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What is Sunstone? Sunstone 
Meaning And Healing Properties

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Kelly Saylor        Mar. 07,2024

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sunstone meaning

If you are looking for a little gemstone adventure, you need look no further than sunstone! 


Stunning and unique sunstone gems have a quality known as “aventurescence,” a sparkly luster and sheen that comes from its reflective inclusions and something that fascinates gemologists, jewelers, wearers and hobbyists alike. A true adventure in color and in light, this lustrous stone can inspire personal power, abundance and creativity. With the word “sun” in its name, it is clear that this unique gem radiates and warms from the inside out—in fact, if you look closely, you will even see little suns contained within your sunstone gem.


Check out this full-spectrum guide to the sunstone to learn more about the gem’s history, its brilliance, its ability to warm and heal, its make-up and its continuing interest today.

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Chakra 

Crown

Third Eye

Root

Solar Plexus

Sacral

Zodiac

Leo

Libra

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what is sunstone?
sunstone properties
sunstone hardness
type
the origin and history of sunstone
the healing properties of sunstone
mental & emotional healing properties of sunstone
metaphysical properties of sunstone
sunstone and the chakras
zodiac signs and sunstone
sunstone conclusion

what is sunstone?

The sunstone mineral is known across the globe for its thin plate-like inclusions that serve to reflect light and create a lustrous, shining and sunny effect. The name sunstone itself is derived from its alternative name of Heliolite – “helios” means sun in Greek and “lithos” denotes stone, hence the perfect moniker of sunstone.


Sunstone is typically red, orange and brown but it can also feature green, pink and yellow hues or have multiple colors within a single stone. Sunstone can also be transparent. The stones that are deep red are typically the most valuable and sought after. Thanks to its associations with the sun and light, many people enjoy wearing sunstone jewelry on their body and close to their heart.


The sunstone’s flash of light that fascinates so many can be witnessed by either moving the gem in the stone, moving the position of the light or adjusting your position to view the stone from another angle.

sunstone properties   click to view 

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Chemical Classification

Chemical Composition

Color

Hardness

Specific Gravity

Refractive Index

Feldspar mineral

(Na,Ca)[Al(Si,Al)Si2O8]

Orange, red, brown, yellow, green, colorless

6 - 6.5 (Mohs)

2.55 - 2.75

1.525 - 1.574

sunstone hardness

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type

Sunstone is a member of the feldspar group of minerals, which is distinguished by containing both alumina and silica and is the most abundant group of minerals found on earth today—representing about 60 percent of all exposed rocks, clays, sediments, and soils. Interestingly, feldspar minerals also include the moonstone, however, the sun and moon varieties are significantly different from one another. Sunstone, which comes in many varieties, is typically found in the United States, Australia, Canada, China, Norway, India, Madagascar, Sri Lanka and Russia.


In general, sunstone gems are orange, red and brown, and they have a hardness of 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, which represents a fairly durable stone, although they should still be treated with care, particularly when it comes to sunstone jewelry. Nevertheless, with proper care, a piece of sunstone jewelry can last a lifetime. 


The chemical composition of sunstone is as follows: Na(AlSi3O8)Ca(Al2Si2O8). The jewel’s specific gravity is 2.62 to 2.65 and sunstone’s refractive index is 1.532 to 1.542. From appearance to function, sunstone is a one-of-a-kind jewel.

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the origin and history of sunstone

The enchanting sunstone has a rich cultural and historical legacy as well as a strong present and future current. The gemstone was originally made through natural geological processes that involved hot magma rising from the earth’s crust to then cool and solidify into what we know today as the sunstone. The stones’ well-known inclusions are the result of minerals and metals that are diffused in the gemstone.


The sunstone features in the trifecta or Norse, Greek and Egyptian mythology, hinting at its widespread interest and power for many moons. Some ancient people even believed that sunstone originally formed a part of the sun and that it fell to earth as part of a solar eclipse.


Ancient cultures and religions reportedly revered sunstone for its legendary magical  and healing properties, where it was often considered a sacred, powerful and healing stone. For instance, the ancient Grecians believed that the sunstone encapsulated the energy and potency of Helios, their sun god, and that it held a similar power to dazzle. The Vikings thought that sunstone could help them navigate the high seas as a representation of the sun itself; they would hold sunstones up to the light to determine the sun’s position while navigating and sailing. And ancient Egyptians believed that the stone contained pure energy of creation from the Sun God Ra himself.


Furthermore, the Hindus associated the gem with confidence and energy, aligning it with the chakra system, while the Native Americans considered the gemstone one of luck and abundance and used it for many cleansing and healing rituals. In one native legend, a famed warrior was wounded by an arrow attack and his blood dripped onto some gemstones. The warrior’s spirit was thereby transferred into the stones, and it then imbued them with their remarkable tones of red and their long-time visceral power.


Architects and researchers have found sunstone in a variety of ancient artifacts, and it was also used for decorative emphasis and beauty on medieval buildings such as churches and cathedrals. Sunstone began to grow in greater popularity for jewelers during the Renaissance era.


