Gemstones: A Guide To Natural Mineral Crystals
At Oriental Direct Craft Supplies, we’re proud to supply one of the finest collections of gemstones in the UK – with a range of semi precious gemstone beads, cabochons, hearts, palm stones, pendants, points and tumblestones to choose from. Whether you’re crafting or gifting, you’ll find stunning stones you’re looking for in our online store. All hand-picked to give you the high quality cut, colour, carat and clarity.
What is a gemstone?
A gemstone is a precious or semi precious stone that’s mostly cut (or simply polished) to make beads or small decorative shapes – which are then used in jewellery, costume decorations or ornaments.
Gemstones have been used in spiritual, mental, emotional and physical healing since ancient times – and are believed to pass on their energy when worn as jewellery or simply placed as an ornament nearby.
How can you tell the quality of a gemstone?
When talking about gemstone quality, we look at the four C’s of Colour, Clarity, Cut and Carat. Graded by Gemologists, these natural stones are also judged on their size, rarity and beauty. At Oriental Direct Craft Supplies, every single gemstone we source is hand-assessed to ensure the high quality.
What can a gemstone be used for?
Gemstones make wonderful natural jewellery designs. From beads and pendants to points and cabochons, you’ll find all shapes and sizes for different arts and crafts. And with a rainbow of colours to choose from – including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, and purple – our beautiful stones are perfect for adding to clothes, purses and other accessories.
What are the most popular gemstones?
At Oriental Direct Craft Supplies, the most popular gemstones are Amethyst, Rose quartz, Lapis Lazuli, Rainbow Moonstone, Garnet and Apatite – though we stock a huge range of beads and other shapes and hues that are ideal for all kinds of craft project.
Types of gemstone
While mainly used for craft and art projects, gemstones are often used in alternative medicine and as gifts. Different gemstones have different healing properties – so we’ve created a guide to the healing properties of some of the most popular varieties:
Agate gemstones are believed by many to cure insomnia and to encourage strength, stabilisation and healing. Available in lots of varieties and colours
Once known as the 'Amazon Stone', Amazonite has been mined for over 2,000 years, and is said to help with physical healing such as cell regeneration after injury or for arthritis, balancing the thyroid and helping to repair brittle nails and hair. It also has spiritual and emotional properties and represent truth, communication and harmony.
Amber has been used in jewellery since Stone Age, and is said to help with alleviating stress and absorbing negative energy.
Amethyst gemstones vary in hue with a spectrum ranging from pale to deep purple. It’s often used as a tool for meditation and healing work, promoting clarity of mind as it helps balance the brain and nervous system. In some cultures, Amethyst is thought to help with symptoms of tinnitus.
A two-tone, orange-magenta gemstone that is enhanced by reflected light, Ametrine is used to enhance learning and creativity and help with memory, information retention and concentration. As well as stimulating the brain, users believe it can help with digestive problems, weight regulation and metabolism stimulation.
Angelite is a spiritual stone and is often seen as a useful tool for spiritual healing/guidance, clairvoyance, astrologers and meditation. Physically it is believed to help with the maintenance of healthy bone density and growth, mobility and with the healing of fractures as well as arthritis and osteoporosis.
Apatite green gems are said to increase self-confidence, enhance insight, creativity and learning abilities. Physically they are believed to help improve coordination, strengthen muscles and ease hypertension.
The cool Aquamarine gemstone is said to hold emotional properties and has a calming effect. It is also believed to ease fears and phobias, as well as helping to beat throat infections and support the healing inflammation or skin conditions like Eczema.
Many believe Aragonite to be an excellent meditation tool, thanks to its healing and balancing qualities. It is thought to stimulate the body’s energy systems which helps to increase stamina and vitality, with some looking to the stone to aid the healing of fractures.
Arfvedsonite is often associated with spiritual growth and used in meditation. It is believed to help with lifting depression and stimulate positive thoughts, releasing negative energies from the body and also inducing a deeper sleep.
