A substance's hardness is its resistance to scratches. Hardness is measured using the Mohs Scale of Hardness.
    In the Mohs scale, one substance is harder than another if it can scratch it.

    back to top


    are pins that end with a flat head at one end of the pin to keep the beads from falling.
    They come in various lengths and thicknesses. Usually, the longer the pin, the thicker it is.

    Paddle pins are pins that end with a long, paddle-shaped head. Eye pins are pins that end with a preformed loop instead of a head.

    back to top


    (pronounced he-she) is a type of small disk or tube shaped bead that comes in a variety of sizes.
    Heishi beads were originally made from shell and stone thousands of years ago in a labour intensive process of cutting and grinding. This is an ancient form of bead-making developed by the Pueblos of North America.

    Today, metal heishi is usually cast. Heishi beads can be used to make necklaces with a heavy roped appearance, or they can be used individually as spacers to create a variety of effects.

    back to top


    a.k.a. Hematine, Hemalike

    s a synthetic hematite that is made by grinding up hematite, adding a binder (glue) and then press-molding it.
    The stone is sometimes faceted.
    Hemalyke looks very much like natural hematite - it is very difficult to tell them apart.

    back to top


    is a lustrous, opaque, blue-black to silvery gray shiny mineral that almost looks like metal. It is often used in jewellery.
    Hematite is iron oxide, it displays no cleavage, and it is splintery and granular in fracture.  It has a hardness of 5.5 to 6.5, and a specific gravity of 4.95 to 5.16.

    It is found in England, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Mexico, Australia, Brazil, and USA.

    When powdered, hematite is red in color.

    True hematite leaves a red streak when scratched across a piece of unglazed porcelain, while the simulated products usually leave a gray streak.

    Most mass-produced hematite beads on the market today are the simulated product. The simulated material and the genuine are almost identical in look and feel.

    Hematite is often used as beads and is faceted, carved or cut as a cabochon for use as a gemstone.

    The simulated material is much easier to produce in detailed shapes, and looks and feels like the real material, but it is less potent for purposes of healing.

    In the past, native Americans used hematite to make red face paint.

    Even until recently, cosmetic blush powder contained ground hematite.

    Alleged metaphysical properties

    Sometimes referred to as the " Mental Mastery Stone " hematite is reputed to enhance mental clarity & focus, intuition, concentration and memory.

    It is believed to inspire inner life, to enhance one's physical energy and vitality, to calm emotions and boost self-esteem.

    It has long been used as a stone for grounding and protection, and even today is considered one of the most grounding of all stones.

    Many crystal healers associate hematite with blood and use it for treating blood-related illnesses such as anaemia, cardiovascular disorders, menstrual problems, nose bleeds, kidney and liver disorders.

    Hematite can assist in purification of blood and the circulatory systems.

    Some say that if hematite if kept close while traveling can help to prevent jet lag.

    Hematite has been used for thousands of years as amulets and talismans.

    The ancient Egyptians used hematite to treat hysteria, to reduce inflammation and used to place it in tombs.

    Hematite was also used as an inscription stone for passages from the Book of the Dead.

    back to top


    is a beading stitch in which the beads are sewn together so that they make a texture resembling the chevrons in herringbone fabric.

    back to top


    is a soft, white to gray mineral that takes dye very easily, and can be dyed to imitate turquoise very well (and is sometimes unscrupulously sold as turquoise).

    This versatile stone is named after Henry How, a 19th century geologist/mineralogist, who found it first in Nova Scotia.

    Howlite is found in continental evaporite deposits with other borate and evaporite minerals. It forms in nodules that appear like the heads of cauliflower; crystals faces on the nodules are rare.

    Veins of black web-like streaks often are interlaced throughout the nodules, adding to their character.

    Slabs of howlite are often painted with scenes and designs that make artistic use of these veins.

    Howlite has a hardness of 3.5, and specific gravity is approximately 2.5 - 2.6.

    Notable occurrences are found in Canada and USA.

    This stone should be kept away from acids, solvents, rough handling and prolonged exposure to strong light.

    Alleged metaphysical properties

    Stone of memory, knowledge, and progress, howlite is said to encourage and enhance watchfulness, observation, discernment, patience and refinement.

    It is also thought to help decrease an overly critical state of mind, selfishness, and rudeness.

    On a physical level howlite is used to aid memory retention, to help reduce pain, stress and anger.

    Some crystal healers use it for strengthening teeth and bone structure.

    back to top