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Tumbled Eilat Stones.  Image by http://www.stoneageminerals.com/

I wanted to share a more unusual but beautiful gemstone that I stumbled across a while ago.  Named for the city of Eilat, in Israel, this mineral was believed to have been a favorite of King Solomon, and is the country’s national gem.  Eilat stone was essentially a byproduct of the ancient copper mining that took place at southernmost tip of Israel, in an arid land that only gets a week of rainy days each year.

The stone is a hodgepodge of copper-bearing minerals that includes malachite, azurite, turquoise, and chrysocolla.  The result is a gentle, painterly mix of blues, greens, and browns…not unlike the vibrant colors of the Red Sea bordering the mines.  Unfortunately, the copper mines have been closed for some time due to flooding, and the supply of true Eilat stone is limited.  Most of the material sold today comes from places like Morocco, Peru, and Arizona.

eilatbeachBeach in Eilat, Israel.  Photo by Pazit Polak

As Eilat stone is a mix of many minerals, it is given a long list of positive attributes by metaphysical healers, chiefly involving the heart and lungs.  It was also thought to grant wisdom and help those desiring spiritual depth.  I like the earthy, old quality of the stone, like something I would expect to see in a market in ancient Israel or Egypt.

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