Guest Author - Lisa Shea
Staurolite is a fascinating gemstone that actually naturally forms in a cross shape. For that reason it is sometimes known as a fairy cross gemstone. The name itself comes from the Greek word stauros, meaning cross.
Sometimes the staurolite is on its own - simply the cross shape. Many times that cross is "embedded" in a white background material. The staurolite itself tends to be in a brownish to black color, which helps it to stand out nicely against that white background.
Staurolite is found in many places in the US and is the state mineral of Georgia. There is even a park named after this stone! That is the Fairy Stone State Park, in Patrick County, Virginia. If you're a fan of staurolite, be sure to visit this state park - they have quite a lot of it there. If you go to the park website, linked to at the bottom of this article, they have numerous photos of staurolite.
The appeal of a cross-shaped stone to Christians is fairly clear - many legends exist that say these stones were formed when fairies cried at the death of Christ. The stones sometimes form in a typical "Christian" cross but they also can form at other angles including X shapes.
Staurolite is typically not a jewelry stone. The combination of the cross and the background material can be fairly large. A small one could be mounted in a large pendant, but they are typically too big to make earrings or rings out of, for example. Most people get a hunk of staurolite-in-a-background and have it as a presentation on a desk or shelf. It is more a paperweight style of item vs a small, delicate ring.
That being said, there are times that tiny staurolite are found, so if you're a fan of this and want to wear it, there are some options out there. Or if you're in the mood for a trip to Virginia, you can scout around yourself for just the perfect item to then get mounted in your chosen setting.
Whichever way you choose to enjoy staurolite, it definitely is an interesting gemstone!
Fairy Stone State Park