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Encyclopaedia of stones

Chalcedony

Chalcedony is the form of Quartz that is compact and microcrystalline. It occurs in many different forms, colors, and patterns, and many varieties have been used as gemstones since antiquity. In the gemstone trade, the term Chalcedony is often used specifically to describe the white, gray, or blue translucent type of Chalcedony, but its technical term includes all additional varieties.
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Colors
Exists in a great variety of colours, usually blue-white, buff, light tan, grey, yellow, brown

Family
Quartz

A selection of jewels with chalcedony

Origin

France, USA, Turkey, Slovakia, Island, Mexico, New Zeeland, Morocco, Russia, Brazil

Virtues

Chalcedony is thought to boost vitality, endurance and physical energy. It is believed to foster maternal instinct, kindness and charity, and helps alleviate hostilities, irritability and melancholy.

Specifications

Chalcedony is a cryptocrystalline variety of quartz: that is to say, it is composed of so small crystals that they are hardly visible, even under an optical microscope. Chalcedony belongs to the group of oxides, and its formula is SiO2. Chalcedony is a translucent mineral with a vitreous luster, hardness 6 or 7, with a density of between 2.59 and 2.61. Its break is uneven, sketchy, conchoidal. Its crystalline system is rhombohedral, its luminescence yellow-green, yellow or white.

History

Since chalcedony has always played a large part in the history of many civilizations, it is not surprising that its traces are found in the Jewish, Christian and Muslim religions, as well as in Buddhism. In the Bible, there is often mention of chalcedony. According to legend, the divine power of these stones goes back to their creation by God on Mount Sinai.
In the petrified forests of the American Desert Southwest, many of the original tree tissues have been replaced by chalcedony in the formation of petrified wood. What remains is a mineral replica of the original tree in various fantastic colours.
Many varieties of chalcedony have for long been used as gems, and some coloured varieties are cut and polished as ornamental stones. Native Indians are said to have used chalcedony during ceremonial activities of the tribe, as a sacred stone that promotes stability.
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