Crafted in a low-oxygen reducing atmosphere, Goldstone is best described as a type of glittering glass. When completed, the man-made product can be polished to achieve a smooth surface. It can then be carved into a variety of different end products including figurines, beads, and other forms of jewellery. The polished material is so beautiful that it is often mistaken for natural stone. Sometimes, Goldstone is referred to as ‘Aventurine Glass’. This term is thought to derive from the original name of the product – Avventurina. In Italian, this word means ‘adventure’ or ‘chance’. Interestingly, Goldstone is similar in ap-pearance to the natural stone, Aventurine. Aventurine is the name given to specimens of Quartz with Mica Inclusions; these inclusions give the stone a glittering appearance, similar to that of Goldstone. In its natural form, the term for this phenomenon is ‘aventurescence’. In Persia, Goldstone is known as ‘Sang-e Setareh’. In Persian, ‘sang’ means ‘stone’ and ‘setareh’ means ‘star’. It is believed that the stone was giv-en this name due to its star-like metallic flecks.
To create Goldstone, copper oxide, silica, and borax are melted down to a liquid form. The mixture also includes other materials that help to reduce the copper to its elemental form. When all of the products have melted, all oxygen is cut off from it by sealing the vat; this creates something known as ‘oxygen-reducing atmosphere’. During this process, metallic flecks will begin to form in the glass. The oxygen-reducing atmosphere keeps the product hot enough for the flecks to form, but cool enough for them to not melt.
Goldstone can usually be identified by appearance alone. As mentioned previously, the material is usually red in colour with metallic flecks. The metallic flecks usually boast a copper tone and give the glass a glit-tering appearance. Good-quality Goldstone is translucent, though lower quality specimens may appear translucent to opaque. Goldstone can also be crafted without the use of copper. This is known as Non-Copper Goldstone, which we discuss in more detail below. The glass of Non-Copper Goldstone is typically blue or purple in colour, and the metallic flecks are usually silver rather than copper.
There are two main varieties of Goldstone: Copper Goldstone and Non-Copper Goldstone. Copper Gold-stone is the most common variety. This material is usually red in colour, though the intensity of the colour may vary. The colouring of Copper Goldstone has led to it being described as ‘Red Goldstone’ to differen-tiate between the two varieties. The colloidal copper within the stones composition creates the red col-ouring. When crafting Copper Goldstone, it’s imperative to control the colloid size. If too much of the product is dispersed, the metallic flecks will not form correctly.
As Goldstone is man-made, the product is usually made in batches. Typically, the outer layers of the batch are duller in appearance due to poor crystallisation. Poor crystallisation not only decreases the size of the metallic flecks, but it also alters the transparency of the outer glass. This means that the remaining copper flecks are even harder to spot. The dull appearance can also be caused by oxidation of the copper. If this process occurs, the copper begins to re-melt and lose its metallic quality.
Non-Copper Goldstone is the other variety of the man-made glass. In this material, the copper is replaced by Cobalt or Manganese. This substitution results in silver flecks, rather than copper. Additionally, the dif-ferent substances change the colour of the outer glass. In Non-Copper Goldstone, the glass is typically blue or purple. While many people prefer the appearance of Copper Goldstone, Non-Copper Goldstone is known for being easier to work with when reheated. Cobalt and Manganese have a much higher melt-ing point than Copper, meaning that Non-Copper Goldstone can be reworked without losing the metallic flecks. This often makes the material preferable for jewellers and craftsmen.
Though Goldstone is a man-made product, the origin of the stone remains unclear. However, many dif-ferent theories have been suggested over the years. Some believe that Italian monks spilt copper shav-ings into a tub of melted glass, while others believe that the monks were trying to create gold when they accidentally made Goldstone.
However, Venetian glassmakers suggest that the Miotti family created it in the 17th century. They believe that the Miotti family used the process to mass-produce the stone until the 19th century when they de-cided to make the formula public knowledge.
Like most gemstones, Goldstone boasts a range of healing properties. While the stone is man-made, it has the metaphysical properties of the materials it is crafted from. The inclusion of Copper means that Goldstone can strengthen the circulatory system, increase blood flow, and reduce inflammation. Addi-tionally, the stone eases pain from the body – particularly that associated with arthritis. Non-Copper Goldstone can also be used for crystal healing. This variety of the stone is thought to stabilise emotions and relax the mind; this makes the glass ideal for those suffering from stress and anxiety.
Beautiful Goldstone is popular all around the world. Today, the stone is mass-produced in various loca-tions worldwide. Loved for its transparent nature and glittering appearance, good quality Goldstone is popular for use in designer jewellery. Whether you’re hoping to use the stone for its benefits within crys-tal healing or you’re looking for a beautiful new addition to your jewellery collection, purchase a good-quality piece of Goldstone to reap the benefits.