container for an amulet.
    It can be worn around the neck, upper arm, wrist, waist, ankle, or other body part.

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    is a frequently used term indicating all pre-Roman and ancient Roman glass.

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    is a process of carefully re-heating and slowly cooling a completed glass object in an special part of the glass furnace.
    This relieves the internal stresses, resulting in a piece which should last for many years.
    Glass which has not been annealed will usually at least crack, and can shatter due to a seemingly minor temperature change or other shock.

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    is the process of heating a metal and then cooling it to make it more workable.
    As metal is worked (hammered, rolled, etc.), stresses make the metal brittle (the metal molecules are pulled into random structures during the working).
    Annealing the metal make the metal re-crystallize, putting the molecules in an orderly structure.
    The temperature (and amount of time it takes) for annealing a metal depends on what metal or alloy it is.
    Large pieces are annealed in an annealing oven; small pieces are annealed using a blow-torch.

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    is a pale pink coral, from deep sea.
    Angelskin coral is one of the most valued colors of coral.

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    is a fashion jewellery item designed to go around the ankle.
    The common length of a an anklet is 22 - 23 cm or 9 inches.

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    is metal that has been through an electrochemical process which changes the molecular structure of the surface layer and causes a controlled oxidation of the metal's surface to occur, giving it a thin, protective film with lustrous sheen.
    The anodizing process can produce colorful surfaces.
    Aluminum is often anodized, as is magnesium, titanium, and tantalum.

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    is a bead which is more than 90-100 years old.

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    is transparent to translucent precious stone belonging to the beryl family of stones.
    The color of aquamarine is due to trace amounts of iron impurities in the beryl structure.
    The color ranges from pale green to pale blue to blue depending on the relative concentrations of iron impurities and the position of such impurities within the beryl crystal structure.
    The more intense the color of this stone, the higher its value.
    Lower-grade aquamarine tends to have many inclusions and numerous opaque areas, while high-quality aquamarine is usually free of inclusions and possesses a superior brilliance.
    Heating green-blue aquamarine to approximately 300 degrees Celsius reduces the visibilities of iron impurities, thereby eliminating the yellow and green colors leaving only the pure blue color that is most popular today.
    Irradiation can reverse this process restoring the yellow and green colors.
    Aquamarines are usually faceted but when they are cabochon cut, a cat's eye effect or asterism may appear.
    Aquamarine is a hard gemstone, it has a hardness of 7.5-8 and specific gravity is 2.68-2.85.
    The best examples come from Brazil, other sources include India, Russia, Mozambique, Madagascar, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
    The name aquamarine is of Latin origin meaning sea water in allusion to its color.
    It is best to store aquamarine beads in a dark place, as they often become paler if left out in the sun.
    Also it is worth noting that sometimes (much cheaper) blue topazes are being sold as aquamarines.

    Alleged metaphysical properties

    Sometimes referred to as the "Stone of Courage" and sometimes as the "Serene One" aquamarine is believed to be a good physical, mental, emotional and spiritual balancer helping release anger and negativity replacing them with mental peace and clarity.
    Aquamarine accelerates the intellect and shields the wearer from harm.
    It is reputed to inspire love, peace and serenity.
    Aquamarine is also said to facilitate meditation, creativity and self expression.
    On a physical level aquamarine is used to help clean the body of toxins and reduce dependence on drugs.

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    is descriptive term for a style of decorative arts, evocative of an era (1920-30) of flourishing creativity and abundant vision promoting the unification of the decorative arts with that of industry.
    The style is characterized by repetitive, geometric patterns of curves and lines and is based on modern materials such as steel, chrome, platinum and glass.
    Art Deco jewellery pieces are characterized by bold colors and angular geometric lines and shapes. Jewellery from this period is clear and functional. It was predominantly crafted in white gold or platinum.
    During this epoch diamonds were used more then generously. Often, several hundred of diamonds were combined with gems such as aquamarine, citrine or onyx in one single geometric design.
    Architecture, interior design, fashion, jewellery and furniture in the Art Deco style all display an unmista.k.a.ble style and flamboyance.

