Grey Gemstones

Grey Gemstones
[For Information and Educational purposes only]
by Alice Koh


The most popular faceted grey gemstone is spinel. Spinel comes from the Greek word SPINOS which means Spark.

Spinel is a rare and flawless gemstone of magnesium aluminum oxide. It comes in a wide variety of colours such as red, blue, orange, brown, violet, purple, grey and black (green and yellow are extremely rare).

Ceylonite and Pleonaste are dingy blue or grey to black varieties of spinel. Alexandrite-like Spinel is the colour-change spinel usually from grey to violet.

Spinel is rejuvenating, re-energizing and inspiring gemstones. It is a destroyer of obstacles, giver of optimism and determination to succeed in whatever project you have set your mind to accomplish.

The revitalizing metaphysical property of spinel helps you in your career goals and in your amorous courtship. It also helps you to let go of negative relationships.

Spinel was known as the perfect health stone and it was used as a charm to be worn over the solar plexus.


Very few gems have the metallic luster as hematite which is an iron-oxide mineral. Hematite is opaque and has an extremely variable appearance. Its luster can range from earthy to submetallic to metallic. Its colour ranges from red to brown and black to grey to silver. Hematite is harder than pure iron but is much more brittle. It has a hardness of 5.0 to 6.0 on the Mohs scale.

Hematite forms in the shape of crystals and has the same crystal structure as sapphires and rubies.

Hematite comes from the Greek HAIMATITES LITHOS which means "blood-red stone." This is because they all leave a rust-red streak when scratched in a white ceramic plate. This red streak is an important clue in identifying hematites.

Ancient Egyptians placed hematite amulets, representing pillows, in tombs to help mummies arise and move on to the afterlife. See Chapter CLXVI: The Chapter of the Pillow in The Book Of The Dead, The Papyrus of Ani. [Note, CLXVI = 166].

Ancient Romans associated hematite with Mars, the god of war whom they glorified. Their warriors rubbed their body with the powdered hematite as it was believed it made them invincible.

Both hematite and bloodstone were known and used in ancient Babylon and Assyria. It was believed that the source of hematite was from the blood of dragons and that it had the power to stop bleeding and to cure any mental ailment.


Labradorite's wonderful play-of-colour and its unique colour pattern make it a very magical gemstone. The colourful aurora borealis are indeed trapped within this gemstone. This wonderful play-of-colour is known as adularescence, labradorescence or aventurescence.

Labradorite comes in a variety of colours including grey-white, pale green, blue, brownish, yellow and colourless. It often looks dull or grey at one angle but shines bright blue or red as it rotates.

Labradorite is a healers' stone. Throughout the ages it has been popular with the shamans as it enhances the mental and intuitive abilities. It sharpens clairvoyance and telepathy and is also a good prophesizing tool.


Spectrolite is a hard and rare variety of labradorite, sourced only from Finland. The difference between spectrolite and other labradorites is that Finnish spectrolite labradorite has considerably richer, stronger and much more intense colours caused by its opaque base color as other labradorites have a transparent base colors.

Spectrolite exists in several colours with different appearances: dark grey, lighter shades of grey, blue-green, green-grey, almost black, but also yellowish, orange, almost colorless or milky.

While they may look similar, labradorite, moonstone and spectrolite are all different. However, they are referred to as "sister stones". They are members of the feldspar mineral family but labradorite is classified as a plagioclase feldspar, while moonstone is an orthoclase felspar.

Natural grey moonstone is generally called the 'New Moon Stone. '

Some of spectrolite healing properties include clearing, balancing and protecting the aura. It is used for holding the energy of leadership, courage, transformation, breakthrough and creativity. The energy of spectrolite emits a constant reminder to recognize and fulfill your potential.


Mother-of-Pearl is an organic gemstone made from nacre which is composed mainly of calcium carbonate. Mother-of-pearl displays a pearly luster and an attractive iridescence.

