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All About Gemstones

Native american stones and their meanings

Unearthing the Significance of Native American Gestones

The Sacred Connection to Earth and Ancestry

Explore how Native American gemstones are much more than pretty stones. They represent a profound connection to Earth and spirituality, serving as a bridge between the living and the ancestry.

Revered for their beauty and spiritual significance, these gemstones, such as the vibrant turquoise gem and the luminescent amber, carry the wisdom of the past and embody the sacred relationship indigenous people have with the land.

Traditionally, these stones are considered living entities, with each holding a special place in the natural world, bringing balance and harmony to those who wear or hold them.

The revered jade, often an emblem of virtue, is also a cornerstone in these cultural artifacts, symbolizing purity and the enduring spirit of nature.

Before we go on further into the native american stones and their meanings, Let’s take a look at this quote;

This quote is from a Native American Elderly about honering the earth and the crystals and gemstones that come from it:

Honor the sacred. Honor the Earth our Mother. Honor the Elders. Honor all with whom we share the Earth:- Four-leggeds two-leggeds winged ones Swimmers crawlers plant and rock people. Walk in balance and beauty.

A Spectrum of Symbolism in Indigenous Cultures

The gemstones used by Native American tribes are woven with a diverse tapestry of cultural symbolism. For instance, the meanings agate stone holds are all about healing. This symbolizes the meticulous transformation over time—reflecting the importance of health and adaptation in indigenous beliefs.

Each stone tells a unique story through its color, shape, and use. The turquoise gem, revered for bringing good fortune and vitality, may signify strength or endurance, while others like the protective malachite are thought to shield from evil.

Also emphasizing the Indigenous emphasis on harmony and protection. The agate stone’s form, blue lace agate, is particularly known for imparting a sense of happiness and freedom.

They often serve as community totems or personal amulets, signifying various aspects such as birth, with stones like opal described as October’s birthstone that awakens one’s psyche, status, and affinity to nature.

The stones are integral to ceremonies and rituals, with their meanings, such as positivity and tranquility brought by amethyst, the birthstone of February, passed down through generations, preserving the indigenous knowledge and worldview.

These are the most commonly used crystals and gemstones by native americans

Crystal/GemstoneProperties/AssociationsCommon Uses
TurquoiseProtection, strength, good fortuneJewelry, amulets, ceremonial objects
QuartzAmplifies energy, healingHealing ceremonies, divination
ObsidianSharpness, reflection, protectionTools, weapons, ceremonial objects
AmberHealing, protection, good luckJewelry, rituals
AgateGrounding, balancingJewelry, ceremonial objects
JadeBeauty, durabilityJewelry, ceremonial objects
SerpentineProtection, connection to earthRituals, ceremonies
Pipestone (Catlinite)Spiritual significance, connection to ancestorsCarving ceremonial pipes
Red JasperGrounding, protectionRituals, ceremonies
SelenitePurification, cleansingRituals, ceremonies
CoralProtection, good luckJewelry, ceremonial objects
Lapis LazuliSpiritual significance, deep blue colorJewelry, ceremonial objects
MalachiteHealing, protectionJewelry, rituals
HematiteGrounding, protectionRituals, ceremonies
MoonstoneIntuition, emotional balanceJewelry, rituals
CitrineAbundance, prosperityRituals, ceremonies
GarnetEnergizing, protectiveJewelry, rituals
PeridotHealing, renewalRituals, ceremonies
OnyxProtection, strengthRituals, ceremonies
AventurineLuck, prosperityJewelry, rituals
RhodoniteCalming, balancingJewelry, rituals
SodaliteMental clarity, insightJewelry, rituals
Tiger’s EyeCourage, confidenceJewelry, rituals
TopazClarity, wisdomJewelry, rituals
Rose QuartzLove, compassionJewelry, rituals
CarnelianEnergizing, protectiveJewelry, rituals
Apache TearsGrounding, protectiveJewelry, rituals
AmazoniteCourage, truthJewelry, rituals
Smoky QuartzGrounding, cleansingJewelry, rituals
HowliteCalming, soothingJewelry, rituals
LabradoriteMystical, transformativeJewelry, rituals
MookaiteGrounding, vitalityJewelry, rituals
RhodochrositeLove, compassionJewelry, rituals
ChrysocollaCalming, balancingJewelry, rituals
AzuriteIntuition, spiritual insightJewelry, rituals
FluoriteClarity, focusJewelry, rituals
JasperProtection, groundingJewelry, rituals
SunstoneVitality, abundanceJewelry, rituals
PyriteProtection, abundanceJewelry, rituals
SapphireBeauty, spiritual significanceJewelry, rituals

Navigating the Colorful World of Native Gemstones. Here are a few commonly Used One’s

Turquoise: The Stone of Skies and Waters

Turquoise holds a revered place in Native American culture, a stone as vast and blue as the sky above or the water that sustains life.

