Don’t let the name fool you: goldstone is neither gold nor a gemstone. Still, this sparkling “stone” is an eye-catcher with its glittering specks covering a golden base tone.
So if it’s not gold and not a stone, what is it? Goldstone isn’t a new material; it’s been around for hundreds of years. Still, the misconceptions remain: many people confuse goldstone for having real gold in it.
We can easily see why, especially with a name as misleading as goldstone! While there’s nary a speck of gold, this synthetic stone is still gorgeous! Let’s answer all your goldstone questions and dispel any myths or misconceptions about it.
As we divulged, goldstone is synthetic and entirely man-made. So, how is goldstone made and what materials create it? Goldstone is made from colored glass. The glass is so smooth and has a glittering effect that makes it look completely natural. Fun trick, right?
Still, it’s important to remember that goldstone is man-made and not a natural gemstone. Don’t let anyone charge you standard gold prices for this non-gold, non-stone material.
Despite the material being man-made, goldstone has a bit of a spotty history. The actual origins are contested, but some claim it was first created in Persia centuries ago. Others credit the 17th-century Italian family, the Miotti’s, as the originators of goldstone.
Goldstone is not the only savvy name given to this man-made material. It’s also called gold star glass, Stellaria, aventurine glass, monk stone, and monk’s gold. These creative names all refer to classic goldstone, which is made from a mixture of silica, copper oxide and various melted minerals. You might be wondering where these clever names came from? There are several different stories, all of which are interesting! One story is about an order of Italian monks who spilled copper shavings into melting glass, creating goldstone as we know it. However, there aren't records to corroborate this story. Others allege that monks created goldstone while trying to make real gold.
Regardless of how goldstone got its start, how is it made today?
These materials get melted with low-oxygen and when they cool down, they form into one solid structure of goldstone. While there are plenty of differences in one batch of goldstone, artisans usually take the best from the center of the slab.
Despite its Italian and Persian backstory, most goldstone is presently manufactured in China.
If you’re unsure about the exact physical properties of goldstone, look for its signature metallic sparkle. How does goldstone get its glittering effect? It forms during the cooling process. As the glass cools, copper crystals reflect from one another and produce a metallic sparkle.
There are a variety of goldstone types, from purple to brown. What dictates the color of goldstone? The glass used during the creation of goldstone will determine its final coloring. Some of the more vivid forms of goldstone don’t have copper, but cobalt, chromium oxide, or manganese. Let’s have a closer inspection of each one!
Red-Brown Goldstone is the classic depiction of goldstone, which has copper coloring and gold-like metallic sparkles
Green Goldstone comes from chromium and is resemblant of the aqua-green natural gemstone, aventurine, which has a similar glitter effect.
Blue Goldstone relies on cobalt instead of copper to get its beautiful blue coloring
Purple Goldstone gets its rich starry look thanks to cobalt combined with manganese.
Is goldstone the same thing as sunstone? Great question! Many people naturally mix these two up because they share visual similarities. However, they are vastly different. The most prominent distinction between goldstone and sunstone is that sunstone is a natural mineral. Unlike goldstone, sunstone is mined in Canada, India, Madagascar and the United States.
Why are these two so often mixed up? Because they have a similar glittering effect. While goldstone gets its glitter from copper crystals, sunstone has aventurescence. What’s that, you ask? Aventurescence is a natural glittering effect that radiates from deep within the gemstone.
If goldstone doesn’t have any gold and is not a natural gemstone, is it worth anything? The great thing about goldstone is that it’s very affordable and accessible. While it’s not as valuable as it’s natural counterparts, it’s still a wonderful addition to your jewelry collection or gallery!
That’s because goldstone is widely available as a jewelry “gemstone.” While goldstone alone will cost less than $20, when paired with jewelry it can be more expensive. For example, if goldstone is set in gold metal, the price can increase to up to a few hundred dollars.
Still, goldstone is going to cost significantly less money than real gemstones because, ultimately, it’s man-made.
What are the most popular types of goldstone jewelry? Does goldstone have any symbolism or meanings? Many people consider goldstone a healing crystal. As a holistic item, goldstone invites peace and reduces stress. It’s also believed to motivate the wearer and help one perform well under stress.
How can you wear goldstone jewelry? The fact that goldstone is man-made hasn’t lessened its popularity with designers and jewelers. Goldstone jewelry is extremely popular! That’s likely because it’s easy to work with, inexpensive, and versatile. A quick online search will yield countless results for goldstone jewelry.
Some of the most popular goldstone jewelry styles are to wear beaded bracelets and necklaces. These are almost always in the boho-style, paired with other gemstones. Because of the “gold” specks in goldstone, it pairs gorgeously with gold metals. Alternatively, cool-toned goldstones in blue and purple contrast beautifully with silver metals. This creates more of a vintage aesthetic which is timeless.
To summarize: goldstone is not a natural gemstone, yet it’s unique sparkle and colors make it a gorgeous addition to jewelry. Wear goldstone as a pendant, ring or use it for healing purposes. Goldstone proves that every so often humans succeed in emulating the beauty of nature!
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