Collected at Jackson Cross Mine

Treasure from Jackson Crossroads Mine

I was reading about lavender gemstones and thought, “Lavender, isn’t that a plant?”

Further reading discovered what they were really talking about.   Amethyst,the most precious gemstone within the quartz group. Ranging in color from pale lilac to deep reddish purple. this beautiful stone has the ability to transform lower energy into higher energy at all levels of mind, body and spirit.  A great healer, just holding a natural amethyst for several minutes, calms one’s spirit and encourages positive thoughts.

There is an amethyst mine in Georgia  where one can pay $25. for the day to actually go digging in the mine   Here is one treasure found in one of there dump piles.  The mine in question is: Jackson Crossroads Amethyst Mine, Tignall, Georgia.  Owner: terry Ledford

In ancient times the Greeks and Romans believed amethyst protected them from drunkenness, so they made lavender goblets and wore amethyst stones.  The word amethyst comes from the Greek word amethystos, meaning” not drunken” There are even myths about Greek Gods using the stone.

It is the traditional birthstone for February, and the lavender or violet variety of Quartz.  It owes it’s purple color to irradiation and iron impurities as well as trace elements causing complex crystal shapes(lattice) At the same hardness as quartz,it is excellent for jewelry. Amethyst also produces something called FAR Infrared Rays.  These rays can revitalize the biological function of your cells, increasing the bodies healing power.  they also can be used for anti- bacterial agents and purifying the air. ( Resource:  Professional massage therapists are now using amethyst mats and tables in their clinics.  ( I know of one therapist who would actually rather sleep on her amethyst massage table then in her bed.)

South Africa amethyst

The stone can be found in many countries, Austria, Russia, South America.  One of the largest mines is in Zambia in South Africa.    In North America it is found in many US states, as well as in Ontario and Nova Scotia in Canada.

The largest North American mine is in Thunder Bay Ontario.  Discovered in 1955 when a road to a forest fire look-out was being built. It has been in production ever since .  It also allows  “pick your own” from their dump piles like the one in Georgia.

Amethyst Mine Panorama has 60-7 0 years of reserves and will be providing amethyst  for many years to come. The exceptional variety of amethyst crystals makes Amethyst Mine Panorama well worth visiting!

Amethyst Mine Panarama, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Here is a legend from the Panarama mine at

(Being Canadian, I just had to add it here.  Of course, the same legend, in various forms, is all over the world)

Millions of years ago the great wine god Bacchus was angered by the insults of man. He vowed to let his man-eating tigers destroy the first human they could catch.

A beautiful princess named Amethyst was travelling from the shores of Thunder Bay to worship at the shrine of the goddess Diana on the highest hilltop. Hearing the beasts roar, she climbed up to Elbow Lake hoping to escape by canoe. No canoe could be found and alas, Amethyst believed she would be killed.

Amethyst quickly climbed into a nearby crystal cave praying for help. The goddess Diana, hearing the maiden’s prayer, sealed the princess safely into the cave.

Bacchus, now remorseful and ashamed, poured red wine on the cave. The wine stained all the crystals in the cave, creating the beautiful gemstone Amethyst and freeing the princess.

So strong is this legend that people all over the world believe the gods guarantee the wearer of Amethyst will always be healthy and protected from the results of over-indulgence.

These brilliant purple colored gems are still mined today in the cave at Amethyst Mine Panorama.

I am already planning an amethyst digging holiday.

But for now I will just visit with Fire Mountain.

Resources;  wikipedia,,,: Jackson Crossroads Amethyst Mine,

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Banded Malachite


Malachite is a beautiful, intense, green mineral that has banded masses taking the color from emerald green to a much lighter green.  The banded stones are highly sought after and come mostly from Africa.

This banded piece comes from the Copper Queen mine in Bisbee Arizona.  The mine is now closed but there are tours available.

The name Malachite comes from the Greek word for mallow, because the  designs on the stone resembled leaves of the mallow plant.

A Raw Image from Bisbee

Photos courtesy of :

R.Weller/Cochise College.


Ancient Egypt was using malachite 6000 years ago for jewelry and ornaments.  It was worn to ward off evil.


There is an archeology site in Isreal that indicates malachite was mined in the Timna Valley over 3000 years ago. They used it for ornamental stone, pottery and gemstones.

More modern use was for the green pigment in paints up to the 1800’s.

It is found all over the world,and quite often results from the weathering of  copper ores, especially where copper and limestone are present.

