Helenite is an exquisite and vibrant man-made gemstone crafted from volcanic ash from the famous 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington State. It is said to carry the Earth's energy, and is sometimes referred to as the "Soul of the Earth."
Known for its stunning and intense array of colors, Helenite can be found in shades of deep blue and burgundy. However, its deep green variety is the most prevalent and highly prized.
Helenite is created by crushing volcanic ash and rock and fusing it at temperatures as high as 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit. Its stunning colors have made Helenite an attractive alternative to rare emerald, ruby or garnet gemstones.
Helenite is named for Mount St. Helens, the Washington volcano famously known for its violent eruption on May 18, 1980. During the cleanup following that catastrophic event, Helenite was born. As workers used acetylene torches to cut through the twisted metal debris, they noticed that the gray ash was melting and transforming into a vibrant deep green color. The accidental discovery of Helenite has given the world a stunning volcanic jewel. From this great tragedy came a great beauty.
Crushed volcanic rock and ash was mixed with silica, aluminum, iron, chromium and copper, melting into a form of obsidianite. Proprietary pressurization techniques produce Helenite's vibrant evergreen, burgundy and blue colors. The resulting stone is then hand faceted to create stunning pieces of jewelry. Helenite is easily cut by lapidaries. The emerald-colored stone has an excellent refraction and quartz-like durability.
- A legend told by the Klickitat Indian tribe says that Mount St. Helens was once a beautiful maiden named Loowit. Two sons of the Great Spirit fell in love with her. The braves fought for Loowit's hand, raining a great destruction over the land. The Great Spirit decided to punish the feuding lovers by transforming the three of them into Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood and Mount Adams.
- Geologists call Mount St. Helens a composite volcano, a term for steep sided, symmetrical cones constructed from alternating layers of lava flows, ash and other volcanic debris. These kinds of volcano tend to have explosive eruptions, as opposed to the gently sloping shield volcanos like those found in Hawaii that ooze fluid lava over great distances.
- On May 18, 1980, following a magnitude 5.1 earthquake, Mount St. Helens erupted violently, destroying nearly 150 square miles of surrounding landscape. The eruption lasted for nine hours and deposited ash in 11 states.
- Helenite is said to bring one into harmony with the heart of Mother Earth, as it is derived from deep within the heart of the Earth.
- Helenite is associated with the heart chakra and is recommended by crystal healers to assist with the self-healing of emotional wounds and trauma.
- This stone is believed to induce compassion and diffuse anger, making tolerance easier to achieve. It is especially useful during negotiations where one is attempting to persuade a person to see your point of view.
Location: Mount St. Helens
This striking green stone was created, under conditions of high heat and pressure, from the pulverized rock ejected by the 1980 volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington State. Some of the richest colors were produced by the 1981 and mid-80's eruptions. The colors of Helenite come from trace elements that are naturally found in volcanic rock, including chromium, iron and copper, which create the rich emerald color when fused at high temperatures.
- Ranks 5.5 to 6 on the Mohs hardness scale.
- Colors available in transparent shades of deep green, blue and red.
- Sourced from Washington, USA.
- Also known as Gaia stone, Mount St. Helens obsidian, emerald obsidianite and ruby obsidianite.
- A man-made stone.