Astrophyllite is said to help regulate the nervous system and enhance brain function. It strengthens the body’s energy field which in turn may protect against radiation, radioactivity and electromagnetic ‘pollution’.
Varying in colour, Aventurine gemstones are believed to be ‘all-purpose healers’, and are used for reducing stress, balancing emotions and bringing inner peace. Also for developing confidence, creativity and enhancing leadership qualities.
Azurite gemstones are said to be stimulating to the mind and can be helpful with any tasks that involve processing information e.g. learning, memorising, writing or negotiating. Physically they are said to be helpful for brain and head related issues such as tinnitus, migraines and vertigo.
Beryl / Morganite are said to have emotional and spiritual qualities and can help with energizing the heart and emotional self-healing, bringing love, peace, joy and inner strength while healing fear, resentment and anger. Their colour ranges from pastel colours to slightly more vibrant tones.
Biotite gems may help with mental clarity and with the organising of thoughts – helping with the processing of information. In meditation it helps to soothe and relax. Physically it is said to help with treating eye and voice problems his natural stone as well as mobility issues and for improving the health of bodily tissues, cells and bone marrow.
Bloodstone is thought to be useful for all types of blood related issues, as they are said to fortify the blood and can help to overcome weaknesses such as anaemia. They are also used to stabilize female hormonal imbalances and help with stimulating the liver. Emotionally, they breed courage, strength, self-sufficiency and capability.
Bronzite gemstones are thought to be good for repelling negative energies and for channelling positivity, dispelling depression. In meditation they can bring calmness and peace. Physically they can help fight off infections and as they increase the assimilation of iron they can help with anaemia and with purifying the blood.
Calcite gemstones are among the most varied and abundant crystals, and each type has its own qualities. Emotionally, they gently cleanse, refresh and revitalize while ‘opening blockages’ and stimulating energy.
Celestite can help to cleanse the body’s energy field (auric field) and stimulates the energy system as well as the metabolism. It is also thought to help with clearing infections. A very delicate gemstone.
Chalcedony natural stones are thought to enhance intuition and creativity, absorb negative energies and reduce mental stresses and anxieties. They’re widely believed to promote calmness and tranquillity. Physically they are said to help to heal eye, throat, nose or ear problems as well as skin infections and also may have anti-inflammatory properties.
Charoite gems are said to help strengthen the body and energy fields as well as having emotional healing properties. They help to remove negativity and give clarity of mind. They are believed to be soothing to the nerves, can help in easing aches and pains, relieve the symptoms of arthritis, regulate blood pressure and help with detoxifying the body.
Stunning Green Chrome Diopside gemstones are thought to be excellent for general healing both physically and mentally. They are soothing to the emotions and are good for relaxation, calming and stress relief. They are thought to stimulate intellectual facilities. Physically they enhance recovery from surgery, trauma or severe illness e.g. heart or lung illnesses.
Known as the ‘teaching stone’, Chrysocolla is said to help enhance verbal communication and expression. They can also assist in the release of stress, fear and anxiety helping to bring out creativity. Physically they can help with sore throats and laryngitis.
Chrysoprase is a rare variety of Chalcedony. It helps promote joy and happiness throughout while helping to aid the healing on anxiety and depression.
Chrysotine gemstones are said to be the stone of healing, good luck and fortune and will help pull you back from bad habits.
Citrine is believed to aid digestion and encourage proper metabolism. They enhance physical stamina and increase energy during exercise. Emotionally they are said to increase personal will, mental clarity and promote creativity.
Coral gemstones are generically thought to absorb negative energy, quiet the emotions and bring inner peace. They facilitate intuition and imagination. They strengthen bones, help prevent osteoporosis, stimulate tissue regeneration and help with blood or circulatory disorders.
Many people believe Dolomite is a healing gemstone that combats physical toxicity, detoxifying the liver and supporting self-healing. It may also help overcome harmful behaviours and help the body detox, regulate metabolism and appetite and assist with natural weight loss. Emotionally Dolomite can soothe the nervous system, achieving calmness and balance thereby reducing stress and negative emotions.
