Gemstones and Natural Substances
This page lists all the various symbols in the Gemstones and Natural Substances category.
In addition to plants, animals, and geographic features and phenomena, the natural world is home to a vast array of materials and substances that all carry symbolic meaning. This meaning may be rather esoteric or very straightforward, depending on the material in question and what type of angle it is being examined from; cultural, religious or personal are just a few examples.
Symbols in this category:
In modern times, ivory has become a highly charged symbol; although the material has been utilized by humans for millennia, the large-scale hunting of rare animals for their ivory has long been a prominent issue in the conservation community. Ivory has acquired many symbolic meanings over the centuries, some of which bridge the gap between ancient and modern.
Opal is one of the “oddballs” of the gemstone family. Composed primarily of hardened silica, its water content- around 10% of the total mass of many specimens- is much higher than most crystalline gems. This makes opals fairly fragile and can cause them to crack easily. On the other hand, the high water content and delicate silica structure- which also causes the opal's characteristic rainbow coloring- are both key components to understanding the stone's symbolic meaning.
Compared to most of its gemstone cousins, quartz is not particularly valuable. Rarity is a significant factor in the monetary worth of many gemstones, and as one of the most abundant materials in the Earth’s crust, quartz doesn’t quite measure up in this regard. On the other hand, quartz is still a rather fascinating stone in its own right, both in terms of physical nature and symbolic importance.