Semi-precious stones and their properties

by | Jan 24, 2020 | Articles

Malachite in its raw form

Beyond the elegance and beauty of each of our Italian-made semi-precious stone jewellery boxes and photo frames, each stone beholds a myriad of properties, some of which are known to cleanse, some which purify negative energy and others which heal emotionally. Listed below are the semi-precious stones which are found in our curated collection. 


One of the most stunning semi-precious stones on our planet (in its raw form shown above), malachite is a copper carbonate mineral which has, for centuries, been revered for its healing properties and for stimulating life energy. With its mesmerising rich green colour punctured by natural patterns and swirls, malachite personifies the healing power of the natural world and is often known as the stone of transformation due to its power of cleansing as it absorbs and purifies negative energies and pollutants from the atmosphere and the body. Malachite has been used as a jewel for centuries and was well-known to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and in the Middle Ages to the Russian czars who used it for ornaments and panelling in their castles. Malachite was believed to protect against the “Evil Eye” and even today many use it for protection.


Amethyst is one of the world’s most revered stones and has been highly esteemed throughout the ages for its beauty, spirituality and legendary powers to stimulate the mind and heal the body. A semi-precious stone formed when manganese penetrates clear quartz, amethyst’s worth in ancient times was equal to that of diamonds and was used by nobility to adorn crowns, sceptres and rings. Its inherent high frequency purifies negative energy and is a stone of comfort for those grieving the loss of a loved one, it is used to strengthen the body from those suffering illness, and is also the stone of love, because, as legend has it, St. Valentine was thought to have worn an amethyst ring engraved with the image of Cupid. It is also a talisman for success. It is the birthstone of those born in February.


Petrified wood forms over millions of years and occurs when trees or tree-like plants become buried under sediment or volcanic ash and are initially preserved due to a lack oxygen which inhibits decomposition. Mineral-laden water and mud seeps into the dead tree’s pores, and as its internal structure gradually breaks down, its organic material gets replaced by silica and other minerals. Over millions of years, those minerals will crystallize, resulting in a rock that is shaped like the original tree, but whose composition is anything but. In many areas of the world, petrified wood has been carbon dated to 225 million years B.C. – as old as the early dinosaurs. Petrified wood was revered in ancient times as the stone was thought to be magical and contain the knowledge from the tree it was created from. Petrified wood has a strong grounding energy and can assist people to create a foundation for moving forward and necessary change.


Tiger iron is a quartz-lignite aggregate gemstone containing layers of vibrant golden Tigereye, metallic grey hematite and rich, red jasper. It is said to contain the metaphysical properties of its component stones – the grounding power and circulatory affinity of hematite; the healing power and blood-cleansing abilities of red jasper; the energizing power and clarity inducing strength of Tigereye, as well as being considered powerful in its own right. The stone is said to encourage good health, strength, stamina, expression, confidence, as well as giving energy to those who feel emotionally, mentally or physically exhausted and burned out. It is also known as a creative stone and many musicians, artists, actors, and writers find Tiger Iron to be a perfect ally in their pursuits. It is popular among ‘earth’ signs such as Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn.


Stromatolites are the oldest fossils in the world and give us a unique insight into the origins of life on earth. Some date back to 3.5 billion years when environments were too hostile to support life as we know it today. In simple terms, the fossils were formed by the growth of layer upon layer of micro-organisms or blue-green algae, until the classic mushroom shape of the Stromatolite rises out of the water. In fact, Stromatolites were responsible for the creation of the earth’s atmospheric oxygen, as they consumed CO2 and released O2 through their photosynthetic metabolism. Stromatolite is a very soft, soothing stone, reconnecting one back to the primordial state of earth. It is a stone of transformation and assists healing at an emotional level, removes blockages within the meridians and helps relieve stress.


Lapis Lazuli (in its raw form shown below) has been one of the most sought-after stones in history and is a deep blue metamorphic semi-precious stone comprised of multiple minerals. One of those minerals, azurite, is responsible for producing the gem’s most prized colour – bright royal blue. As well as its beautiful colour, it produces a valuable ultramarine dye of unrivalled intensity; in fact it was used by some of the most important artists of the Renaissance and Baroque period, including Masaccio, Perugino, Titian and Vermeer. Its deep celestial blue colour is the symbol of royalty, gods and power, and the stone is a symbol of wisdom and truth. It is a purifier of toxic substances, it stimulates the mind, enhances intellectual ability, aids the process of learning and is excellent for enhancing memory.



Lapis lazuli in its raw form

Yellow Jasper has been historically revered as a talisman of protection and discernment, used by priests and spirit guides to guard man in both his physical travels and spiritual journeys. The semi-precious stone is an opaque, microcrystalline variety of quartz with large, grainy crystals and a mustard, sandy or burnished yellow colour due to its high iron content. It stimulates the Solar Plexus chakra, encouraging positivity, confidence and courage, bringing inner strength, energy, mental clarity and enthusiasm to one’s life and relationships. Holding a deep connection to the Earth, it is a powerful aid in grounding the soul and for anyone who often finds themselves stressed, anxious or depressed as it replaces negative feelings with joy and happiness.


Onyx is a truly remarkable stone and it will always take centre stage wherever it is used. When backlit, it becomes translucent, magical and ethereal. It is formed when water emerges from the mouth of a spring. The minerals seep out and build a crust of calcite crystals which, over time, form onyx. Onyx is a grounding stone that encourages one to feel safe in its presence. It also helps provide mental focus, it helps release negative thoughts and emotions such as sorrow and grief and is said to bring good fortune.



Stone Design London has a wonderful selection of semi-precious jewellery boxes, photo frames,  marble tables, and other items; it also specialises in supply and installation of natural stone in London and the surrounding counties. Get in touch with us at or call us on: (+44) (0)20 7688 8444. Follow us on Instagram @stonedesignlondon