Dumortierite gemstones are said to enhance all mental abilities such as language and mathematical as well as emotional intelligence. They are said to assist with general mental balance and to help with concentration and focus to move forward.
Feldspar stones are usually considered to be lunar stones that inspire and encourage the development of clairvoyance. Emotionally they are thought to help with self awareness and self esteem and in physical healing they are said to aid with skin or muscular structure disorders.
Fluorite beads are believed to be excellent for fostering clarity of mind and can assist in removing confusion or conflicting ideas. They can be used to increase information retention and memorization to enhance learning and for stimulating (and balancing) the brain. Physically they are said to help with dizziness or vertigo and can strengthen bones and teeth.
Widely believed to be stones of rejuvenation and renewal, Fuchsite gems are associated with helping to achieve emotional, mental and spiritual balance. They also bring energies of creativity, intuition and inspiration. Physically they can help with muscular pains, can soothe inflammation, can help remove toxic substances, regulate metabolism and are beneficial to throat and larynx problems.
Garnet's spiritual qualities relate to prosperity and worldly pleasures. Garnets are also symbols of faith, truth and light.
Hawk Eye is associated with the planet Jupiter and the astrological sign of Sagittarius and can help protect from negative energies.
Hematite is popular with spiritually orientated people, used to remain connected to the earth. It is also connected with strength and courage and said to aid recovery from any illness to do with blood within the bone marrow. It is also said to assist with detox of the liver.
Howlite is said to have soothing energies that help alleviate stress, tension and help calm temper, the Howlite gemstone can be used in meditation bringing deep peace and serenity. Physically it may balance the calcium levels in the body and help with teeth, bones, rheumatism and arthritis – and many believe it to help with insomnia due to its calming energy.
The most common use for Hypersthene is to help with meditation. This is said to reduce stress and anxiety and to help rejuvenate energy levels. Hypersthene’s energies work on mental and emotional levels and can help with depression. They can assist with blood related illnesses, problems in the stomach area, pituitary gland, and help reduce strains in the limbs, shoulders and achilles.
Iolite is known as the gemstones of clear vision. It activates the creative, visionary side of the mind and can stimulate the memory. It is used by astrologers, mediums and tarot readers, and is said to be excellent for supporting the healing of eye problems.
There are a number of different shades of Jade. Generally this popular gemstone is thought to have healing, protective and spiritual energies.
There are a number of different types of Jasper gemstone, each with its own properties.
Black Veined Jasper is also known by the name because of its striped markings. It is a stone to help with pains and ailments.
Brecciated Jasper is a stone of strength and Vitality and helps with mental clarity.
Dalmatian Jasper is known for its spotty appearance. It helps to bring a sense of fun to life and helps to increase loyalty in relationships; It purifies the blood and boosts the immune system.
Kambaba Jasper calms the mind and promotes feelings of peace. It can bring wisdom and the ability to get along with other people. Kambaba Jasper helps with the assimilation of vitamins and minerals and in cleansing the body of toxins. It can help boost one's immune system.
Leopard Skin Jasper is helpful in eliminating toxins from the body and decreasing body odour.
Ocean Jasper improves the digestive process and eliminates toxins that cause body odour and disease.
Picasso Jasper often resembles a beautiful painting. It assists in the transformation of relationships. It attracts people who become loyal friends, as well as helping to renew old friendships. It has strong grounding and calming qualities and helps to engender strength and self-discipline. Picasso Jasper is useful for eye problems and can help with weight issues.
Picture Jasper is a stone of harmony. It helps to bring hidden thoughts, fears and feelings to the surface, to be released. It stimulates the immune system.
Red Jasper is a protective stone and gently stimulating. It can bring problems to the surface and provides insights into difficult situations. Red Jasper calms all emotions, aids in dream recall, cleans and stabilises the aura. As a stone of health, Red Jasper helps detoxify blood and liver.
