Making a Staurolite pendant: why Staurolite?
It does not possess qualities most admired in gemstones, such as clarity, shine or color. Its natural cross shape is not even regular. Why do we fall in love with this seemingly unattractive mineral? Why did the mankind use it as a religious talisman and a good luck charm for centuries?
Maybe because Staurolite is quite rare. It is found in few places on Earth. In some US states, like Virginia and New Mexico, in Europe: Scandinavia, Zwitserland, Russia. But also in India, Australia an Namibia.
But the main reason could be because we want to believe in miracles. This is what the cross stands for. Faith. The legend of Staurolite aka Fairy Cross tells that these stones were first formed when the fairies cried when they heard the news of Christ’s death, which is why they form a cross. The garnet inclusions stand for the droplets of blood of our Savior.
Making a Staurolite pendant: working with Staurolite as a jewelry maker
I would say it is easy and challenging at the same time. I made my first Staurolite pendant using a staurolite in mica schist (picture on the right). The stone originated from the Kola Peninsula in Russia, my native country. Staurolites can be still bought at reasonable prices there.
The stone itself is quite hard (7-7.5 Mohs). Yet it is fragile, because it is included in mica, which breaks off easily. The reason for parts of the cross breaking off is that the piece had been damaged when mined. Let’s say, it was not treated gently when someone found it.
For this reason I prefer prongs as the best way to hold the stone and to enhance its shape of the cross. The prongs can be soldered to a frame, like in this pendant to the left. With prongs and frames it is possible to visually compensate for stone irregularities, for instance when one leg of the cross is shorter. Perfectly shaped crosses are rare and expensive.
Moreover, too perfect and cheap stones are probably manufactured. If you see a selection of these for sale that are all the same size, the same shape and containing gas bubbles, they might be manufactured.
Of course, when the Staurolite cross is strong enough, the jewelry maker can drill a hole in it and glue a wire with an eylet into the hole. The problem is that this is not the most durable setting for such a rare stone. Especially, it is not suitable for daily wear.
Does Staurolite ask for special care when wearing? Actually not. You should not drop it from a height onto a hard surface, but the stone may survive even that.
Making a Staurolite pendant: the magic of the stone
Staurolite is one of the strongest healing and protective stones on Earth. The cross as a main Christian symbol is protective as such. But the powers of Staurolite go beyond Christianity. The mineral has a unique quality to connect all living beings (and minerals, since they are also living). Those who wear the stone can “tap” on the restorative energies of the mineral, plant and animal kingdoms. On the other hand, it makes us emphatic to these worlds too. We become aware of the creatures of these worlds and of the fact that we are all connected. Those who engage in spiritual practices can use the stone for meditation. Down to earth people can wear it when visiting the nature, hiking, gardening, caring for animals in animal shelters.
I love working with Staurolites and I will sure make more of those pendants in the future! Watch this video telling a remarkable story of a remarkable custom order. Making a Staurolite pendant with a stone which was lost and found, and then crossed the Atlantic two times in the time of Covid-19 travel restrictions.