Different Kinds of Stones for Rings
Different Kinds of Stones for Rings
Stones have always found their place at the head of the jewelry table. It doesn’t matter if it’s precious or semi-precious stones, the gold, silver or other metals act as a partner to lift the stones to their grandest place. Regarding rings specifically, there’s little real estate to make an impact, so the stone(s) hold a lot of the pizazz. People often choose different types of stones because they come with a special meaning or they have significance to the bearer. Whether you want to buy a ring for yourself or give one as a gift, it is important to know about the wide range of stones that can be used for rings. There are so many beautiful stones out there, so let this be a resource for you if you’re trying to find the perfect piece for your ring.
Here at Bloedstone, we love showing off the natural beauty found in the earth under your feet. That’s why we focus our signet rings on semi-precious stones. Mens jewelry has incorporated stones for centuries. Here is a list of many that are often featured:
Bloodstone (our namesake) is a variety of chalcedony (quartz) with a dark green hue and red or orangey patches. These iron oxide dots or patches are dispersed throughout the stone. As with most chalcedonies, bloodstone is very tough making it suitable for glyptographs rendered as seals, cameos, and intaglios. Bloodstone is said to have been formed at the crucifixion of Jesus, when the blood of Christ, which flowed from the fatal spear-thrust, fell upon a green jasper lying at the foot of the cross, and from this sprang the Bloodstone variety of jasper. Today, as then, Bloodstone is regarded as a gem of noble sacrifice and can offer courage and solace to all who are called to give of themselves for the good of others. It elicits the highest, most altruistic character of those who wear or carry it. It has been lauded as far back as 250AD by the Egyptians, taken to be a stone of nobility by the kings and queens of old & was essential for Romans and Greeks as they believed it enhanced endurance and strength. Click here to read more on the history of men's jewlery.
Tiger’s Eye is a gorgeous gemstone with stripes of yellow-golden color running through it. The geologist’s term for the cat’s eye pattern is “chatoyancy,” and it is a visual phenomena that happens when the parallel fibers within the stone are replaced with silica, thus producing a shine. Across ancient cultures, tiger’s eye was valued as a stone of protection that was worn into battle by the Romans, turned into jewelry by the Egyptians, and regarded as a good luck charm by the Chinese. It has primary deposits in Western Australia and South Africa.
Hawks eye is a brother to Tiger’s Eye, both coming from the fibrous quartz family, crocidolite. It is normally blue-gray to blue-green in color and is typically multicolored with golden stripes or wavy patterns. Hawks Eye also features “chatoyancy” where a band of light reflects off the surface of the stone.
Pinolith, or “pine stone” due to its pine-nut-like structure, is a rare stone found only in 2 locations in the world, Austria and Canada. Axis forces and German troops mined pinolith from the Austrian Alps during WWII. The stone’s high manganese content made it suitable for weapon manufacturing. Since so much pinolith was lost during this era, it is even more valuable today. It is a black and white crystal composed of dolomite, magnesite, and graphite. This composite creates a beautifully contrasted stone.
Turquoise is an opaque crystal that comes in various stunning hues, including bluish-green to yellowish-green. It has been prized as a gemstone for thousands of years. Its only notable usage is in the production of jewelry and aesthetic products.
Agate is a common rock formation, consisting of chalcedony and quartz as its primary components, with a wide variety of colors. It occurs in various shades, including brown, red, black, and yellow. Because of its large variety, it is an easy stone to come by. Agates as decoration date back to Ancient Greece in assorted jewelry and in the seal stones of Greek warriors. The use of bead necklaces with pierced and polished agate goes further back to the 3rd millennium BCE in the Indus Valley Civilisation of South Asia.
Jade is a mineral best known for its green variants and natural other hues, notably yellow and white. Many parts of the world hold it in high esteem and it plays an important role in their culture. China deemed it as the “imperial gem” and it’s found in many utilitarian and ceremonial objects. The Japanese see jade as a symbol of wealth and power. The Maori of New Zealand have officially protected their national supply and find a spiritual element in the stone.
Onyx is most commonly found as a deep and solemn black with a subtle undertone, but can also be found in a myriad of colors. Because of its hardness, it makes for a great surface to carve into. It features parallel bands or layers of color that enable professional gem carvers to chisel away material to produce cameos and intaglios with exceptional depth and contrast.
Carnelian is a member of the chalcedony family, much like agate. It’s signature brownish-red color is the result of the iron oxide in it. Artifacts using carnelian date back to the Bronze Age circa 1800 BC on the island of Crete. Carnelian was believed by the Romans to be a stone of courage--able to shore up confidence and strength. In ancient Egypt, the stone was placed on mummies to assist the dead in their journey to the afterlife while architects to the pharaohs wore carnelian to denote rank and status. In the Middle Ages, carnelian was used by alchemists when boiling stone to release the energy of other gemstones. As in the past, today carnelian is a popular stone for carving intaglios and cameos due to its hardness and rich color.
This is a blue metamorphic rock that people have utilized as a gemstone, pigment, and ornamental material for thousands of years. Cleopatra used the crushed powder of the Lapis Lazuli for her eye shadow design. The famous artist, Michelangelo used it in powder form for ultramarine pigments to paint the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. The Russian queen, Catherine the Great had an entire room with Lapis Lazuli walls. I think we can all agree, along with the high priests and royalty of old, that the vivid natural blue color is striking and special.
[Malachite Stone Ring]
Malachite has a green color, due to its abundance of copper in its chemical makeup. Because the color does not fade over time or when exposed to light along with its ability to be easily ground to a powder, malachite has been a preferred pigment and coloring agent for thousands of years. Many cultures throughout history have prized malachite. The green stone has been used in protective amulets since ancient times. Perhaps its greatest appreciators were the Russian royals of the 19th century. They had dining sets, huge sculptures, vases, and even paneling made from it.
Mother of Pearl
This one is actually NOT a stone, but instead a shell, also called nacre. It is white with an iridescent layer, the same material of which pearls are composed. Mother-of Pearl is most commonly found in three types of mollusks—pearl oysters, freshwater mussels, and abalone. In previous centuries, some cultures placed great importance on mother of pearl, sometimes more than pearls themselves. In ancient Egypt, mother of pearl was used to embellish silver pieces. It was also immensely popular in China during the Shang and Ming Dynasties. Finally, in the Americas, Native American tribes regularly traded mother of pearl and used it to create beads and jewelry.
Each of these stones are beautiful in their own regard and will be sure to add that special something to your ring. Aside from color, they each carry their own symbolic meanings and metaphysical offerings. Here at Bloedstone, we love the weight that the perfect stone can bring to a custom piece. Please reach out if any of these stones caught your eye and we’d love to source and design your special ring!