Crystal Closeup: Carnelian

Carnelian, also called red carnelian, is one of my absolutely favorite crystals to work with. It’s a variety of chalcedony that is translucent and ranges from orange-red to very red, generally with streaks. Carnelian is one of the birthstones of May. If the bands are strong it is called carnelian agate; dark reddish-brown varieties are known as sard. Carnelian works to calm the blood, and I’ve found wearing a carnelian ring to be especially effective during my ‘moon time’ when pretty much nothing else calms me down even a little bit. My partner also knows that when I swap my rose quartz ring for the carnelian one, it’s ‘that time’ again.

Below is a breakdown of some of the important information about carnelian, which you can copy into your grimoire, and some suggested magickal activities.

Crystal: Carnelian

Astrology: Cancer, Leo, Taurus

Element: Fire

Family: Chalcedony

Mohs: 7

Magickal Uses: Cleansing, Protection

Metaphysical Properties: Assists with analysis, perception, memory, and precision, as it keeps the mind alert. Its calming, stabilizing energy also protects against anger, aggression, fear, and rage. Helps get rid of sadness, shyness, grief, and jealousy. It awakens inner talent and motivates work on that talent. Provides energy for emotionally stabilizing the home while encouraging harmony and love. Additionally, it cleanses negative energy from other crystals. Works well with other crystals for protection from negative energy and psychic attack.

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Crystal Closeup: Topaz

Growing up as a November baby I must confess that I thought that I had lamest birthstone imaginable: topaz. It was just so yellow and I always longed for my sister’s birthstone (amethyst) to be mine instead. I felt like it was some cosmic mix-up where she got a cool birthstone and I got an uncool one. Happily, as an adult I made peace with my birthstone, and discovered that topaz and amethyst can be used in conjunction to create powerful, healing energy.

Topaz comes in a variety of colors including blue, brown, colorless, green, orange, and pink. The classic, yellow variety is the most common and is one of November’s birthstones. A lot of the topaz on the market has been treated in some way: much of blue topaz is heat-treated colorless topaz, and all ‘mystic topaz’ has been treated. Some of the most well-known natural topaz comes from Brazil, specifically the Ouro Preto deposit. The label ‘topaz’ was used for hundreds of years to indicate a yellow crystal, but in the 1800s the meaning of ‘topaz’ was refined, and many other colors of the gem were discovered.

Below is a breakdown of some of the important information about topaz, which you can copy into your grimoire, and some suggested magickal activities.

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Crystal Closeup: Citrine

Citrine is a rare crystal that ranges in color from pale yellow to a yellow-olive. Its name comes from ‘citron,’ the French word for ‘yellow.’ Citrine is a type of quartz and also often occurs with smokey quartz; smoky citrine and citrine with smoky phantoms are naturally occurring. Natural citrine gets its color from hydrous iron oxide and is one of the few naturally occurring yellow crystals. After amethyst, citrine is one of the most popular crystals in the world.

Ametrine is a different, relatively new discovery, found in the Anahi Mine in Bolivia. Ametrine is essentially part citrine and part amethyst, hence the portmanteau. Ametrine is formed due to a partial-heat exposure to the amethyst that creates the yellow color, and, because of this, ametrine does not have the iron inclusion of natural citrine. I went to a gem show and found someone selling Bolivian Ametrine from that very mine and he confirmed that the crystal is formed naturally through heat that occurs under ground. For ametrine I advise using the metaphysical properties of amethyst with a yellow boost.

You can’t talk about citrine without discussing heat treated amethyst. It’s such a pet peeve of mine that my friend regularly holds it up in crystal shops and waits for me to roll my eyes. It bothers me because the properties of amethyst and citrine are not similar, let alone interchangeable. That means when you accidentally use heat treated amethyst in the place of citrine, you think you’re working with citrine, and you’re not. Additionally, the healing properties of amethyst are compromised by the treatment process. The process is so simple that you can do it in your home oven, though I do not recommend it at all. Here you can see my photo, taken last December, showing a natural citrine point (top/right) in comparison to a heat treated amethyst cluster being sold as citrine (bottom/left). Fake citrine is one of my crystal pet peeves, maybe my top crystal peeve.

