Cate's Stone Collection

We've had a few pretty stones around the house for a while, from various holidays we've been on, and Cate has always been interested in looking at them. So from Christmas this year we've started a wee collection. Here are the stones we've collected so far.

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Amethyst

Amethyst is a type of quartz, coloured purple and often comes in "points" where the tip is purple and the rest is clear. Long ago it was thought to prevent people from getting drunk.

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Blue Goldstone

This is actually a man-made stone. It's semi-transparent and if you look closely you can see sparkles inside. Normal goldstone is a gold colour, but this is a nice blue variety.

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Chrysotile

I forgot the name of this one after buying it and had to go back to the shop later to find out. The shop display says it's from china. This stone is a type of asbestos, but not dangerous unless you grind it into dust first.

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Copper

This is a little nugget of copper, a metal which is quite heavy, easy to stretch without it breaking and which conducts electricity. It's used for making electricity wires and telephone lines.

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Dalmatian Dacite

This spotty stone is a type of dacite, a volcanic rock. This type is cream with black spots, similar to the dalmatian dog and hence the name.

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Geode

Geodes are like hidden treasure. On the outside they look like normal boring stones, but cut them in half and you find a miniature crystal cave. They're formed when a bubble occurs in a rock. Other minerals seep in and form crystal layers inside the bubble.

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Green Calcite

Calcite is made of calcium carbonate, the same stuff that makes chalk. It comes in a lot of different colours and the one we have is green.

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Hematite

This stuff is iron oxide, one of the types of iron ore that we get our iron and steel from. It is a shiny grey colour and is quite heavy. You quite often get carvings made out of hematite.

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Jasper

Jasper is made from silica, which is the stuff that makes up sand and quartz. It's not transparent, like quartz, but has a nice smooth surface and a deep red colour due to the impurities (iron?) in the rock.

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Malachite

Malachite is a form of copper carbonate and the copper gives it the green colour. It is often formed in layers which are different shades of green, giving it stripes or swirls.

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Moonstone

This stone is semi-transparent and is made up of layers. The light bouncing off the different layers give it a sheen which is the origin of its name.

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Quartz

Quartz is the second most common mineral in the earth's crust and there are a lot of different types of quartz. We have a bigger chunk of rose quartz, which is a pinky colour. Amethyst is a type of quartz as well. Our little quartz pebble is totally transparent without any colouring.

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Snowflake Obsidian

Obsidian is a black glass that can be found all over the world. It can be chipped into very sharp pieces so was often used for arrow heads and the like. It's still used for surgical instruments as it can be made much sharper than steel. Our stone is called snowflake obsidian because of the little white bits in it.

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Tiger's Eye

Tiger eye is made from a type of asbestos, which is made up of lots of little fibres of mineral. The fibres give the stone a sheen which changes as it is moved around, a bit like a cat's eye.

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Nautiloid

Fossils are formed when an animal dies and is covered with mud. The mud hardens and the animal is gradually replaced by minerals as they seep through the mud. Here's a shellfish, part of the family called nautiloids.

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Ammonite

This fossil is a shellfish with a spiral body. I guess it's an ammonite as this seems to be the most common thing to be fossilised.

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Shark Tooth

Another fossil, this time the tooth of a shark. Shark lose their teeth quite easily and others grow in to replace them so there are millions of shark teeth scattered about the bottom of the sea.

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Turqurenite

I didn't know what this was for a long time. It's a bit like turquoise but too blue to be turquoise. Claire bought it and remembered its name beginning with turq. Eventually I spotted it in another shop and found it is turqurenite - howlite which has been dyed blue to look like turquoise.

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Carnelian

This is a lovely stone, transparent but with a deep red colour, which makes it look like a gem stone. Carnelian gets its name from the latin word for flesh, since it's sometimes flesh coloured. Lovely!

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Peacock Pyrite

This stone has a nice iridescent sheen on it, showing up in different colours as you turn it in the light. The shop says it's peacock ore, our stone book has it as peacock pyrite or chalcopyrite, but Wikipedia's article for chalcopyrite looks a bit different, and bornite looks nearer to the mark.

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Lapis Lazuli

Lapis is a deep blue colour, with little lines of golden pyrite through it, and that colour has meant it has been sought after for a long time. It comes from Afghanistan.

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Gypsum

Gypsum is an important mineral because it is used for lots of things, including plaster of paris and blackboard "chalk". When it grows in crystal formations they are known as desert roses, and this one is the biggest stone we have in our collection.

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Amazonite

Not much to say about this stone except that it appears that despite its name it doesn't actually come from the Amazon.

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Unakite

A nice brown patterned stone from the States. Our method of distinguishing this one is "it looks like a toffee".

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Aventurine

This is a semi-transparent green stone.

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Blue Lace Agate

This is one of many types of agate, and quite a popular one. It's light blue with lighter stripes along it.

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Chrysocolla

A stone notable for its name, which sounds a bit like Coca Cola, but actually means gold-solder. Very odd.

We're going to add to our collection as time goes on, so this page should keep on getting bigger and bigger.

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