From the ancient Mediterranean seaport of Chalcedon came a favorite gemstone of sailors. Chalcedony by name, this stone is believed to protect travelers on their journey, as well as chase away bad dreams. What exactly is this gemstone chalcedony? What makes chalcedony a stone of virtue?
Chalcedony is the opaque to translucent form of quartz, otherwise described as cryptocrystalline quartz. A hard mineral, the chalcedony stone occurs in various colors and varieties, and includes gemstones that are popular in their own right, namely, onyx, carnelian, sardonyx, chrysoprase, agate, bloodstone, jasper and aventurine. In the gem trade, however, the name chalcedony is used to refer to varieties of the mineral beside its well-known species. Hence, “chalcedony” usually refers to either the white or blue chalcedony.
The name chalcedony is ancient, and came from the Greek khalkēdōn meaning, “mystical stone.” The Greek name itself may have been derived from Chalcedon, an ancient seaport in present-day Turkey where the gemstone was mined. A chalcedony stone was a favorite talisman of sailors, as the gemstone is believed to protect travelers on ocean voyages.
Since antiquity, chalcedony is thought to dispel bad dreams. More than just a protection against nightmares, a chalcedony stone is believed to repel any negative vibrations, and absorb only positive energy, making chalcedony a stone of virtue. The chalcedony gemstone is imbued with the ability to stave off melancholy, drive away evil, and protect people on their journey: a set of metaphysical properties similar to that of moonstone. Both white in color, chalcedony and moonstone are associated with the moon goddess Diana.
Likewise, both chalcedony and moonstone are birthstones of the zodiac sign Cancer, whose ruling planet is the moon. Cancerians are emotional people who are well-meant, yet get a fair share of negativity, and tend to worry a lot. A chalcedony crystal benefits a Cancer person by chasing away his nightmares and negative thoughts, thereby making him feel more secure and optimistic.
Since chalcedony is composed of different species, the mineral technically occurs in various colors; yet many of these colors are prominently assumed by its popular varieties, namely, onyx (black), carnelian (red), bloodstone (green) and chrysoprase (bright green). Varieties beside the aforementioned are conveniently labeled “chalcedony”; hence, chalcedony in the narrow sense refers to white, blue, lavender, gray, brown and yellow chalcedony. Of these the most popular is blue chalcedony.
Chalcedony is a versatile gemstone and, with the rock’s hardness and durability, makes excellent fine jewelry. Blue chalcedony, as well as bluish white chalcedony, is popularly made into pendants for rings, earrings and necklaces. With its affordable varieties, the chalcedony gemstone is also a favorite in fashion jewelry, often cut into beads and fashioned into beaded necklaces and bracelets.
Chalcedony is a traditional birthstone for the months of May and June. Indeed, a chalcedony stone is a jewel cherished since antiquity.
The prices of chalcedony vary with the color, clarity and luster. Blue chalcedony is the most valuable of the varieties of chalcedony, even compared to other chalcedony stones, like chrysoprase, onyx and carnelian. Bluish white chalcedony, which has less saturation in color, is also a relatively expensive gemstone. Other colors of chalcedony, especially the opaque varieties, are less valuable, and rely heavily on the jewelry design for an increase in price.
Do you like chalcedony?
Chalcedony is a popularly white or blue gemstone believed to chase away nightmares and negativity. Do you like chalcedony as a gemstone? Would you include chalcedony among your pieces of jewelry?