It’s often used in jewelry and considered sacred, symbolizing bountiful harvests, health, and protection. As a turquoise gem is believed to bring good fortune to its wearer, it fortifies its storied reputation.

This crystal is linked with the elements of water and air, embodying purity and the life-giving force of rain as well as the infinite possibilities of the sky, paralleling its ability to purify and bring internal peace. Its presence in Native traditions is profound, used both as adornment and in sacred rites as an offering to the gods or a conduit for spiritual healing, thereby nurturing the wearer’s spirituality.

[Southwestern turquoise jewelry]

southwestern turquoise jewelry


This stone with its origins in the ocean’s depths, transcends its aquatic beginnings to achieve artistic acclaim in Native American craftsmanship. Revered for its rich variety of colors and associations with oceanic energy, coral represents the life-blood of Mother Earth.

Similarly, the amber gem is not just valued for its aesthetic appeal but also treasured for its ancient origins and organic qualities.

Used in necklaces, bracelets, and other adornments, it’s not only beautiful but also serves as a talisman for good health and longevity.

Like coral, amber frequently adorns pieces of jewelry, adding to the spectrum of natural gems that express personal and cultural identities. The journey of coral from a living sea organism to a centerpiece of indigenous jewelry artistry showcases the interconnection between the natural world and human expression.

[Coral jewelry pieces by Native American artists]

Opal: The Symbol of Hope and Purity

Opal, with its kaleidoscope of fiery colors, represents hope and purity in the Native American tradition. Opal, with its kaleidoscope of fiery colors, represents hope, purity, and the intuition of the wearer.

It’s often called the stone of fire because of its flashes of spectral hues. Opal’s link to spiritual realms, enhancing psychic vision and intuition, makes it a powerful stone for those seeking deeper understanding and clarity.

As a symbol of protection, the opal was believed to ensure the purification of the heart and mind of the wearer, offering a stabilized flow of energy throughout the body. Its mesmerizing appearance and profound significance make it a celebrated gemstone among Native peoples.

Of course resonating with spirituality much like other gems such as the moonstone and sugilite do.

Lapis Lazuli: The Rock of Wisdom and Truth

Lapis Lazuli is held in high esteem as the rock of wisdom and truth among various Native American cultures. Its deep blue hue, resembling the night sky, is thought to promote intellectual clarity and insight, opening the mind to knowledge and truth.

Lapis Lazuli is valued for its ability to enhance one’s understanding and awareness, making it a wise companion in decision-making.

By fostering a clear mind and good judgment, it aids in revealing one’s inner truth, often used in practices that seek to deepen spiritual enlightenment and personal introspection. Indeed, similar to how moonstone resonates with intuition and spirituality.

Lapis Lazuli serves as a powerful catalyst for spiritual growth, nurturing a profound connection to one’s intuition and inner wisdom.

Obsidian: The Mirror of the Self and Shield Against Negativity

Obsidian stands as a potent emblem in the array of Native American stones, regarded as both a mirror to the self and a formidable shield against negativity.

Known for its sleek, glassy sheen and vigorous energy, obsidian serves as a reflection tool, encouraging the wearer to confront their true self, warts and all. It’s believed to awaken the inner potential and understanding that lies within each person.

Those who carry obsidian are said to experience not just improved self-awareness but also a fortified spirit against the evils and misfortunes of life.

In this way, obsidian can be likened to an alignment stone, promoting emotional and spiritual balance. Additionally, its protective qualities act as a safeguard, repelling negative forces and providing an aura of invisibility against darker energies.

Individuals seeking to enhance their spiritual journey often find obsidian instrumental in sharpening intuition, much like the moonstone enhances romantic and intuitive attributes.

Amber: The Ancient Resin of Cleansing and Renewal

Amber, though not a crystal but a lustrous, ancient resin, is deeply valued for its cleansing properties and ability to catalyze renewal. Classified as a gemstone, amber is known for its warm, radiant energy akin to the sun, alongside its alleged purification qualities.

