Staurolite, a mineral which can be found in a cross shape by nature. The name Staurolite is derived from the Greek Stauros meaning cross and lithos for stone. The mineral is a combination of silica, iron, and aluminum. The Crystals have twinned, crossing at 90 or 60 degree angles from tremendous heat and pressure. This process is known as cruciform penetration twinning.
Staurolites are usually brown, reddish brown, yellowish brown, brownish black, black or dark grey. Often times a whitish streak can be seen. These crossey stones are translucent to opague, rarely transparent. These crosses can be the regular cross shape(+) or the x-shape(the Saint Andrew’s Cross) and can be both at the same time. Because of their natural cross shape, they have been called “fairy crosses” or “fairy stones” in the belief these unique crosses were formed by the tears of fairies after they heard about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
The cross shaped varieties has been viewed as a good luck charm and a protection charm against evil spirits and witchcraft. The substance is mined in Ducktown Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia, and Montana USA, Brazil, Scotland, Italy, France, and Russia. You can even visit Fairy Stone State Park, which contains 4,741 aces located in Stuart, Virginia which opened in 1939. The park’s name was derived from the number of Fairstones found there.
On various dates, the park holds a fairy stone hunt for the public.
When buying Staurolite crystals, realize that while there are genuine specimens with the twinned phenomena; there are also crystals with the cross shapes that are models made for the tourist trade.
If you are looking at specimens for sale do a very careful observation examination of the lot. If the cross crystals are all the same size, same shape, and have air bubbles; then these staurolite stone crosses might be manufactured.
Numerous references have been used in writing this article.
For more information on Fairy Stone State Park in Virginia, their link appears below.