    The style influenced all aspects of the era's art and architecture, as well as the decorative, graphic, and industrial arts. It is considered to be eclectic, being influenced by a variety of sources.
    Works executed in the art deco style range from skyscrapers and ocean liners to toasters, furniture, jewellery and accessories such as the elegant glass works of René Lalique.
    The style originated in Paris, its name deriving from the World's fair held inn Paris France in 1925 (formally titled L' Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes), and was widely spread in Europe and the USA during the 1920s and 1930s.

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    is a term indicating several types of high grade decorative glass with newly developed surface textures, colors nuances, or casing, produced in the last quarter of the 19th Century in Europe, Great Britain, and the USA.
    Today the term art glass is used for various forms of high quality handcrafted ornamental glass, beads and ornaments.

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    was a late branch of the Art Deco style.
    The style emphasized flowing forms, long horizontal lines, and sometimes nautical elements (such as railings and porthole windows). It reached its height in 1937.

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    a.k.a. Jugendstil
    is an art movement and decorative style, prevalent between 1895 to 1905.
    It is characterized by dynamic, flowing, sinuous lines and stylized naturalistic and floral designs based on organic forms.
    There are wide variations in the style according to where it appeared and the materials that were employed.
    In jewellery Art Nouveau movement played important role in revitalizing jewellery art, with nature as the principal source of inspiration, complemented by new levels of virtuosity in enameling and the introduction of new materials, such as opals and semi-precious stones.
    In many of the enameled work of the period precious stones receded.
    Diamonds were usually given subsidiary roles, used alongside less familiar materials such as moulded glass, horn and ivory.
    The widespread interest in Japanese art and the more specialized enthusiasm for Japanese metalworking skills, fostered new themes and approaches to ornament.
    For the previous two centuries the emphasis in fine jewellery had been on gemstones, particularly on the diamond, and the jeweller or goldsmith had been principally concerned with providing settings for their advantage.
    Now a completely different type of jewellery was emerging, motivated by the artist-designer jeweller rather than the jeweller as merchant.
    It was the gold- and silversmiths of Paris and Brussels who created and defined Art Nouveau in jewellery.
    They were keen to establish the new style in a noble tradition, and for this they looked back to the Renaissance, with its jewels of sculpted and enameled gold, and its acceptance of gold and silver smiths as artists rather than craftsmen.
    Contemporary French critics were united in acknowledging that jewellery was undergoing a radical transformation, and that the French designer-jeweller and glass artist René Lalique was at its heart.
    Lalique glorified nature in jewellery, extending the repertory to include new aspects of nature, dragonflies or grasses, inspired by his intelligent encounter with Japanese art.
    Glass making was an area in which the style found tremendous expression, for example, the works of Louis Comfort Tiffany in New York and Émile Gallé and the Daum brothers in Nancy, France.
    Art Nouveau is also known as Jugendstil and Yellow Book Style.
    Today Art Nouveau is viewed as a forerunner of the most innovative cultural movements of the 20th century, such as expressionism, cubism, surrealism, and Art Deco.

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    is a star-like luminous effect that reflects light in some gemstones, like star sapphires and star garnets.

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    also called Northern lights
    is a term that indicates a special iridescent surface finish on glass beads, crystals, rhinestone and synthetic gems.
    The iridescence is a result of a very thin layer of metallic atoms placed on the lower surface of the bead.
    This process was invented in 1955 by the Swarovski company together with Christian Dior.

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    Austria is famous for its lead crystal.
    The developer of Austrian crystal was Daniel Swarovski, born in the 1850's.
    Austrian crystal has a very high lead content, about 32%, which not only clarifies the glass but increases the index of refraction (the sparkle).
    The faceting in combination with the increased light transmission produces the diamond like effect.
    The cutting of these beads is still something of a secret. The lead content also makes this product very brittle...it chips very easily.
    Vintage for this product means pre 1963.