Real citrine is much more expensive than fake citrine, so keep that in mind when you’re shopping. Also, real citrine never appears in that dark, amber color, or on a matrix similar to amethyst. Fake citrine tumble stones are incredibly common; they are a combination of white and this honey amber color always. Hibiscus Moon has a great post about this issue and goes into the science of how it works, so if you’re interested in learning more, check out her article here.

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Crystal Vibe Shopping Guide: Malachite

I was planning a larger article on malachite that turned into book-level research project and completely got away from me. Since I’m not researching a book (yet, potential publishers, call me) I decided to post my findings is bits and pieces. Below is the shopping guide for some truly remarkable malachite and malachite-inspired items. Who knew a Fornasetti plate with a drawing of malachite could sell for more than a plate made of actual malachite? Well, now it’s all of us. The malachite offerings shown here are presented in order from most expensive to least expensive and while some are, shall we say, “aspirational,” others are downright affordable.

Malachite Pattern Plates by Fornasetti

Malachite Pattern Plates by Fornasetti

Fornasetti has got to be the king of malachite, and these plates are made with his signature illustrations. I found this set of twelve porcelain plates on this auction site, but they are no longer available. If you want to get close you can buy the 24″ aluminum version at Barney’s for $975. Or, you know, donate the money to charity, whatever. Fornasetti’s malachite print is also available on everything from candles to tables to wallpaper.

Victorian Malachite Brooch $750

Victorian Malachite Brooch $750

For a moment I thought I wasn’t going to be able to find a proper competitor for the Fornisetti plates that was made out of real malachite, but then I found this stunning Victorian brooch on Etsy. It’s 14K gold, measures around 3″ across, and costs $750. Pick it up at Acanthus Antiques and tell them I sent you and that they owe me for referring the sale. Also, I don’t feel like modern jewelry is as simple and elegant, while also being as subtly ostentatious as this brooch, and that’s a real shame.

Malachite Pillow by Tony Duquette

Malachite Pillow by Tony Duquette $160-250

Do you have a lot of money, a penchant for artisanal throw pillows, a decor that can handle dark green, and a love of malachite? Well, have I got the pillow for you. Tony Duquette has created “Gemstone” (above), which features a malachite illustration. It ranges in price from $160 to $250 and comes in a variety of styles. I think it must be stuffed with gold flakes for that price. Needless to say he also offers a number of animal print pillows. … I actually hate myself a little, but I confess that I kind of love this pillow.

Malachite Candle by L'Objet $135

Malachite Candle by L’Objet $135

Clocking in with potentially the most pretentious brand name ever, L’Objet offers you a $135 pink champagne scented candle in a malachite-inspired, 24K gold embellished, limoges porcelain package. It’s also available in a pencil cup. I don’t know about you, but when I think of malachite the fragrance of pink champagne doesn’t exactly pop into my head. One of my big goals for Astra Anima is a line of crystal inspired candles, and malachite is high on that list. I promise you now that it will not smell like booze.

Wenge Wood and Malachite Ring $90

Wenge Wood and Malachite Inlay Ring $90

This ring is completely stunning and if my partner were not so hard on things it would be a strong candidate for his wedding ring. Knowing him, he would immediately break it, so it will have to say on the wishlist. This ring is made from wenge wood and inlaid with malachite; an absolutely stunning piece for all of $90.

Fibrous Malachite from Venusrox $39

Fibrous Malachite from Venusrox $39

Malachite comes in so many different forms it was hard to narrow down which specimens to feature. This fibrous malachite specimen from Venusrox is from the People’s Republic of the Congo and measures 2.1″ at it’s widest point. If you want to take it home it will cost you $39, and it’s a beautiful piece. If you’re looking for way more expensive specimens, they have those, too, but the small ones are stand outs to me.

Malachite Shirt by Ravynka

Malachite Shirt by Ravynka $34

Finally in the “something I can actually afford” category comes this lovely Malachite Shirt by Ravynka for $34. Since the shirt is on Soceity6 it is also available as a rug, phone case, leggings, and yes, even a throw pillow.

For more malachite goodness, including these pieces, check out my Malachite board on Pinterest. Feel free to add your own malachite suggestions in the comments and thank you for reading!