AVENTURINE GLASS, or Goldstone is widely adored for the way it glitters in the light. It looks as though it contains the stars of the night. It comes in a handful of colors including deep blue, green and purple. The most common is red (pictured above).
It’s composed of SiO2 Silicon Dioxide, metallic copper crystals, cobalt, manganese and/or chromium. It is formed by combining silica, copper oxide, and other metal oxides. These are heated together, allowed to crystallize, then are cooled. Once it is cooled, it can be cut, carved, shaped and polished. With MOHS hardness of 5.5-7, it cuts easily and polishes well with tin or cerium oxide. There are some helpful tips to know when slabbing this material, which we’ll share a little further into this blog. Firstly,
Did you know that Goldstone does not have any gold in it? Nor is it a rock from out of the earth.
It is actually made from glass. Hence it’s alternative name, “aventurine glass”, from the Italian word avventurina (meaning “adventure” or “chance”). One of the original manufacturing processes for it was created by the acclaimed Miotti family. They lived in seventeenth-century Venice. There are also urban legends that claim it was an accidental discovery by unspecified Italian monks, or possibly the product of alchemists. There is, however, no pre-Miotti documentation to confirm these claims. There is also a Goldstone amulet from 12th to 13th-century Persia. This now resides in a collection at the University of Pennsylvania. This shows that other, earlier artisans than the Miotti family were also making the material!
How Goldstone is made
The proper curation of Goldstone is a bit complex. It has to be heated to just the right temperature, with low oxidation. It is during this stage that the metallic crystals are formed. These crystals must grow to the right size without falling to the bottom of the crucible. If this happens, one is left with mere solid glass. If too much oxygen is used while heating, the copper can take on a greenish tinge. If the hot glass is not kept at the correct temperature, the copper crystals can melt. Finally, the cooling stage is done in a low-oxygen environment, and very slowly. This ensures that the copper crystals remain evenly distributed, and it does not crack. Once it has crystallized and cooled, it comes out of the vat in a large mass. The outer layers of a batch tend to have duller colors, larger or non-reflective particles, and a more opaque-looking glass. These outer layers are probably where some of the less expansive material for sale comes from. (They don’t have as much flash.)
(Goldstone cabochons pictured above)
Today, much of the Goldstone being sold as gem and lapidary material is coming from factories in China
How to cut Goldstone yourself
If you want to slice up your own rough of Goldstone, remember that you’re working with glass! There will likely be some sharp edges to deal with, so use precaution. It also might be trial and error at first with placing it into the vice. Mike, our partner who cuts for us, has been running saws for more than 15 years. He sliced up the ones for sale on our website. This was his first time ever working with this material, actually. The first couple slabs were not very sparkly. When he put it back in at a different angle they started to come out MUCH better. So if your first cut or two turn out dull, try repositioning it. It does sound as though this can sometimes be the nature of Goldstone; depending on how the manufacturing process goes, the copper might solidify more densely in certain areas than others. If anyone knows more about this, please feel free to comment below.
From doing some deeper digging around online, and was pleased to come across other tips and advice. Here we have experience from The Canadian Rockhound, found on the Victoria Lapidary and Mineral Society website:
“Mica flakes provide the chatoyancy and they are arranged within the piece in parallel form but there are also flow lines probably made by stirring the molten mixture and they are seldom straight. They may and often do change from slab to slab. Therefore special care has to be taken. A method to use in sawing slabs is to check each one as it is cut before the next is done. As soon as one begins to get a recognizable variation in chatoyancy take the piece out of the saw vise and re-orient it before proceeding. occasionally in bad pieces this may have to be done after every second slab, though. just as occasionally one may saw the whole piece without having to re-orient. If one doesn’t check after each slab one could wind up with the majority of slabs being improperly oriented which in Goldstone is a disaster. So the important point is to check often as sawing progresses to avoid disappointments later. Better yet is to watch for the flaw lines of the material when buying; If violent curvature exists in them the possibility of having good orientation is virtually impossible.” A BIG Thank You! to the Canadian Rockhound for your tips.
Also note that if you cut it thin enough, it will pass a lot of light through it, if that’s an effect you’d want to go for:
In a nutshell, be careful when handling (sharp edges), maybe check after every slab or two for consistency, and re-orient as needed.
A perfect way to wield the power and potential of this stone (in any of the colors) is to hold, admire, and declare to yourself “I SPARKLE LIKE THE UNIVERSE!!!”
Oh, you DO! You are a UNIQUE, ONE-OF-A-KIND-EXPRESSION of God -or whatever you choose to call a ‘higher power’, where everything came from, or is connected to.
You are invaluable, priceless, and eternally ADORED for how your life choices are expanding the Universe right now. (And the more joy you feel, the more you are OWNING and embodying that expansion!) We are holy children of the Divine. If you’re reading this, you probably have your own sense of that! and Welcome to Copper Canyon Lapidary. ALLOW this stone to infuse your awareness with the calm and perfection that is already taking place, both inside and soon even more outside of you. Let it spark an influx of truthful thoughts about yourself. (You are good. You’re in the perfect place to launch into something better. You cannot get it “wrong”. And you’re never going to get it all done. So R E L A X.) This is a stone for expanding the mind in the capacity to see for yourself, just how ‘normal’ it can be for miracles, deeper calm, and BIG DREAMS to keep blossoming before your very eyes.
Blue Goldstone is said to be the stone of confidence and ambition, encouraging Divine inspiration and the energy to see things through. It promotes vitality. Physically speaking, it has the same attributes as copper, helping soothe conditions of the joints, and reducing stomach complaints that stem from anxiety, as well as easing headaches/migraines.
Use Blue Goldstone to make a wish! And remember- The Universe never says “no”. It only knows “YES!” Hold and gaze upon this stone to uplift your energy and outlook on life. Hold your vibe high and keep open to SEE your numerous blessings today, by carrying some in your pocket or wearing it as jewelry. Or after quieting your mind a little, focus on this stone and say “Thank you for the great luck I am generating. WOW.” Spend merely a minute or two feeling “WoW.” When looking at and admiring this stone, it can help you tap into that vibration and FEEL it. Be happy (and proud of yourself!) for taking the time to deliberately train your vibration to a higher state. Practice daily, and prepare do be DAZZLED. Keep a piece with your resume, or set one at your work desk to increase job opportunities or advancements in your career. If you are an actor, performer, speaker, or work in media and want to gain that “big break” to fame, keep this around you. It is also a helpful aid for comforting children who are afraid of the dark. Place one by the bedside or under their pillow. As is common with blue stones, it is associated with the throat chakra.
PHYSICAL/EMOTIONAL/SPIRITUAL USES: animal healing, arthritis, bone health, circulatory system, restoring and balancing your energy, the eyes, headache and migraine relief, inflammation, the joints, nervous system regeneration, stomach stuff/constipation/diarrhea, ambition (Receiving your impulses Source), calming, courage, focus, positivity and optimism, Self-confidence and Self worth, uplifting! Enhances Intuition, clearer communication and psychic-abilities
Red Goldstone, as with any stone of copper content, is said to generate warming pain relief. It is also associated with wealth, health and abundance. Goldstone is said to promote vitality, and help to lift anxious people to a happier mindset.The sparkles of Red Goldstone are symbolic of the light that can always be found in the darkness. Use Red Goldstone when you feel lost, either literally or emotionally.
PHYSICAL/EMOTIONAL/SPIRITUAL USES: Allergies, Arthritis, Bone health & concerns, Circulatory issues, Increase Metabolism, Decrease inflammation, Joint pain, Nervous system regeneration and healing, Overall pain relief, Skin infections and irritations, Stomach problems/Constipation/Diarrhea, Advancement in work or responsibilities, Ambition, Calming, Courage, Focus, Intuition, Positivity and optimism, Promotes confidence, Uplifting, Enhances psychic abilities, Psychic communication
Green Goldstone has a meaning and properties of healing your heart. It can help you recover any mental damage and lets you get back to feeling Who You Really Are= Good! Use this color to help lift you out of despair, restore your hope, and move you into a better future.Sparkling Green Goldstone connects with the Heart Chakra and is especially good for emotional healing. The copper contained in Goldstone makes it very effective for physical healing, especially for pain and inflammation.
PHYSICAL/EMOTIONAL/SPIRITUAL USES: Arthritis, Bone health, Circulatory problems, Energy-balancing and restoration (Adrenal), Headache and migraine relief, Heart, Inflammation, Joint pain and health, Nervous system regeneration and healing, Abundance and prosperity, Ambition, Calming, Courage, Focus, Insight, Positivity and optimism, Confidence, Enhances psychic abilities, Psychic communication, Spiritual awareness
We hope you enjoyed this post! Thank you to geology.com for providing a lot of great information (and photos) for it. There are many more topics we have lined up to blog about, including equipment recommendations and more lapidary tips. Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org with topic requests.
ROCK ON, ~Angela