As an amber gem enthusiast might tell you, it aids in promoting not just physical detoxification but also spiritual clarity and rebirth.

This gemstone is a testament to the wonder of nature, preserving life in its warm embrace, sometimes with prehistoric inclusions that tell stories from millions of years ago.

Native American traditions regard amber as a purifier, drawing out pain, and akin to the healing powers attributed to certain animals in their lore, it provides space for the body and spirit to mend and rejuvenate. It’s believed to absorb negative energies, much like sugilite connects to spirituality, and transmute them into positive forces that stimulate the body’s own mechanisms to heal.

Moreover, the concept of renewal associated with amber aligns with the symbolism of rebirth seen in other cultural traditions, such as the Ojibwa and Pueblo tribes’ reverence for snakes. For those dealing with trauma, amber’s metaphysical properties are thought to bring about internal calm and foster a healing journey.

Jet: The Guardian Stone of Mourning and Healing

Jet is a unique guardian stone in Native American cultures, revered for its protective and healing properties, particularly during periods of mourning and grief. Comparable in its significance to the amber gem, which is also celebrated for its healing powers.

Jet is a form of lignite coal, whose velvety black appearance and comforting weight make it a favored material for jewelry meant to safeguard the wearer during challenging times.

Serving as a reminder of the presence of ancestors, much like how the spirituality attributed to amber connects us to the past, Jet is said to absorb and dispel sorrow, providing solace and support.

Its gentle, nurturing energy aids in alleviating deep emotional pain, which is akin to how some gemstones, like rose quartz, are believed to heal childhood traumas and enhance internal calm.

Through this, Jet creates a space for healing and remembrance, guiding one through the process of grief with dignity and grace, similar to how sugilite is worn to strengthen spirituality and psychic connections.

Chrysocolla: The Stone of Communication and Feminine Energy

Chrysocolla, with its vibrant, verdant hues, occupies a special place as the stone of communication and feminine energy. Indigenous cultures celebrate this gem for its ability to enhance vocal expression and empower the wisdom of women.

The stone’s calming blues and greens are reminiscent of Earth’s beauty, promoting harmony and offering encouragement for those who may struggle to have their voices heard.

It’s seen as a conduit for the expression of personal power and inner truth, aligning with the throat chakra’s energies. For Native American women, chrysocolla has been a symbol of strength and balance, providing a supportive talisman in their endeavors both within their communities and the broader spiritual realm.

Malachite: The Bearer of Transformation and Inner Vision

Malachite, with its alluring green shades and intricate banding, is recognized as the bearer of transformation and inner vision.

In Native American traditions, it’s held as a powerful stone of growth and renewal, mirroring the lushness of nature itself.

Associated with the heart chakra, malachite is lauded for its ability to stimulate clear sight and understanding, helping the wearer to recognize and enact change.

It also plays a defensive role by protecting from negative energies and danger. Malachite’s capacity for revealing emotional blockages and fostering emotional stability makes it a companion in personal development and spiritual journeys.

Jasper: The Nurturer’s Stone of Grounding and Stability

Jasper is often referred to as the nurturer’s stone within Native American cultures, embodying grounding and stability. An Earth element stone, it comes in an array of colors, each variety offering a connection to the natural world and resonating with a sense of comfort and wholeness.

Adornment with Purpose: Jewelry Beyond Beauty

Incorporation of Gemstones in Native American Jewelry Designs

In Native American jewelry design, the incorporation of gemstones is a practice rich with intention and symbolism. Each piece crafted is not merely for adornment; it tells a story, reflects cultural values, or represents personal or tribal identity.

Gemstones are selected for their colors, spiritual qualities, and the natural powers they hold. For instance, the turquoise gem is often chosen not only for its stunning hues but also due to its reputation as a potent symbol of good fortune.

Similarly, the jade stone, often intricately worked into earrings or pendants, is treasured for its smooth feel and stabilizing properties, aiding wearers in gaining resourcefulness and emotional resilience.

Jewelers weave intricate patterns and motifs that echo the heritage and mythology of their tribes, ensuring that every piece of jewelry is as meaningful as it is beautiful.

Pendants with bear carvings, inspired by beliefs in the animal’s healing powers, or copper inlaid bangles that shine with an earthy luminosity, reflect the melding of material and myth.

This careful blend of natural elements, such as the resplendent amber gem, and artisanship results in wearable pieces of art that resonate with cultural significance.