In the 1900s, Tiffany & Company jewelers acquired several mining claims in Oregon where they proceeded to open the first sunstone mine in the United States; interestingly, they later stopped production of sunstone and sold these claims.


Since then, the sunstone has evolved into a modern favorite which is still known for its healing properties and powers. On Aug. 4, 1987, the Oregon State Legislature named Oregon sunstone its state gemstone. This variety, which can be found in several locations in Oregon, also contains copper and sometimes has unusually large crystals. To support that state’s interest in the sunstone, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management reserved an area in Lake County, Oregon where anyone can look for sunstone and keep anything they find. Sunstone jewelry remains more popular in Oregon than any other state.
While sunstone was not well-known or well-recognized in the 1800s, its copious supplies from the 1900s on have made this stone a favorite of jewelers and wearers who love its glimmering properties and unique standout beauty.

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the healing properties of sunstone

Sunstone was revered for its potent powers in ancient times and is still considered a strong healing agent and source today for taking care of both mind and body. In particular, the sunstone gem may help treat seasonal affective disorder or SAD, thanks to its association with sunlight, and it can bolster both metabolism and self-esteem for users. Additionally, its healing properties can support health, wellness, positivity and creativity.

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mental & emotional healing properties of sunstone

The gem sunstone is powerfully associated with confidence, abundance and positivity, extending its physical healing properties to notable mental and emotional healing sunstone properties as well.
Sunstone crystals and stones have been used in holistic healing practices for centuries to support emotional wellness, inspire creativity and support overall health and happiness. It can be used to brighten one’s day, deliver a sense of warmth and positivity, and provide motivation to those who feel stagnant or stuck. For those who struggle with self-doubt or feelings of unworthiness, the sunstone can spark greater self-belief, motivation and positivity.

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metaphysical properties of sunstone

With the word “sun” in its name, it is likely not a surprise that sunstone has been long associated with the warmth and brilliance of the sun as part of its metaphysical properties. To that end, the sunstone gem has a full energy and is perceived as a stone of joy, leadership and luck. It can also help clear and clean the auras and chakras and remove negative emotions and blocks to happiness. The sunstone is also said to increase spiritual growth and a connection with higher powers and the world at large.

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sunstone and the chakras

The chakras are the seven energy centers, sometimes depicted as spinning wheels, that run along the spine and support everything from grounding to connecting to self-esteem to communication. The sunstone is most often associated with the solar plexus or the third chakra. This chakra is – not surprisingly – represented by the color yellow and is based at the solar plexus in the abdominal region. It is associated with self-confidence, personal power and the ability to move with intention.


The sunstone is also a powerful connector with the sacral chakra, the second chakra depicted by a warm orange color. This chakra is all about creativity, sensuality and sexuality, and leadership. Aligning this chakra with the sunstone can make it easier to move with grace, connect with others and live with authenticity.


As with many gemstones, the sunstone can support greater alignment and balance of all seven chakras, even if it is particularly affiliated with the solar plexus chakra. A gemstone can be held in the palm, rested on the solar plexus or placed nearby during a meditation or yoga practice to infuse greater balance and confidence.

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zodiac signs and sunstone

Again, the beautiful sunstone can be wonderful for every zodiac sign under the sign, but it is especially lovely for both Leos and Libras, those born in the months of July, August, September and October. The ruling planet of sunstone is, of course, the sun.


Leo is a terrific match for the sunstone because the stone expands and resonates with the natural confidence and independence that Leos often display. As a stone of healing, the sunstone gem is also wonderful for Libras, who tend to question and doubt and who can readily benefit from the self-esteem, independence and creativity that sunstone engenders.


Finally, the sunstone is connected with the elements of air and fire. It can support positivity, personal power and independence for all of its wearers and users, regardless of their zodiac sign.


Birthstone and Sunstone


While sunstone is not a birthstone for a specific month, it is, naturally, associated with the summer months. In fact, sunstone that appears more gold can be a great option for those who are born in July and August while the crystals that are more orange and red are often ideal for those born in late summer or early September. Sunstone jewelry can be a great addition to any birthstone jewelry--or any piece of jewelry for that matter!

sunstone conclusion

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The self-worth stone of sunstone is as stunning today as it was when it was discovered several centuries ago. This mystical stone of sunlight, abundance and luster offers us glimmers of wonder, confidence and creativity and it is ideal for sunstone pendants, bracelets and rings, as a personal touchstone, or to support a meditation and/or yoga practice. The sunstone is equally beautiful and practical.


The sunstone can create a marvelous color palette for exquisite and innovative summer and fall jewelry and it deftly draws in the eye with its lustrous tones and light. Sunstone absorbs colors and vibrations from the sun to create a holistic sense of protection, wellness and good vibes. Some fans have even taken to burying a sunstone in each corner of their home in order to create a protective field and shield around their lives.


You can enjoy your sunstone in sunny weather and in rain, at day and night, and from season to season as a reminder to seek the light, to look for the best in yourself and others, and to always follow the sun.

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Kelly Saylor

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