Zebra Jasper helps you to have compassion and understanding for others. It provides you with courage and motivation, helps you face the challenges and solve the problems you may have. It gives you the determination needed to carry on with life. It can also help to relieve muscle spasms, heart palpitations, and vitamin deficiencies.
Jet is believed to be a protection from negative influences or energies and are stones of purification and cleansing. Physically it is believed to aid in the cleansing of the kidneys and the liver.
Kunzite stones are, emotionally speaking, associated with love, joy, kindness and healing and are thought to be one of the best gemstones for giving as gifts. They are said to ease stress and support the healing of physical obstructions or blockages.
Thought to inspire calmness, composure, serenity and respect, Kyanite is used by healers for meditation and relaxation. It can also be used to assist in negotiations, diplomacy and arbitration. Physically, it can help with healing trauma, strokes and seizures.
Labradorite is the gemstone of magic in terms of facilitating mental and intuitive abilities and enhancing psychic abilities. It presents, amongst its Grey colour, some blue pearlescent tones.
The ‘gemstone of the student’, Lapis Lazuli helps with stimulating knowledge, can help with more effective learning and for enhancing memory and reflection.
Lava stones are known as the ‘calming stone’. It gives us strength and courage, allowing us stability through times of change and uncertainty.
Larvikite is said to be excellent for students as it is thought to enhance memory capacity, learning and understanding. It is also believed to enhance vitality and youthfulness. Physically this gemstone can calm the nerves, and is said to reduce blood pressure, aid in the recovery of strokes, used to treat skin disorders and cleanse body tissue.
Lepidolite is thought to help counter stress, worry and fear thanks to its relaxing and serene colour and appearance. It is often used with children who have hyperactive or attention deficit disorders and it is said that the stone helps to prevent nightmares and sleep disorders.
Malachite has a number of physical properties including the potential to help with digestion and stomach functions, reduce inflammation from injuries and diseases, restore strength after illness, repair tissue after surgery, help with arthritis pain and with detoxing the body. Emotionally it is a stone of healing and may help with confidence building.
The energy in this Mookite gemstone is are said to help slow ageing by changing the thought process surrounding getting older. It can also give support in decision making. Physically it is believed to assist with the healing of wounds, with the purification of the blood and in fortifying the immune system.
Mother of pearl gemstones are believed to encourage relaxation and calmness, to ease stress and tension. Their energy is of love, generosity and tolerance and can be used to improve relationships and increase self esteem. They show of the stunning pearlescent tones with the light.
Muscovite beads are said to promote mental stimulation and inspiration and is therefore excellent for students and teachers. They are also said to increase confidence too, thereby reducing mental and psychological stress. It can also help with maintaining emotional integrity and physically they can help with sleep imbalances, headaches, migraines and for balancing the brain.
Only found in the Dominican Republic, in the Caribbean. Larimar is said to cool tempers, calm fear and relieve stress due to its soothing properties, Larimar is also useful for helping with panic attacks and phobias. Its physical properties include helping with high blood pressure, colds, flu and fever, infections and inflammations. For mothers during and after pregnancy it is said to alleviate post-natal depression and stress.
Moonstone is said to be a stone of mystery and is powerful for intuition and psychic awareness. It connects with the energy and power of the moon and can help stabilise female cycles and male hormonal patterns. It is also said to aid with problems of water retention.
Opal covers a broad spectrum of colours and types each having their own properties.
Available in various ‘sheens’, markings and colour variations each type of Obsidian has different properties.
Peridot is said to have physical properties, helping with heart related illnesses, countering anaemia and poor oxygenation, helping to strengthen the blood and helping with addiction recovery.
Phosphosiderite is said to be a calming stone aiding in the relief of stress and anxiety and heal.
Pietersite are believed to enhance clarity of thought and increase intuitive capabilities, activating mind and imagination in order to make progress. They are helpful in stimulating the brain and nerves as well as strengthening and energizing the body. Beautiful Blue, brown and golden tones shine throughout.
Prehnite is said to promote inner peace, to calm anger and to help with restlessness and worry. Physically it may support healing and balance with circulation and lymph problems, clearing toxins from the body and helping with glandular or Urinary Tract Infections.
