The gemstone for this week is Aventurine, a member of the quartz family that is found in a variety of colors. It can be translucent or opaque, and the presence of mineral inclusions give it a shimmering effect called aventurescence. Colors range from a creamy green, to a medium green, peach, orange,yellow, brown and blue. Chrome bearing fuchite, (a type of mica) is the classic inclusion and gives the stone a silvery green or blue sheen. Oranges and brown get their coloring from hematite or goethite. The orange and reddish orange Aventurine is often mistaken for Sunstone and the greenish variety for Jade or Amazonite. Besides being used in jewelry, Aventurine is often used for ornamental purposes like vases, figurines and bowls. On the Moh scale, it has a hardness of 6.5.
The name Aventurine comes from the Italian for “a ventura” which means “by chance”. Most of the green and blue green Aventurine comes from India. Creamy white, gray and orange stones often come from Chile, Spain and Russia. The main markets for this stone are landscaping and building stone, monuments, figurines and jewelry.
Legend says that Aventurine is an all purpose healer, used to develop confidence, reduce stress, and improve prosperity. It has long been used as a talisman and is a popular stone for gamblers. An ancient Tibetan legend says that Aventurine can be used to reduce near sightedness and increase the wearer's creativity. Many believe it can bring about inner peace and calm a troubled spirit.