Fun Ways to Combine Semiprecious Stones

Admit it. You’re interested in the healing properties of semiprecious stones. You may think the notion is a known fact or a bunch of garbage, but when someone mentions it, you either *** your ears or raise your hackles.

My opinion is this: When I go to a bead show and run my hands through piles of stone strands, I linger just a little longer than I usually do. You know, like when you’re wearing a really soft sweater and someone pats your shoulder for a millisecond longer than they normally would? That’s my reality with stones. There’s something there, but I’m not really in touch with it.

Last year I wrote a post for Beading Daily about the healing properties of semiprecious stones that seemed to catch a few people’s interest. When I wrote that post I actually did a lot of research on individual stones’ metaphysical values because I didn’t really know much about the subject. If only I’d had Kim Gover’s Designing Jewelry with Semiprecious Beads! Her book devotes a whole chapter to the properties of individual stones, including the healing properties, but also including information on color, form, history, and cost. And the best thing is that Kim features the stones in a color spectrum from black to white through red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet and indigo. (This book has great projects in it too, by the way, and the how-to is illustrated like they do in Japanese books, with illustrations only, something a visual learner like me loves!)

Paging through Designing Jewelry with Semiprecious Beads inspired me to haul out my semiprecious stone bead stash to explore them in a concentrated way (versus my usual scramble through the stash, fueled by fragmented thoughts like “Red. Need Red Bead. Round. 6mm.”). It’s strange, but taking the time to do this actually floored me. I was struck by the variation and versatility of these little gems dug right out of the ground. What we have at our fingertips isn’t just a bunch of rubble Fred used to bring home to Wilma after a day at the quarry. What we have now makes up a painter’s palette in different hues and shades. A candy store of different opacities and refraction. A miniature modern art gallery of shape, form, and finish.

Once I pulled myself away from those “all the pretty colors” daydreams, my left brain kicked in. First I arranged the stones in small groups with their color families so they could work as points on a color wheel. 

And then I started thinking . . . We beaders like to make jewelry for just about any occasion. There are a few occasions I’ve had lately when I could have used a little healing boost, and a necklace or bracelet made with a combination of healing stones just might be the thing to get me through. (Disclaimer: I am obviously not a healing stones practitioner, and these combinations could perhaps prove deadly . . . but it was a fun exercise anyway):

Combo 1: Editing deadline
Turquoise (communication), lava (mental and physical strength for battle), and lapis (knowledge and wisdom).

Combo 2: Pick up the kid from detention

Jade (calming), howlite (patience), and blue lace agate (lessens anger).  

Combo 3: Honey, I just crashed the car

Garnet (protection), rose quartz (acceptance of self), and peridot (healing marital relationships) 

Combo 4: There isn’t enough Visine on the planet to take care of these red eyes

Lepidolite (sleep), hematite (sleep), moonstone (lovely dreams) 

Do you have a stone combination with a purpose or have you made a piece of semiprecious jewelry with healing in mind? Please share what you’ve come up with on the website Coming Friday:  a new Beading Daily design challenge with semiprecious beads!

Jean Campbell writes about beading and life every Wednesday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Jean, please post them on the website. Thanks! 

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Michelle M.

About Michelle M.

I was the founding editor of Beading Daily (2007-2009) and my now a freelance designer/writer/editor.  My designs have been published in Stringing, Step by Step Beads, Jewelry Gifts for the Holidays, Creative Jewelry, Beadwork, and other magazines. I enjoy stringing, bead embroidery, wirework, metal work, mixed media, beadweaving—pretty much anything that involves beads or jewelry.  I also enjoy exploring new crafts like pottery and felting.  I write a personal blog if you want to see more of my work. 16+ Free Beading Projects: A list of the free projects I created for Beading Daily. Contact Info If you have a question regarding Beading Daily, please contact customer service at or the current editor, Kristal Wick. If you'd like to contact me, you'll find my info on my website:  You can also follow me on Twitter at: Pictured here is a pair of earrings I made for the Spring 2010 issue of Stringing in an attempt to get over my fear of designing with the color orange!

29 thoughts on “Fun Ways to Combine Semiprecious Stones

  1. Jean, this might be my favorite Beading Daily post ever. You are hilarious — the Stephanie Pearl McPhee of the bead world. Have you thought of writing a humor book? Oh sorry, were you trying to be serious here?

  2. Jean:

    Why do seemingly intelligent people think that inert material can “enhance” or “mend” a personality trait ? I don’t even want to think about “healing.”

    When I read medieval, superstitious bunk like this, I am actually embarrassed to be a beader working with stone.

  3. I am so happy to see the energy uses of beads being used more! I have been making Intentional Jewelry under the name of Starrabbit Originals for years, using the energies of gemstones,both precious and semiprecious, and metals. The concept is that everything on earth vibrates at a different resonance and soit does not matter if you believe in it or not, the stones and metals will vibrate when worn or carried with you and provide the energies your electrical field is missing. For example, my doctor was looking so worn out a few years ago, and I made her a bracelet of jasper,known as the supreme nurturer. She put it right on and by my next visit she had renewed energy, started beading her own earrings, and took a job as medical director of all the rural clinics here. I applaud you for venturing into this interesting aspect of jewelry making!

  4. Jean- I absolutely love your writing style! Your humor is delightful – I am still gigglijng over, “Honey, I just crashed the car!” How funny and smart and articulate you are… And your openness about your own beading process gives me so much permission to not really know what I’m doing and to just go for it! I too have a sense that there is something to the notion that different stones have different energies or vibes. And even if it were all hokum and bunk, how lovely would it be to make a piece for a friend with a little tag that explains how the stones were chosen especially for her… Great idea!

  5. Jean,
    Thank you for an absolutely delightful article! Your sense of humor made this a fun read–“Pick Up the Kid from Detention” particularly appealed to me, since I work on student-information systems software–but you also provided a great design springboard. Whether one believes in the energies of gemstones or not, the idea of conveying a message through bead combos, rather like Victorian message floral bouquets, is an appealing one.

  6. Jean, I have to agree with JaimeG. This is my favorite post of yours. I have long appreciated the healing properties of stones and done a (very) little research on the subject, mostly because I have an interest in gemology and the metaphysical world. I think I must also unconsciously combine my stones in a metaphysical way because after looking at my pieces, someone once asked me at one of my shows if I was a practicing Wiccan!!! Funny stuff. But speaking of funny, your post really was. I’ll have to see what healing adornments I can dream up to address the stress-filled scenarios from my own life!

  7. Whether you believe stones have healing properties or not (I personally don’t) I like the idea of first stating a cause/event/purpose and then choosing the stones according to their qualities and relationship to the cause. Some very nice color combinations resulted from your exercise.

  8. I have a quartz crystal that I was assured would help my health! I’m trying to find a good book on semiprecious stones and healing. It would be fun to work with. Dodie R

  9. I keep in mind the healing properties of gemstones when designing all the time. I even have designed jewelry for perfect strangers in the same way. The purchaser of the piece tells me about the recipient, and I research the stones, and my stash and design from that perspective. I am told the jewelry was a perfect fit.
    An easy book to start with is The Crystal Bible, by Judy Hall.

  10. This is absolutely priceless! Thank you for a delightful post that informed me AND had me in stitches:)

    I love to hear about the meanings societies and faith traditions have attached to stones- when I create with gemstones I often choose them based on meanings to create a special “blessing recipie”.

  11. I do have a special semi-precious piece that I made with “healing” in mind. Unfortunately there isn’t any room for humor in mine.

    About 2 years ago now, the grown daughter of a woman at my work went missing. After asking around (I didn’t really “know” her because he works in a different department/building) I found out that she is Catholic, so I made her a rosary using a mix of semi-precious stones that I chose based on their healing properties. When I gave her the rosary, I also gave her a sheet that explained why each of the stones was chosen. I don’t know that the stones themselves did much to comfort her, but she was very touched by the thought and meaning behind the gift. This is basically a copy of the sheet that I gave her:

    *Botswana Agate* is a comforting stone that is believed to provide relief from depression and grief. It is also believed to increase courage and strength and to help dispel fears.

    The *Pearls* represent faith and trust. Pearls are very calming and they give purity, while promoting faith, charity, integrity, truth, and loyalty.

    *Peruvian Blue Opal* is believed to be good for quieting the mind and as an aid to sleep. It softens the impact of stress from the outside world and can help one release the trauma of old wounds. It facilitates facing the future with a tranquil healing nature.

    *Malachite* is a very strong protective stone – especially for the protection of children and protection from evil. Malachite promotes inner peace and hope and enhances emotional stability.

    *Amethyst* represents spirituality and wisdom. Amethyst is though to ease the pain of grief and promote inner peace and courage.

    *Mother of Pearl* represents purity. It is also thought to be a particularly potent stone for the protection of children.

    *Lepidolite* is a stone of calm, trust, and hope. It is believed to help one get through transitions with trust that everything will ultimately turn out for the best. It is a soothing stone that greatly decreases stress, anxiety, and depression, promoting inner peace.

    *Celestite* represents truth and hope. Celestite is considered a powerful “angelic stone” that can connect you directly to the angels themselves for angelic guidance. It is also believed to provide emotional protection, inner peace and relief from worry, fear and anxiety.

    I know it sounds like a strange combination of stones, but it actually came out quite pretty.


  12. Waaaaaayyy too funny!! How about this idea? Take items you have already made and find out what “healing properties” they have already. I have one that loosely translated would be: getting rid of garbage will make you smile (lol).

  13. The Important Interview Necklace (I needed this today!):
    Amazonite – clarity of thought
    Chalcedony – calm and peace
    Peridot – eloquence
    (The colors may not be that attractive together, but if it lands the job, I’d wear it!)

    Jean, your post was hilarious today. Thanks for the smile! 🙂

  14. My favorite reference for energy work in “Love is in the Earth” by Melody. When I receive a commission to create a special piece, it always involves a dialogue with the individual. We talk about what they hope this piece will support. I tend to work “backward”, that is I set the intention, create the piece using whatever comes to hand (literally) and THEN I double check to see if the stones and minerals have the desired properties. It always does! I had one client tell that the piece I had created for her was exactly what she needed and that the only time she took it off was to shower.

  15. You gave me the laugh of the day with this post! “Honey I just crashed the car” is my favorite! Thanks for that.
    I agree with your thoughts of healing properties in stones. I like to look them up and do a bit research, but I’m not a believer.

  16. Hi Jean,
    I loved your newsletter and the humour you put into it.
    I’d love to throw a totally new angle at you re healing properties of crystals.
    I’m the author of a new book titled The Magic of Minerals in Crystal Healing. I am a graduate gemmologist and naturopathic herbalist and have combined both modalities to research my book.
    During a (scientific) crystallography class I had an epiphany that I was in a unique position to pull together information to bring a NEW explanation as to why crystals do heal.
    In my book I’ve covered over 50 stones/crystals giving an explanation of the crystal healing use (mind, body and emotions) and then correlating that with the mineralogical make up of that particular crystal. The nutritional properties of the minerals explain the healing uses of the crystal. So very exciting.
    You can read a little more at I am happy to answer questions if I can so please feel free to ask.
    I hope this makes you all put on your thinking caps. It brings crystal healing into mainstream acdeptance.
    I can be reached at

  17. Jean, I HOWLED with laughter at this one – particularly the “Honey, I crashed the car” scenario. Seriously, though… I can’t believe that once again I’ve tuned into a movement that I didn’t even know was happening, having just made a few delicious and very special-feeling pieces, mainly to use up some of my stash but being surprised at the beauty and power of them once I’d finished. A conversation about use of semi-precious chips also sprang up on the Bead Freaks Facebook group the day after. Weird? Or meant? I don’t know.

