Earth's Oldest Crystals and Gemstones
EARTH’S OLDEST CRYSTALS & GEMSTONES
Crystals are literally geological time capsules of Earth – they give scientists insights of the plate tectonic activities millions of years ago as well as the Earth’s eruption history. It’s so fascinating how crystals carry the histories of the Earth, making them so much more meaningful to own and collect!
If you like history (and crystals), this article is perfect for you! We’re listing some of the oldest crystals in the world and how they were used by the ancient civilisation.
Scientists have declared Zircon is the oldest mineral in the world at 4.4 billion years old – almost as old as the Earth! Its chemical make-up makes it so strong that it has lasted throughout years of geological events such as erosion.
Scientists are suggesting that the chemical ratios of these tiny crystals indicate that there may have been living organisms during the Hadean period (Earth’s earliest history) – a hard to believe fact considering that this period is likened to hell, where there were instances of volcanism, molten surfaces and asteroid impacts.
With its durable nature, Zircon has been used in jewellery for centuries, more notably in the Victorian era, which skyrocketed the gemstone’s popularity. Additionally, many people in the ancient times would use the crystal for restful sleep and protection from evil spirits.
In modern times, Zircon is believed to reduce one’s anxiety and stress, increase one’s wisdom and rationality.
Myth busting: Zircon and Zirconia are commonly confused, but are entirely different minerals. Zirconia is commonly used as diamond stimulants as they look very alike to diamonds and can be synthetically created. Additionally, Zirconia has a high refractive index. (can insert picture of Zirconia)
Check out our Zircon collection here.
Lapis Lazuli, a crystal of striking dark blue colour, has been dated back since 6000 BCE and was used in many ancient civilisations. Traces of Lapis Lazuli could be found during the Neolithic period (7000 – 1700 BC) and was first used by the habitants of Hindu Kush (modern Afghanistan).
Ancient civilisations viewed Lapis Lazuli with great significance as the crystal was used as a religious symbol and reflection of high-status. For example, in Ancient Egypt, judges wore Lapis Lazuli amulets in the shape of Maat, an Egyptian goddess symbolising truth. Pharaohs also wore Lapis Lazuli jewelry and even brought these gemstones to their tombs, believing that they would be provided with protection in the after-life.
Fun fact: Did you know that Cleopatra used ground Lapis Lazuli as eyeshadow due to its stunning blue pigment?
Lapis Lazuli also became popular during The Renaissance in the 15th to 16th century. Interestingly, it was sought after by many painters, who would use powdered Lapis Lazuli as pigment. Powdered Lapis Lazuli the colour Ultramarine, the most expensive pigment in the world.
Our co-founders have recently travelled to the Vatican Museum, where they found incredible paintings (like The Last Judgement) made with crystals including Lapis Lazuli (Check it out over here).
Check out our Lapis Lazuli collection here.
Colombianite, a type of Obsidian glass, is a Psuedotektite founded in the Columbian region 30 million years ago. Psuedotektikes are specimens which are almost visually alike to Tektites, hence the “Psuedo”. Unlike Tektites, which are of meteoric or extra-terrestrial origin, Pseudotektites are remnants of ancient obsidian or glass!
They were considered sacred stones by the Columbian Indians from the Muisca tribes, and referred to Columbianite as “Piedra Rayo”, which means “Lightning Stone”. It was believed to have direct links to the Divine and were even used by the Shamans to communicate with the higher beings.
The ancient stone is thought to possess great transformative properties, allowing us to remove past traumas and emotional baggage to reach our highest potentials. It is also believed that Colombianites can help us recall our past lives, thereby stimulating our inner spirit.
Check out our Colombinaites here.
Ever wonder why Jade is heavily associated with Chinese culture? Well, this goes back as far as the Stone Age, where traces of the gemstone have been found in Ancient Chinese ornaments as well as weapons. It is also the first crystal to be mentioned in Chinese historical texts.
By 3000 BCE, Jade had taken the role of the Royal Gemstone, being used in Imperial ceremonies, furnishings and carvings. Jade became symbols of health, status, spirituality and purity. Because of this, Jade had and still continues to have great significance in Chinese culture and history.
Did you know? People of great status and wealth in Ancient China were buried in Jade burial suits! It was believed to give these important people immortality and honour.
Today, Jade is known to be a lucky and protective stone, keeping one from harm. It also calms an overreactive mind. Additionally, it is still very widely used in Feng Shui and it represents health, healing and longevity.
Check out our Jade collection here.
Not only is Opal rich in bright blazing colours (of red, green, yellow and blue), it is also rich in history! The gemstone was discovered in 4,000 BCE by a famous anthropologist, Louis Leakey in Kenya.
Opals were used by many ancient civilisations. The Greeks believed that the stone would provide owners foresight, while the Arabians believed that the stone came from heaven as a result of flashes of lightning. The stone also symbolised purity and hope to the Ancient Romans.
These were also heavily used by the Aztec and Mayan Indians during the 14th century for ornamental and ceremonial pieces. The gemstone also had a great spiritual significance to these civilisations, being used in rituals and temples to honour the Sun. Unfortunately, up until the 1800s, the popularity of Opal had reduced greatly with the ultimate collapse of the Aztec Empire.
In modern times, the Opal is associated with the Sacral Chakra, stimulating creativity and originality within the user. Emotionally, it helps with negative emotions like anger, and it also helps one with self-expression.
Check out our Opal collection here.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Zircon is the oldest mineral in the world at 4.4 billion years old and is almost as old as the Earth! Read more about it here (anchor link to Zircon extract).
Radiometric dating methods are used to determine the age of crystals! This is the same methodology for determining the age of fossils. Geologists examine the proportion of isotopes in them and compare them against their known abundance on Earth. This works as geologists know the rate of decay of radioactive elements and hence by measuring the proportion of isotopes, they are able to tell the age.
Crystals grow from many types of elements such as water, melted rocks and vapours. Depending on the minerals, temperatures and pressures in their respective environments, these crystals can take thousands to billions of years to form!
Scientists have found that ancient Quartz crystals have been around for 2 to 3 billion years! They have also been used by many ancient civilisations like in Ancient Egypt and Greece.
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Moldavite, J., & About The Author John Moldavite John has been collecting and selling Moldavites since he was 14 years old. He created BuyMoldavite to make this magical stone available to everyone without worrying about fakes.He is a self-taught expert in the field. (2022, November 15). John Moldavite. BuyMoldavite. Retrieved November 16, 2022, from https://buymoldavite.com/tektites/colombianite/
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