Chalcedony is a name given to a form of microcrystalline Quartz. Microcrystalline, also known as cryptocrystalline is a type of crystal that is so small that it's not seen by tthe naked eye. Chalcedony usually has a milky or transclucent appearance and is an all encompassing term that can include varieties of Agate, Jasper, Bloodstone, Chrysoprase, Onyx, etc in its classification. However, to avoid confusion, in the gem trade, Chalcedony is usually referring to a milky white, gray or blue version of the stone.
Chalcedony rates a 7 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness so it is a pretty tough stone like Quartz. Because of its durability and abundance, Chalcedony was used often as weapons and tools during man's early days.
Mineral Facts of Chalcedony
Surface Color: Multi-Colored
Streak Color(can vary from surface color, this is the color of the crystals’ powdered minerals): White
Group: Silicates (silicon + oxygen)
Cleavage(where the crystal breaks off naturally to form a new face, parallel to its structure. This is a clean break and can cleave over and over again along the same face, retaining the crystals structure): None
Fracture: Conchoidal (clam-like concave like when glass breaks)
Luster: Waxy, Vitreous or Dull
Transparency: Transparent to Opaque
Crystal System: Hexagonal
Crystal Habit: Micro-crystalline or Massive (hunks of stone), Stalactitic (cave hangings), Nodular, Rounded Pebbles, Geode Linings
Carnelian - a reddish orange variety of Chalcedony, sometimes banded.
Chrysoprase - a translucent green Chalcedony getting its color from Nickel.
Jasper - an opaque Chalcedony that comes in many different colors.
Onyx - the black and white variety of banded Agate.
Petrified Wood - Chalcedony crystallizes wood to create Petrified Wood.
Pietersite - a Chalcedony with amphibole mineral inclusions that can make the stone look iridescent.
Sard - a brown to brownish red variety of Chalcedony.
Sardonyx - reddish brown or black and white banded Agate Chalcedony.
Metaphysical Meaning of Chalcedony
Chalcedony emits a calming energy.
Chalcedony helps to transmute aggressive emotions to a tranquil state.
Chalcedony vibrates the mind to align with positive thoughts.
Chalcedony is often used to enhance memory.
How to Use Chalcedony
Use Chalcedony at the Third Eye Chakra for mental stability.
Place Chalcedony stones in a group setting to harmonize the energies.
Wear Chalcedony to alleviate any aggressive energies.
Meditate with Chalcedony for inner peace.
Use Blue Chalcedony to balance everything related to the Throat chakra like communication, vocal cords, public speaking, etc.
Personal Experience with Chalcedony
For a long time, I was confused by the Chalcedony classification. As you just learned, the classification encompasses so many popular stones. I didn't know what to call and what not to call Chalcedony! Now, I have learned that in the gem trade, we can easily narrow down Chalcedony crystals by focusing on the un-banded, translucent or milky variety of the stone that may not easily fit under the other sub-categories of Jasper, Pietersite, Agate, etc.
That being said, I have mostly been using the frosty gray Chalcedony over the years. Its muted color is easy to wear with a variety of outfits and its soft energies are easy to mix with stronger stones like Rhodochrosite and Pyrite.
Lisa's Experience with Chalcedony
Chalcedony is an interesting stone. I haven't had much experience with chalcedony. I used to think only the light blue Chalcedony existed. I then encountered Hungarian Chalcedony that is a slightly darker blue and with lots of red inclusions. This variation won my affection. I believe Madagascar produces this variety as well.
I appreciate the stone because there are not very many natural pieces that align with the Throat Chakra. I hope to work with Chalcedony more. I found one or two nice pieces in spheres, I would like to grow this number and make it a steady stone for our sphere collection.
Chalcedony Stones & Jewelry
The most popular form of Chalcedony in our stone collections are the ones that line geodes. As you may know, geodes are big hollow rocks that are lined with surprising crystals within. Sometimes the geodes are lined with sparkling Amethyst crystals with a border of Chalcedony. Sometimes you will find the geode rock lined full of pure milky Chalcedony.
For the best quality Chalcedony in jewelry pieces, you will want to look for a consistent frosty color throughout the stone. Organic inclusions are natural and welcome! Fancy pieces of Chalcedony are cut into cabochons and carvings and give a radiant glow because of its lusterous color.