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Sunstone (heliolite) characteristics

The sunstone is a variety of oligoclase. It is easily recognizable thanks to the glitters shining in the sun. This orange color effect, sometimes green or blue comes from hematite or goethite crystals on which the light is reflected.
It can be found with an opaque background that is generally used for cabochons. It can also be transparent and facetted.

Generally, sunstones who have no color or that are yellow are less expensive. The closer you get to the red color (passing by pink and orange), the more expensive can be the stone. Shiny reds, greens and bis colors would be the rarest and the most expensive ones.

The mineralogist Jean-Claude Delamétherie gave its name to the stone in 1801. The name of Heliolite is obviously linked to the Greek "Helios", the sun, and lithos "stone". But in mineralogy, it is often called feldspath aventurine. The aventurine word was chosen for the light effect and the glitter, just like the aventurine, except that the effect of this last one is due to the quartz and not feldspath. It is to avoid getting confused that people generally call it sunstone so that they won’t be mistaken with the aventurine.

History, legends and beliefs about the sunstone (heliolite)

During the antiquity and because it is an orange quartz with shiny and multicolor effects, it was used a lot in magician shows.

In the Greek antiquity, the sunstone would have been linked to the god of sun, Helios. It would have given luck and fortune to who owned such stones. It was also thought that it could fight poisons and that it could give strength and vitality.

The sunstone is often present in the tumulus of Viking chiefs because it was thought that it could help travelling to the Valhalla.
According to the Danish archeologist, Thorkild Ramsko, the Heliolite would be the famous sunstone that Vikings would have used to find their way without a compass.

It is only from the Renaissance period that it was associated with the sun due to the golden and orange colors of the stone. This stone was bezel set in gold and would be used to attract the sun energy in magical rituals.

In 1987, the sunstone was declared a mineral in the state of Oregon, in the USA. It is the only variety of stone that has copper crystals. It was already used by Amerindians for decorating and as a currency. According to the legend, it is the blood of a famous warrior, who would have been hurt by an arrow, which gave the color to the stone as well as all its sacred powers.

Mines: India, Norway, Russia, Canada, the USA and the Czech Republic.

Healing properties of the sunstone (heliolite)

  • The sunstone would be good for reproductive system problems
  • The heliolite would stop nausea and vomiting as well as being a good antiseptic and disinfectant
  • It is recommended in the treatment of tropical diseases.
  • The sunstone would help having a healthy throat, good cartilages, good skin and healthy spine
  • The heliolite would help fighting ulcers, intoxications, rheumatisms, the Athlete’s foot and the bad smell.
  • It would be used for respiratory problems due to allergies
  • The sunstone would boost blood and would limit osteoporosis. It would avoid kidney problems
  • The heliolite is the stone of sensuality and of abundance.
  • It would be related to the moonstone that represent the female side and the sunstone for male side

/!\ Please note that all healing properties listed are collected from various sources. This information is offered as a service and not meant to treat medical conditions.

To learn more about litotherapy, we recommend you the following books: