Be resilient and calmly overcome challenges.
Understand connections and see solutions.
Show others how to live with dignity and respect.
Be a good steward of the planet and all its lifeforms.
Let Stromatolite inspire you to create a better future!
Mineralogy of Stromatolite
Rock Type: Sedimentary Rock (Limestone) created by cyanobacteria
Major Minerals: Calcite
Color: Varies by type of rock, usually brown or gray with black markings, but can also be red or green with black markings
Texture: Laminated layers
Location: Stromatolites were formed when the Earth’s continents were still fused together as a supercontinent. As a result, Stromatolites can be found all over the world. Some of the more notable locations include Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Madagascar, Mexico, Mongolia, Namibia, Peru, South Africa, and the United States.
Rock Type: Stromatolite is not a mineral, but rather a very unique kind of sedimentary rock. An easy way to understand the difference is that rocks are like cookies and minerals are ingredients such as flour or sugar. Many different minerals are used to create a rock! Stromatolites typically form as Limestone, so their main mineral ingredient is usually Calcite. These Stromatolites are typically brown or grey, with black markings. Occasionally Stromatolites form as Sandstone, with the main mineral ingredients being Quartz or Feldspar. Feldspar-Sandstone Stromatilites appear vivid green with black markings, and are usually called Kambamba Jasper. Regardless of their color or mineral composition – what makes Stromatolites so unique is that these sedimentary rocks contain fossils of the earliest life forms on this planet!
Formation: Stromatolites are formed in shallow, salty water teeming with microorganisms, particularly cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). These tiny living creatures form massive colonies and sediments, such as sand and mud, get stuck to the sticky surface of this living mass of cyanobacteria. The sediments are gradually set down in layers and react to the trace minerals in the water. Over time, they form Limestone or Sandstone rocks, often shaped like a mushroom or a loaf. While underwater, the Stromatolite is “alive” – part cyanobacteria colony, part sedimentary material. If the water evaporates, or other conditions change, the cyanobacteria dies and the structure hardens further. At this point, it becomes a more typical sedimentary rock – but one containing microscopic fossils of the cyanobacteria. Stromatolites are some of the oldest rocks on the planet, with some examples dating back over 3.5 billion years! Stromatolites are still being formed today in a few rare locations. As a result, Stromatolite is often called a “living fossil.” (For more information, see the History Tab).
Mining: Little information is available about the mining of Stromatolites, except that they are almost certainly mined at their primary deposit. Most of the brown/black Stromatolites currently on the market are described as being “from Peru.” In reality, most would have been mined in the Andes Mountains of central Bolivia, near the city of Cochabamba, and then sold in Lima, Peru to dealers. These particular Stromatolites are estimated to be between 2.2-2.4 billion years old.
Enhancements: All Stromatolites are completely natural, enhanced only by tumbling, cutting, and polishing.
History of Stromatolite
Stromatolite was “discovered” relatively recently by the metaphysical community and so it is not included in virtually any ancient or modern lapidaries, texts that describe gemstones and their powers. Its name comes from the Greek words stroma (layers)and lithos (rock). While there are no known myths about this stone, it has a fascinating geological history!
Stromatolites are created by single-celled microorganisms called cyanobacteria, more commonly known as blue-green algae. Cyanobacteria are arguably the most successful living entities on the planet! They are the most genetically diverse, and occupy the broadest range of habitats, across all latitudes, including land, fresh and salt water, and extreme niches such as hot springs and hypersaline bays. The reason for this incredible diversity is that cyanobacteria has had the most time to evolve of any living creature. In fact, cyanobacteria are the oldest known example of life on earth – dating back at least 3.5 billion years (a billion years after the Earth first formed). They formed first and are still alive today, having survived all five of the Earth’s Mass Extinctions! From an evolutionary perspective, cyanobacteria are our oldest ancestor – the very original Adam and Eve. The reason we know all about cyanobacteria’s incredible history is because the oldest traces of cyanobacteria have been preserved in the fossil record – in Stromatolites.