  18. Hi Jean

    Couldn’t help chuckling over ‘Honey, I crashed the car’ 🙂
    Can’t see myself picking particular stones for a particular effect or situation though – I’m more likely to select by colour & shape.


  19. Bravo Jean!!
    You are a very good writer and very funny as well. I do believe very strongly in the healing properties of gemstones. After all, it is yet another thing that the earth provides for us. Let’s just say that even if you didn’t believe in the healing properties, and you put on your work the healing properties of the stones, and someone who bought them from you was healed even if it was simply because they believed the stones would help, (placebo affect), than isn’t it a win, win situation!! I believe so. We are energy beings, and we live in a Universe that is made up entirely of energy.

  20. This is too funny! I literally laughed out loud when I read it, and I immediately forwarded it to a few friends of mine who I knew could use a laugh. Jean – you have a wonderful sense of humor! I love it!

    And about crashing the car – I hit my first deer with the car after 10 years of living in the Adirondacks this summer. Maybe if I make a necklace using those stones it will be my last! LOL!

  21. Actually, I sell bracelets with combinations of stone that would be helpful for cancer, strength, loss and nine other situations. I call them support bracelets. I was a counselor and employed an eclectic method in my practice. I see the bracelets as a form of behaviora therapy to remind people of the qualities that would be helpful to get through the situation. I have a website to see the bracelets. Linda O

  22. Hey, Jean! Love your humor! Just wanted to say that just making a piece of beautiful jewelry is healing and inspiration to me! Thanks for all the good tips. I love reading your comments!

  23. I love working with semiprecious stones, and often buy the strands of chips because they are affordable. I’ve made a few pieces for friends’ birthday gifts, using stones that are appropriate to their birth month. If the recipient is someone I know won’t be offended by the idea of stones having healing properties, I’ll look up the info and include it with the gift. I myself don’t believe that stones can heal, but I like reading about the centuries-old stories.

  24. I have always been interested in everything there is to know about the semiprecious stones I work with. My sister is very knowledgeable about the healing properties of stones. She got me interested many years ago and I have kept up with the research. I now create jewelry designs using the semiprecious stones. Carrying a stone in your pocket, that has healing properties for you and your situation, is like having support whenever you reach in and touch it. The beauty of the stones is what every one else sees. You know the beauty is not the only quality that you appreciate about the stone. If the healing properties make you feel more positive that is a bonus. That is a fact you can share or keep to yourself.

  25. I love this article. Thank you for making me laugh and smile. I just made a piece using the following combination:

    Blue Quartz (Meditation), Mother of Pearl (Enhance Intuition), Pearls (Faith), and Very Dark Lapis (Enhance Awareness and Intellect).

  26. Jean, this is a question about amber. My daughter brought back quite a few necklaces from Russia many years ago and they all need restringing. Could you please tell me what would be the best stringing material? Do they need to be knotted between each stone? Hope you an help me.
    J Bisha

  27. I know this is a bit late in coming, but I had to share….I totally believe in the healing power of stones and loved your article. I’m going to make a “Visine” one for my mom to help her with her insomnia.
    This is my contribution: a friend of mine had been trying to concieve for quite some time with no luck. I made her a bracelet of moonstones (promotes fertility, intuition, and love) and onyx (bring its wearer marital bliss), plus the black and white colors promote for married women, constant love and perseverance, purity, affability, and contemplation. For fun, I added a single silver bead with a spiral on it because it reminded me of a CinnaBun that she’d be craving once she’s with child. Two months later, she e-mails me that she’s pregnant. Little Marshall Clyde is now a delightful little 6-month old. Whatever works 🙂
    I love your posts and I’m thrilled that we are from the same area sort of: we recently moved to Anoka after years of living in Plymouth. I look forward to the next post.