A lava stone bead is one of my favorite beads to make a piece of jewelry with. A few years back I visited Sicily and I definitely wanted to visit the Etna. That is one of the largest volcanos in Western Europe. It wanted to see that powerful volcano. Last August we visited Iceland, the land of the vulcanos. Something attracts me to that kind of natural power station.
Also here the cold and blackness of the stones and the contrast of the glaciers, the white snow. The blue glacier lakes with the icebergs and the crystal clear water. Knowing that one of the vulcanos can explode any minute, without warning. And not only add a fresh layer of lava to the soil that already is loaded with lava in many different shapes. But such an outbreak makes the air and the whole area black, from the dust that comes out of the volcano.
Maybe you don’t like outbursts of vulcanos, maybe you think there are dangerous and can take lives. And you are right. But vulcanos also makes the soil fertile and give mankind a beautiful (gem) stone: the lava stone. And that lava stone, which I use often to make the most beautiful pieces of jewelry, is the subject of this blog post.
Viti volcano crater in Northern Iceland with geysers behind the crater
What is exactly lava stone?
Lavastone can be regarded as the oldest stone in the world. Actually, lava stone is the inside of the world, since it comes out of the core of the earth. When a volcano erupts a red fluid stream comes out of the core of the earth. The stuff that is still inside the earth is magma and once it comes to the open it is lava. You will find lava in Hawai, in Iceland and in a lot of places. When lava cools down it becomes porous and black, but it can also become red or brown.
Lavastone is also called volcanic rock and volcanic rock has all kinds of different names according to the chemical composition and the texture. For instance, basalt is a very common volcanic rock. Mostly found in the oceans, and it has a very low silica content. But Rhyolite is a volcanic rock with very high silica content. And that makes the stone much more beautiful than basalt, more colors, and brilliance.
Lavastone beads and rhyolite
How does it work?
It is not only the chemical content and the texture that can vary with volcanic rocks. Also, the speed of the cooling of the magma can change the volcanic rock into some other beauties. When the lava stream cools down fast it can turn into obsidian and when it cools down slowly it becomes rhyolite. When the lava cooled rapidly in water or air it gets fine crystals.
The crystals are the residue that stays behind when the water or steam, the air, and gasses escape from the rock. In lava stone, you see a lot of small bubbles. Which are the holes from where the water and the gasses escaped in the process of cooling down. And in the holes, minerals and crystals are settling down, which gives the volcanic rock again a different appearance.
On a rare occasion the magma in the earth pick up crystals from another magma stream and these crystals are called xenocrysts. You may think what the … are these. But you all know the most famous xenocryst and that is the diamond, also a volcanic rock. The magma stream and outside the earth, the lava stream brings those diamonds up to the surface.
Lava stream, that comes out of the earth. And lava stone.
To put all the information together
The core of the earth consists of fluid-rock, called magma. After the magma comes out of the earth in a volcanic eruption it is called lava. There are many types of lava or volcanic rock. Depending on the content of the magma (crystals, minerals), cooling downtime, etc.
Volcanic eruptions and the lava that flows over the land can be devastating but also creating. Lava can fertilize the soil, can create new land (like the islands of Hawai). And we find the most precious and beautiful gemstones coming out from this process of eruption. The cooling down and picking up minerals and crystals on the way.
turquoise lava stone statement necklace
Lavastone can heal you too!
Lava can be devastating but also can bring new soil and life. It does not look like a stone with healing properties, but it has! Lava comes from the core of the earth where a lot of energy comes from. That energy can explode in a volcanic eruption, but it keep sits energetic qualities. The lava stone can calm you down so that you can use your energy in a better way. In the legends there are a lot of stories of soldiers that got lava stones from their masters, to keep them calm during the fight.
The healing capacities of the lava stone only work when you are in close contact with the stone or wear it on your skin, in pieces of jewelry for instance. Isn’t it great that you can wear a beautiful piece of jewelry? That gives you a balance in your energy and stabilize your emotions?
black and white gemstone necklace
Inspiration and creation
Traveling around in Iceland last August I felt the power of the lava stone. Whether you want it or not, you are getting inspired by the landscape made by these powerful volcanoes that still erupt. And impressed by the volcanoes, when they think it is time to ‘blow their steam of’. It is not only the material and the colors but also the combination with other materials that makes the lava stone so powerful and beautiful.
The combination of lava stone with silver and gold, or with amber and crystal quartz, but also with coral is gorgeous and strong. The base of a piece of jewelry made with lava stone is mostly black, red or brown: strong and piece giving colors. And you can make it vivid and playful combining it with competitive colors like red (coral), orange (amber, carnelian), and precious metals.
earrings made of lava stone
In my collection, you will find a few pieces of stunning jewelry that are inspired by the lava stone and its majestic history.
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