Pyrite is thought to increase vitality and stamina and enhance willpower and confidence. It also enhances creativity, increases mental clarity and focus and helps overcome fear and anxiety. They are said to help with male impotence and infertility, and are often used to combat infections, skin problems and stimulating hormonal functions.
The most varied gemstone in terms of varieties, colours and forms. Generally Quartz is believed to possess healing properties and is widely used in meditation. It is said to balance the emotions, calm aggression and promote inner peace, harmony and self esteem.
Quartzite can help aid the ups an downs we feel in every day life. It can calm you down when you feel angry but also make you happy when you are low. It is very popular for adjusting energy balance.
Que Sera beads can generally used in meditation and helps with mental, physical and emotional states.
Rhodochrosite gemstones believed to aid the healing of past emotional traumas, soothing the heart and soul and bringing love and joy to life. It is a popular ‘anti-stress’ stone and physically it can be helpful for nervous system imbalances, protecting the nerves and as aids during stimulant withdrawal.
Rhodonite gemstones have emotional properties of love, altruism and generosity. Physically they can assist with purifying the body by strengthening the organs and glands and is thought to be good for getting rid of kidney or gall stones and well as a support for healing damaged livers, detoxing and weight loss.
Rhyodacite is a form of Lava rock. It is known to help rid negative energies from the body and fill with hope and trust.
Rhyolite is said to be great rejuvenators of both emotional and physical energies, these gemstones can increase self esteem, aid communication and strengthen relationships. They are thought to be anti-ageing stones and useful for general healing, cleansing the liver and inducing sleep.
Ruby is said to help control anxiety or stress and inspire protectiveness towards others. With properties of encouragement and courage, Physically it is said to help with metabolism regulation, overcoming sexual dysfunction, dizziness and for supporting addiction recovery.
Ruby Zoisite is thought to be able to transform negative energies into positive ones and to energize the entire field of one’s body bringing passion and a zest for life. Physically they are said to assist heart disorders and increase physical vitality e.g. sexual activity.
Sapphire is known as the 'Wisdom stone'. It releases mental tension, depression and unwanted thoughts. Sapphire restores balance within the body, aligning the physical, mental and spiritual planes, bringing serenity and peace of mind.
Serpentine is believed to be emotionally soothing and help with healing work e.g. cellular regeneration and also with replenishing energy. It can be helpful when practising meditation and for clearing blocked energies.
Selenite gemstones have properties of physical healing, clearing blockages within energy fields. Healers use Selenite beads for cleansing and purification, which open and activate energy centres within the body.
Seraphinite gemstone beads are said to be good for cellular regeneration, for regulating the growth of cancerous cells, for strengthening the blood and for healing disease.
Shungite helps to get rid of negative energies and thoughts, promote mental clarity, increase personal power, and alleviate spiritual imbalances.
Silk Stone Beads are believed to help enhance clearer thinking in the mind while providing patience and tranquillity throughout.
Sodalite gemstones are sometimes called the ‘wisdom gemstone’ as they are thought to foster knowledge, creativity, intuition, learning proficiency, communication and wisdom. They are said to help with stress and anxiety reduction. Physically they can be used to help with water retention and with blood pressure.
Spinel natural stones comes in a variety of colours but generally it is said to help with reducing fatigue, and induce energy and positive thinking. It helps with calming down stress, soothing the nervous system, and physically may be used to assist the body in recovering from illness and aid the elimination of toxins.
Sugilite gem stones are said to be those of dreams, assisting in remembering dreams and also in achieving dreams. They help with positive thinking and building confidence. They are also useful in countering insomnia or nightmares.
Sunstone emanates a wide spectrum of energies including good fortune, self motivation, benevolence to others and the stimulation of creative, emotional and sexual energies. Physically they are aids to increasing metabolism, help with reproductive problems and for balancing hormones.
Tanzanite is a stone of transformation and one of the most valuable aids for metaphysical healing. It is said to be very powerful on facilitating communication.