How Gemstones Define Status, Identity, and Spiritual Beliefs

Gemstones play a crucial role in communicating status, identity, and spiritual beliefs within Native American communities.

Certain stones, such as the luminescent amber gem and the grounding hematite stone, are associated with tribal leaders or individuals who have achieved notable status, symbolizing wisdom, leadership, or prowess.

The type, color, and arrangement of gemstones in jewelry can indicate clan affiliations or social standing. For instance, the rose quartz love for community and self may be reflected in the jewelry of those who hold nurturing roles.

Beyond societal markers, these stones also express personal and spiritual beliefs, serving as physical manifestations of prayers, personal growth, and connections to spiritual guides or ancestors.

An alignment stone like unakite might be worn for its properties of emotional balance and spiritual connection. Wearing these stones is a way of both celebrating individual identity and honoring the collective heritage of one’s people.

The Contemporary Relevance of Native Gemstones

Preserving Tradition in Modern Craftsmanship

As times evolve, so does the way Native American artisans preserve their gemstone crafting traditions. Collectors and admirers of these bespoke pieces often seek out the turquoise gem for its rich cultural roots combined with the belief that it brings good fortune to the wearer.

While methods and materials might adapt, the essence of creating pieces with deep cultural significance remains intact.

Contemporary jewelers strive to uphold the integrity of their heritage, often using age-old techniques while sometimes incorporating modern aesthetics or new materials such as the vibrant amber gem, known for its warm hues and artistic appeal.

Education and mentorship are crucial in keeping these traditions alive, with experienced craftspeople passing down their knowledge — alongside a touch of creativity and spirituality — to younger generations ensuring the continuity of their rich cultural identity through the medium of gemstones and jewelry design.

Selecting and Caring for Your Native American Gemstone Pieces

When selecting a Native American gemstone piece, engage with reputable artisans or sellers to ensure authenticity and to honor the cultural craftsmanship of the item.

Consider the symbolism and history behind the stones, such as the reverence held for materials like jade in many indigenous cultures, and choose a piece that resonates with your own connection to spirituality or serves your intended purpose.

Caring for these precious items is essential—gentle cleaning with appropriate solutions, avoiding harsh chemicals, storing them separately to prevent scratches, and occasional professional servicing will keep them in pristine condition.

Remember, by taking good care of your Native American jewelry, you’re also preserving the story and spirit infused within it, such as the storied linkage between spirituality and gemstones like sugilite, which is revered for its ability to enhance psychic vision.

FAQ: Unveiling More Secrets of Native American Gemstones

What roles do gemstones play in Native American ceremonies?

In Native American ceremonies, gemstones serve various sacred roles, often used for healing, protection, and communication with the spiritual realm.

They may be integrated into rituals to amplify energy, signify intentions, and celebrate cultural traditions. Gemstones are believed to hold the power to connect with ancestors, nature, and the Creator, making them integral to many spiritual practices.

How can one authenticate Native American gemstone jewelry?

To authenticate Native American gemstone jewelry, look for a hallmark stamp which is often a signature or symbol unique to the artist.

Certificates of authenticity from the seller or an appraisal by a knowledgeable expert can also verify origin. Additionally, purchasing from recognized and reputable dealers who specialize in Native American crafts will support authenticity.


In conclusion, Native American gemstones are a beautiful testament to the rich traditions and spiritual beliefs of indigenous cultures.

They hold powerful meanings beyond their aesthetic value, serving as symbols of connection to the Earth, ancestors, and the larger spiritual world.

From turquoise to coral to the myriad other stones revered in Native culture, each stone has its own story and significance. Whether incorporated into jewelry or used in sacred ceremonies, these gemstones remain a vibrant part of Native American identity and continue to inspire with their natural beauty and depth of meaning.

As you admire or wear these pieces, remember the history they carry and the hands that crafted them, preserving an age-old tradition for future generations.

Kind Regards,

Edwin van Vliet

Picture of Edwin van Vliet

Edwin van Vliet

Edwin van Vliet is a seasoned life coach with an unwavering passion for the transformative potential of crystals and gemstones in healing. At 43 years old, and with his 16 years of experience, Edwin's journey to becoming a life coach was marked by his own personal healing experiences. Through extensive therapy and the supportive energy of crystals, he not only discovered his true potential but also found a deep passion for guiding others on their paths to self-discovery.

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