Grey mother-of-pearl, known for its harmonious grey silver tones and captivating glow, comes from French Polynesia. Most of them are cultured but they can also occur without human intervention. They can come from saltwater or freshwater.

Mother-of-pearl is also called cachalong opal and the abalone shell mother-of-pearl is referred to as sea opal.

Grey Silver Pearl

Pearl mainly comes from oysters and mussels. It is made up of nacre which is mainly calcium carbonate in the form of aragonite crystals and conchiolin that binds the microcrystals concentrically around an irritant.

Pearl is powerfully compact and extremely difficult to crush even though on the Mohs hardness scale it only ranges from 2.5 to 4.5.

Grey freshwater pearl, which comes from the mollusk Hyriopsis cumingii, is significantly more common (and therefore less valuable) than saltwater pearl but it is nonetheless extremely beautiful and intriguing.

Tahitian pearl

Tahitian pearl is harvested from black-lipped oysters in the temperate coastal waters of French Polynesia. It is known for being the only naturally occurring “black pearl” – typically sporting a glossy, metallic, grey colouring. It is also commonly referred to as a black pearl or (less frequently) a Black South Sea pearl.

Grey pearls reflect qualities like dignity, patience, wisdom, progress, self-control, focus and security.


Pyrite is a shiny, metallic gemstone often referred to as Fool's Gold. Pyrite is an opaque gemstone that is cut en cabochon and exhibits an attractive gold or silver metallic luster.

Pyrite is derived from the Greek PUR and LITHOS meaning Fire and Stone or “the stone which strikes fire.”

It is now accepted that Neanderthals made fire by striking a piece of pyrite. Not only that, but pyrite has also been found in prehistoric burial mounds giving evidence of its early use as a fire starter.

Pyrite was known by the French as the Stone of Health as they believed that it positively affected the health of the wearer.

Pyrite has been used since the Stone Age and the ancient civilization used it to create ritual magical objects and jewellery like magical scrying mirrors by both the Aztecs and the Incas.

Pyrite was considered a war stone. It was used as a powerful amulet to make the warriors strong and courageous during battle.


Star sapphire comes in various blue tones, pink, yellow, orange, green, lavender, grey, black and white.

Star sapphire is made up of unusual small needle-like inclusions of rutile that make possible the rare phenomenon of the star effect in a sapphire gemstone. This effect is called asterism. When viewing star sapphire, a six-rayed star will appear to float across the surface of the stone. This is best viewed under a direct light source or when you tilt and rotate the gemstone from different angles.

Sapphire is the birthstone for those born in September under the zodiac sign of Taurus.

Star sapphires were regarded in ancient times as powerful amulets for protection for travellers and seekers. These amulets were considered so powerful that they were passed from one generation to the next.

The most desirable colour in a star sapphire is a vivid, intense blue.


Star moonstone has a glass-like to pearly luster. It gives off a weak bluish and orangey fluorescence. It is usually colourless, yellow and pale sheen. Moonstone, however, is often found with a silvery sheen with base body colours of grey, mocha brown, yellow, orange, green, pink, blue, cream and white. The most sought after moonstones are the ones with blue sheen and white to colourless body. The deep-blue moonstones are the most valuable.

Star moonstone is a gem quality variety of orthoclase feldspar which exhibits the rare four-ray star effect known as asterism. The four-ray star can be seen under a direct light source as you tilt and rotate and view the gemstone from different angles. The four-rays are displayed at near-perfect right angles.

In India, it was believed that moonstones were created from moonbeams. They are considered as sacred gemstones and bringers of luck and good fortune. In some Arab countries, moonstones are sewn into the underwear of women in order to bring them healthy children.

Ancient Romans, too, believed that moonstones were created from drops of moonlight. Therefore moonstones carried the power of the moon.

Moonstone is believed to arouse tenderness, love and compassion. It is a powerful healing stone that is able to rid body pain such as headaches.