Terahertz is used to help aid in blood circulation, regulate the body temperature and control pain management, as well as prevention of illness and increase in overall health.
Tiger's Eye is said to help in focusing the mind and in giving mental clarity as well as energising or strengthening the body to help overcome fatigue or discouragement. It is believed to be a gemstone of balance and is used by mediators e.g. in divorce/ custody mediation. Physically it fortifies the blood and re-balance the hormones. Beautiful stripped pattern with Browns and Blacks throughout.
Tourmaline gemstones are one of the worlds most diverse gemstones having a enormous variety of different colours, forms and energies. Generally they create an electrical charge when heated or rubbed, one end being negative and the other positive, becoming a magnet attracting lightweight materials.
Tridacna is said to be the most white substance in the world. This stone can enhance the body’s magnetic field as well as having protecting and calming properties, helping to stabilise mood, reducing worry and soothing nerves. It is also believed to have anti-ageing properties.
Turquoise is among the earliest ever mined. Said to restore vitality, relieve stress and soothe the body it is a stone of communication, truth and wholeness and of self-acceptance and forgiveness. Physically it may help with oxygenating the blood and with increasing the life force or energy in the body.
Unakite gemstones are said to help unify emotional, spiritual and mental energies. They are used by healers to aid emotional balance, getting to the root causes of emotional issues and to help people to gain a more well-rounded existence.
Gift Gemstones – Birthstones Guide
CAPRICORN (21 Dec - 19 Jan): Snowflake Obsidian, Rose quartz, Ruby, Black Onyx, Hematite, Smoky Quartz, Botswana Agate, Azurite (Traditional: Garnet)
AQUARIUS (20 Jan - 18 Feb): Agate, Onyx, Turquoise, Malachite, Labradorite, Fluorite, Chrysoprase, Iolite, Aquamarine and Moonstone. (Traditional: Amethyst)
PISCES (19 Feb - 20 Mar): Amethyst, Jade, Moonstone, Aquamarine, Opal, Bloodstone, Fluorite, Unakite, Blue Lace Agate, Calcite, Chrysoprase, Howlite (Traditional: Bloodstone)
ARIES (21 Mar - 20 Apr): Bloodstone, Garnet, Clear Quartz, Ruby, Jasper, Red Carnelian (Traditional: Diamond)
TAURUS (21 Apr - 20 May): Rose quartz, Chrysoprase, Sapphire, Lapis lazuli, Topaz, Rhodonite, Azurite, Mookite, Rhyolite (Traditional: Emerald)
GEMINI (21 May - 20 Jun): Pearl, Black Onyx, Citrine, Tigers eye, Moonstone, Rock crystal. (Traditional: Agate)
CANCER (21 Jun - 20 Jul): Aventurine, Moonstone, Rose Quartz, Pink Tourmaline, Moss Agate, Lavender Jade (Traditional: Ruby, Pearl)
LEO (21 Jul - 21 Aug): Sunstone, Carnelian, Tigers Eye, Fire Agate, Citrine, Garnet, Amber, Red Obsidian, Peridot, Quartz crystal (Traditional: Sardonyx)
VIRGO (22 Aug -22 Sep): Carnelian, Jasper, Sapphire, Agate, Lapis Lazuli, Peridot, Sodalite, White Jade, Amazonite, (Traditional: Zircon)
LIBRA (23 Sep - 22 Oct): Green Adventurine, Citrine, Tourmaline, Opal, Jade, Rhodonite, Emerald. (Traditional: Sapphire)
SCORPIO (23 Oct - 22 Nov): Rhodonite,Topaz, Carnelian, Garnet, Ruby, Jasper, Malachite, Green Turquoise, Red Tigers Eye, Obsidian, Bloodstone. (Traditional: Citrine)
SAGITTARIUS (23 Nov - 20 Dec): Sodalite, Turquoise, Zircon, Topaz and Snowflake Obsidian, Smoky Quartz, Blue Lace Agate (Traditional: Lapis Lazuli)