Chalcedony, from the Latin Chalcedonian, is a very popular semi-precious gemstone that can be used widely for jewelry for decorative purposes. It purportedly has many healing benefits, bringing inner peace, soothing emotions, and improving physical health.
1. What is Chalcedony Gemstone?
A chalcedony gemstone is actually a form of microcrystalline quartz. That means on the inside; it is made up of tiny crystals that you can't see with the naked eye, which are very compact and come in a variety of colors and patterns. The term chalcedony usually applies to a specific type of translucent gemstone, but it applies to any and all varieties of microcrystalline quartz.
2. What Gemstone Family does Chalcedony belong to?
Chalcedony comes from the quartz family. It is very popular because you can find it in every color. It has excellent wearability, a hardness level of 7, isn't sensitive to heat (in fact, significant heat can change the color of a chalcedony stone to a reddish hue because of the iron), and has a wide range of luster and transparency.
All of this means it's perfect for jewelry, you can find any color to match any outfit or serve any natural healing purpose, and you get to pick the luster or transparency of your gemstone.
3. Where is Chalcedony from?
Chalcedony forms when silica gel combines with low temperatures. Silica gel comes from sedimentary and volcanic rocks. Silica can also create Chalcedony in fossilization, which means Chalcedony is a very popular gemstone because it can be found all over the world. The biggest sources of Chalcedony today include:
- California and Oregon
Where it comes from dictates how expensive the Chalcedony is because the location might be associated with very specific colors.
4. When was the first Chalcedony Gemstone discovered?
Chalcedony seals used for making wax seal carvings have been discovered by archaeologists dating back to 1800 BC. Chalcedony was an ideal material because the wax did not stick to the gemstone's surface. These chalcedony seals were used at the Palace of Knossos during the Bronze Age of the Minoan people, or modern-day Crete.
Chalcedony rings have been discovered along the Central Asian trade routes and uncovered in traditional seals for knives in ancient Afghanistan.
5. What are the different types of Chalcedony?
Chalcedony is actually the source of many gemstones used for earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and other costume jewelry. You will also find different types of Chalcedony in animal carvings. You will find a wide range of different types of Chalcedony, all of which are categorized based on their color properties and, in some cases, the direction of the patterns across the gemstone.
This is a banded form of Chalcedony. It has lovely, translucent color patterns. The best part is that each agate is unique with distinct styles. You might find translucent finely-grained bands running across the gray, white, and blue gemstone. The bands are what distinguish it from other forms of Chalcedony.
Blue Chalcedony is the most famous for jewelry. It almost looks like a floating piece of sky carved into a ring, necklace, or bracelet. You can find dark blue, light blue with pink Hues inside, and a variety of translucent variations.
Some blue chalcedony is called African blue because it originates from Namibia and has a pure blue ranging from a grayish blue all the way to a medium dark blue. California and Nevada have Mohave and Mt. Airy Blues, respectively, which are grayish Blues ranging to a light blue color. The most valuable, however, comes from Oregon, and it contains slightly noticeable levels of lavender or pink, earning the name Holly Blue.
Carnelian refers to any variety of Chalcedony that has red to amber red translucent qualities.
This type of Chalcedony has a sheen on top. It is sometimes called the tiger's eye, zebra's tiger eye, or even hawk's eye, depending on the stone's color. Tiger's eye might take on a reddish, brown, or gold hue. Hawk's eye is often a blue stone, and a zebra tiger's eye is usually blue and gold.
This is an apple-green variety. It looks very similar to find Jade because it is often featured with nickel coloration running through the translucent green.
Dinosaur bone is literally silicide dinosaur bone containing primarily Chalcedony. Gem cutters can usually polish this into beautiful gems that showcase different patterns and colors like green, pink, orange, brown, or red.
Flint and Chert
This type is often opaque and white or dull gray in color. ChalcedonyBecause it's more compact, it's often used for arrowheads, driveways, or other commercial purposes. Rarely will you find this form of chalcedony as a gemstone.
Jasper is an opaque version of Chalcedony and comes in wide varieties, usually red, brown, or yellow in color. Jasper is multicolored, and just like agate, it always has unique patterns in the hexagonal crystal system. It's usually striped, rings, spotted, or mottled. Jasper is actually old enough that it is mentioned in the Bible and similar classical sources.
Onyx chalcedony is any version that has solid black, white or banded and layered black and white colors.
Plasma is a dark green variety usually containing yellow or white spots.
This is a transparent or translucent version of Chalcedony ranging from light green to emerald green.
Finally, this form of chalcedony gemstone is usually somewhere between Sard and Carnelian with its brownish or brownish red color.
6. What zodiac sign does Chalcedony pair with?
Chalcedony is used for the May birthstone, which is associated with the Gemini zodiac sign. Geminis born from May 21st through June 20th often thrive at social events and are comfortable as social butterflies. Chalcedony can help balance these strengths and complement the weaknesses. Chalcedony promotes companionship, supports healthy relationships, and provides emotional stability and Goodwill, perfect for your average social butterfly.
Chalcedony is also a good match for the Sagittarius. Sagittarians are usually fair-minded, honest, and optimistic people, so the chalcedony stone can amplify these positive aspects and help bring balance to them in social situations.
Similarly, Virgos are usually systematic, logical, and practical. Chalcedony can pair well with the Virgo zodiac sign helping to achieve emotional balance, remove negativity, and assist in self-care.
7. Is Chalcedony expensive? Can it be expensive?
Chalcedony can be affordable or expensive. The price can vary from a few dollars per carat to over $100 per carat, depending on the type of Chalcedony you choose. Blue Chalcedony is the most popular, so the more transparent the blue gemstone and the fewer inclusions, the more expensive it will be. However, many of the other colors, especially those that are red or brown, are much more affordable.
As mentioned, the location of the Chalcedony can influence the color, which influences the cost. Very expensive Chalcedony often comes from Oregon in the United States, but cheaper versions of Chalcedony that are not as brightly blue in their color and patterns come from places like Mexico and Russia.
8. What does Chalcedony symbolize in terms of healing benefits?
Chalcedony symbolizes stability and is thought to generate emotional stability and protection and strengthen brotherhood or social bonds. The blue chalcedony gemstone is particularly popular for its natural healing elements and how it ties directly to the sky.
Chalcedony absorbs negative forces like depressive thoughts and helps nourish your mind and body. Even if you are wearing a black, white, or red stone, it is said that Chalcedony can help treat skin problems and improve digestion.
In feng shui, Chalcedony is most popular in the form of a necklace worn around the throat chakra. The throat chakra is your source of inner truth and outward expression but also for stability and balance, all things that can be heightened by wearing the chalcedony stone.
Tip: It is believed that placing a gemstone directly on a given chakra will amplify the healing results. So putting a chalcedony stone directly on your throat chakra can help promote positivity, communication, and relationships.
9. How to tell if a Chalcedony Gemstone is fake?
Chalcedony will scratch glass, so you can easily check by rubbing it against a scratchplate.
If you have a microscope, you can look for the conchoidal fractures and fine grains inside the micro crystallized quartz, but the scratchplate test is much easier.
10. How to properly care for Chalcedony Gemstone
If you have chalcedony gemstones of any type, you should clean them at least once per month. To do this, you can run your gemstone under warm water or take a clean cloth moistened with warm water to dab over the jewelry.