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    a.k.a. Aventurine Orthoclase, Heliolite, Aventurine Feldspar
    is a gemstone that varies in color from golden to orange to red-brown, and can be transparent or translucent.
    This bright, sparkling stone is formed in molten lava and then discharged onto the surface of the earth by a volcano.
    As the lava weathers away or is broken up, crystals are released.
    Sunstone is metallic-looking due to sparkling red, orange or green crystalline inclusions (these are hematite or goethite crystals).
    Many sunstones also contain copper or pyrite inclusions, giving an extra flash of light; the darker stones contain larger amounts of copper.
    Sunstone is usually not enhanced.
    This brittle stone has a hardness of 6 and a specific gravity of 2.63 - 2.67.
    Major sources are found in Canada, USA, India, Norway, and Russia.

    Alleged metaphysical properties
    Sunstone is reputed to strengthen the life force and increase strength and vitality, offering an energizing and uplifting presence.
    It is believed to bring luck, instill optimism, evoke qualities of independence, warding off any negativity or feelings of stress, anxiety or fear.
    Among crystal healers it is used as a tool to help release stubborn or stagnated energy blocks, helping energy flow clearly and easily again.
    It might lend extra physical energy in times of stress or ill health and is believed specially beneficial to the liver and kidneys.

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    (sometimes spelled - adventurine glass)

    a.k.a. Goldstone
    is a shimmering glass that contains tiny metallic particles (copper flakes) within it.
    The process of making aventurine glass was invented in Venice, Italy, around 1700.
    As for how the glass obtained its name, tradition has it that a Murano workman accidentally dropped some copper filings in molten glass, creating an attractive new material.
    And so the glass was named aventurine for the Italian word a ventura, or "by chance."

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    is opaque, shimmering gemstone; a form of chalcedony that ranges in color from yellow to reddish brown to pale green to light brown.
    The mineral aventurine takes its name from the well-known aventurine glass of Venice, Italy, which it resembles.
    The glistening effect known as aventurescence is caused by various shiny mineral and tiny metallic particles (spangles of mica or iron oxide) within the stone.
    Aventurine is found in India, Brazil, China, Japan, Russia, Tanzania and USA, (India producing the majority).
    The green aventurine on the market, as well as the red and blue, is almost certainly dyed to achieve its color.

    Alleged metaphysical properties
    Aventurine is considered to help motivate and refine positive attitudes and inspire independence.

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    the Japanese name for abalone pearls is Awabi pearls.

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    is a beautiful copper-based deep-blue mineral that is often used in jewellery.
    Azurite is usually associated with malachite (another copper-based mineral), which it resembles except in color.

    Malachite and azurite are actually chemical twins; aside from color, their only difference is that azurite holds less water than malachite.

    Because of this close association, it's rare to find one of these stones without the other.

    When the two minerals are very closely blended in one rock, the stone is called azurmalachite.

    Azurite is sometimes coated with a colorless wax or impregnated with plastic in order to enhance the color and increase the hardness.

    It has a hardness of 3.5 to 4 (relatively soft) and a specific gravity of 3.7 to 3.9.

    Major sources of azurite are found in Australia, USA, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Congo, Zaire, China, Russia, France and many parts of Europe.

    Alleged metaphysical properties

    Azurite has long been known as a "Stone of Heaven" and was used in many ancient cultures to help contact divine consciousness.

    Even today, azurite is considered to heighten one's insight and wisdom; to enhance prophesy and divination.

    Azurite is considered a powerful help for anyone trying to achieve meditative state.

    Among ayurvedic healers azurite is sometimes referred to as the "Decision Maker".

    It is thought to enhance bodily well-being, intellectual receptivity, to fortify the memory and intuition, to inspires creativity and help re-evaluate one's beliefs.

    On the physical level azurite is believed to aid the power of healing, to strengthen the blood, and facilitate improved energy flow through the nervous system by helping the body utilize its oxygen.

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