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red agateJust perfect for your Halloween creations -- these Red Agate Evil Eye beads are of stone that was formed from layers of silica from volcanic cavities. Agate is named after the Achates River (now known as the Dirillo River) on the island of Sicily, Italy, whose upper waters were an ancient source of this gemstone. Each strand offered here has 16 round faceted beads, with colors ranging from red to amber, as shown. Each bead is approx. 10 mm. with an approx. 2 mm. hole. Each strand is $10, but for a limited time, take 10% off with the code HALLOWEEN at checkout.


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Sept 19 2012 newbeads 003Obsidian is a fascinating stone we haven't discussed here before, so that's the subject of today's conversation. This is a transparent to opaque natural glass, composed of volcanic, amorphous, silica-rich, and glassy rock, found in areas of volcanic activity. The stone is formed when molten lava meets water, such as when the lava is flowing into a lake or ocean, and there is a rapid cooling process. There are many types of obsidian -- 'spider web', 'sheen', 'rainbow', the one pictured here -- snowflake, and more. (If you like these snowflake obsidian beads, they're available for sale on our site: )

Since the Stone age, people have used obsidian for cutting tools and weapons, because it can be worked to create an extremely thin, sharp edge. Ancient Aztecs and Greeks polished it and used it for mirrors, and the Moai, the large stone statues on Easter Island, were fashioned from obsidian! Since antiquity, obsidian has also been used for adornments. Throughout history and even today, obsidian has been thought to have a special significance/relationship to our psyches as well. Snowflake obsidian, in particular, is thought to increase psychic sensitivity; some believe it has the power to put one in touch with the world of souls, to facilitate communication with lost loved ones, or to assist in past-life recall. Whatever your particular beliefs or planned uses for obsidian, there is no doubt this is a fascinating and lovely stone.

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