While some Stromatolites are very old and have become simple fossil-bearing sedimentary rocks, other Stromatolites are still alive with active colonies of cyanobacteria. Modern Stromatolites have been found in hypersaline lakes and marine lagoons with an exceptionally high saline level, extreme environments that few other living creatures can stand. These modern Stromatolites are located in Australia, Bahamas, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and Turkey. The most well known are those in Shark Bay, in Western Australia and Exumas Bay in the Bahamas.
One of the most interesting modern Stromatolites were discovered in an open pit pond – formed in an abandoned asbestos mine near Clinton Creek, Yukon, Canada. These Stromatolites are the youngest ever found, and presumably only started growing after the mine closed in 1978. They are forming Limestone Stromatolites and grow by approximately half a centimeter per year.
Healing Properties of Stromatolite
Spiritual: Stromatolite awakens us to the beauty of life, helping us to cherish and protect its diversity. It encourages us think beyond ourselves, and think instead of the generations that will come after us and the world we want them to inherit. Stromatolite can aid us in exploring our ancestral lines and how our past affects our present. Stromatolite encourages us to look to the past for wisdom, to live with respect, and to look to the future with love. Stromatolite is attuned to the Root Chakra and linked to the astrological signs of Aries and Virgo. It is connected to the Element Earth and vibrates to the number 1 and 8.
Emotional: Stromatolite has an exceptionally grounding and peaceful energy, which can teach us both patience and resilience. It reminds us that we are the sum of billions upon billions of ancestors, and that their strength and determination to survive and thrive is genetically gifted to us. With such strength in us, we can surely overcome any problem we face with grace and dignity. In turn, it is our responsibility to show others, particularly younger generations, how to live well.
Mental: Stromatolite is an incredible tool for mental agility, helping us to see both the macro and micro levels of any situation. Stromatolite encourages us to think about systems, connections, and to actively seek out practical solutions to problems big and small. Its calm energy encourages us to be patient while we research, learn, and experiment, thus allowing us to gradually put the pieces together and quietly work for the Greater Good of All. Stromatolite is a fantastic talisman for earth scientists, particularly biologists and ecologists, as well as health care workers, particularly infection control practitioners.
Physical: Stromatolite is used by metaphysical healers to treat bacterial infections. It is also believed to be useful for treating diseases and disorders passed down genetically.
Always use wisdom when considering crystal therapies for healing.
Ethically Sourced Stromatolite
The Miners tumble and polish their own stock.
The Miners sells directly to Moonrise Crystals.
Moonrise Crystals sells directly to you.
The Supply Chain
The Supply Chain is exceptionally short and clean.
The Mine and Lapidary are located in the same country.
The Mine and Lapidary are owned by the same family.
This Stromatolite comes from a small family-owned mine in southern Peru.
It causes only minor environmental damage and has safe conditions for workers.
Learn More: Ethical Mining
This Stromatolite was polished in Lima, Peru.
The business is owned by a pair of brothers, one manages the mine, while the other manages the lapidary.
Factory workers have safe conditions and are paid fairly.
The business is also the direct-importer & sells exclusively at large gem shows.
Learn More: Ethical Lapidary
I first met the owner of the mine and lapidary in 2014 at the Gem and Mineral Show in Tucson, Arizona. At that time, he was set up with a single table and the only major Gem Show he attended was in Tucson. While most lapidaries sell their tumbled stone in pre-packaged bags by the pound or kilo, this seller allowed me to cherry pick through his stock and buy only the best. Since then, his spot in Tucson has expanded to four tables under a tent and he now sells at two of the major European shows. It has been fun to watch our businesses grow.
In 2018, I asked the owner if he would be willing to help connect me with a rural school in Peru near his mine. I told him that I wanted to “give back” to the communities that provided these beautiful crystals. He was pleased by my request and later that year introduced me to the principle of a suitable Peruvian school. We hope to begin supporting this school in the 2019-2020 school year.
Stromatolite Tumbled Stone
Color: Brown with black swirls. This is a 100% natural stone, so minor variations are part of their unique beauty.
Size: 1 inch, or a little bit bigger
Weight: 1 oz
Shipping: Next business day – Domestic First Class averages 3-7 days. International First Class averages 2-3 weeks.
Safe Handling of Stromatolite
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