Chalcedony is an umbrella term that refers to all microcrystalline varieties of quartz beads. In this family of quartz (also known to the scientific community as cryptocrystalline) the gemstone structure is composed of crystals so tiny that they are invisible to the naked eye. In fact, their size is so minute that they are not even readily visible under a microscope. Used since the dawn of mankind for knives, tools, cups, and bowls, chalcedony takes its name from the ancient Greek town of Chalcedon.
Because of its porous nature, chalcedony beads can easily be dyed in a myriad of different colours, and is frequently cut, beveled, and polished in ways that showcase the chalcedony beads’ inherent waxy lustre. In the jewelry and gem industry, the term ‘chalcedony’ typically refers to natural or lightly coloured microcrystalline quartz gemstones.
Chalcedony beads’ metaphysical properties allegedly include protection from evil, a heightened unification between mind, body, and soul, emotional stabilization, and improved resistance to Alzheimer’s disease.