There is an interesting piece in the “Linda Hall Library”  in Mexico City.  “The Tazza”  is a large malachite vase,standing in the center of the malachite room.  It was a gift from the Tsar Nicholas 11, of Russia and is the biggest piece of malachite in North America.

Here is one from the Hermatige museum,St Petersburg  Russia.
malachite vase - Picture of State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace, St. Petersburg
This photo of State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace is courtesy of TripAdvisor

In healing , Malachite is about harmonizing your body and should not be attached to any metal as metal can block the healing waves.  A sphere as a pendant on an earth chain such as leather or string works best. Use something natural as malachite is the most connected gemstone to the earth’s vibrations.

Very important stone for repelling negative energies and assisting in mental clarity.Works with the heart chakra and is also helpful for many feminine distresses.  It also repels nightmares.

It has been called the “Mirror of the Soul”

When worn as jewelry it will always reflect your feelings.  If you are having a real bad day, better off to leave it at home.

To increase it’s power use it with copper.

However, according to “Antoinette Matliins ” in the “Colored Gemstones” buying guide, one should never clean your malachite with any product  containing ammonia, as it will remove all the shine of your polished stones.


Resources: Malachite by SAh’Rah Kerfoot, also,,,,”The Pocket Book of Stones” by Robert Simmons,  “Gemstone Guardians” by Michael Katz  and of course our favorite “Colored Gemstones” by Antoinette Matlins.




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Discovered in Greenland in 1896, Hackmanite is a vibrant pink variety of sodalite,
This unusual stone faded to colorless when brought to light. it returns to it’s original color when left in the dark for an extended period of time, or when exposed to short wave ultraviolet light. This ability is called tenebrescence or reverse photochromism. (This is what happens to eyeglasses that darken or lighten when exposed to different lighting.)

This variety of sodalite was named Hackmanite after Axel Hackman, a Finnish geologist with the University of Helsinki.

What I find fascinating about Hackmanite is that the color change in hackmanite found in Quebec and Greenland changes from pink or violet to white, yet the Hackmanite found in Afghanistan and Myanmar changes from creamy white to pink, red or violet in sunlight! It reverses….why is that??  When heated though, you kill the color change altogether.


Blue and pink hackmanite

Natural colors in the dark

Researching Hackmanite I got a little side tracked, wondering what causes the color change in some minerals but not in others. Apparently something called F-Centers are the cause.

An F-Center is a defect in an ionic lattice (a structure of millions of atomic formations of an ionic substance, structured like building blocks into a three dimensional formation.(Wiki answers) This defect occurs when an anion leaves as a neutral species,leaving a cavity and a negative charge behind. (An anion is an atom that has gained electrons. Since they now have more electrons than protons, anions have a negative charge.They are termed so because they get attracted towards the anode or positive electrode (Thanks wikipedia) The negative charge left behind is shared by neighboring positive charges in the lattice.
In Hackmanite it is believed that some of the negatively charged chlorine atoms are missing,allowing free electrons to become trapped in the vacancies. This the basis of the F-Center. In Hackmanite this center asorbs green, yellow and orange light as well as some amounts of blue. There we have the cause of the various shades of Hackmanite and the fading results.

Got carried away with the chemistry lessons, sorry about that. The more you study natural things the more wonderful and fascinating the world becomes.

Hackmanite is the higher vibration of sodalite so all healing and spiritual qualities are considered to be much stronger, especially in the throat and third eye chakra, accelerating intuition and clairvoyant abilities.

Resources: Wipedia, Wiki answers, gemology online,

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Traditional beliefs about mystical effects of natural gemstones, listed in alphabetical order. Illustrated with some jewelry I made.

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Diamond is the hardest substance found on planet earth and for many centuries it has been one of the most revered and sought after materials by humankind. For years these precious gems have been admired as a thing of ultimate beauty and a sign of supreme wealth, steeped in mythology and deeply rooted in ancient legends, but today in the hands of modern day alchemists these precious stones are taking on a whole new value. In this program Naked Science examines the history of diamonds, and sheds light on how they may change the future. We meet scientists across three continents who are currently unlocking the secrets of diamonds and we find that what they are discovering may have the potential to revolutionize technology. As a gemstone we know that diamonds are costly, but as a raw material technologically advanced super diamonds are priceless.

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Gemology of precious opal. Opal, the queen of gems – besides Australia, there is only one other place in the world where one finds crystal opal in commercial quantities: the Brazilian village of Pedro Segundo.For other language options (German, Spanish,French, Italian, Portugese, Mandarin) visit our website.

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