Published February 2015  •  Updated February 2024 •  Read Time: 6 minutes
Vatican Stone is another name for Frosterly Marble, a black limestone with greyish-white fossils found in Durham County, England.  When polished it take on a bright sheen and the fossils appear very clear and detailed.  It has been mined for centuries and the stone has been used to decorate the interior of some Catholic churches, including those in the Vatican.  The fossils are an ancient variety of coral, similar to modern cup corals.  Energetically it is welcoming and inclusive.  It helps us to see the bigger picture and to make good choices that will serve us well in the long run.  It encourages us to look on the bright side, but to rely on logic too.

Vatican Stone

Vatican Stone Meaning

Spiritual Healing Properties

Vatican Stone is a mystical stone, guiding us to find our truest connection to Spirit and the Divine. It deepens our prayers and gently pulls back the walls in our mind that separate us from the world. It reminds us that there is no “us” and “them,” there is only “us” and we are beautiful and deserve to be safe and loved. It can help us to see the “Big Picture” and make good choices. Vatican Stone enhances gifts of prophecy and telepathy and strengthens our intuition. It can also help us to discover our Animal Totems and to learn the lessons that they need to teach us.

Metaphysical Properties Vatican Stone
Chakra Root
Element Water and Earth
Numerology 5, 6, and 8
Zodiac Virgo and Aquarius

Emotional Healing Properties

Vatican Stone calms our emotions and helps us to stay steady and peaceful regardless of the situations we might find ourselves in. It helps us to feel emotionally safe and be open to new ideas and situations. It is particularly helpful whenever we need to push our own comfort zones and be welcoming to people who are different than us. Vatican Stone encourages us to look on the bright side and to not give energy to paranoia or negative thinking. It also invites us to explore our roots and to make peace with our past. It can also help us to stay calm and practical during times of transition.

Mental Healing Properties

Vatican Stone can helps us to stay physically safe, relying on logic and good sense, and not allowing fearful emotions to run amok. It enhances our sense of diplomacy and reminds us that there are always at least two sides to every story. Vatican Stone encourages us to focus on preventative measures, to avoid bad situations, rather than waiting until a bad situation is thrown upon us. It also enhances our professional skills, helping us to be successful in all our endeavors.

Physical Healing Properties

Vatican Stone is recommended when the physical body is degenerating faster than we might like.  It reminds us to take better care of ourselves, and that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  In particular, it reminds us to exercise for strength and flexibility.  If we have injured muscles or bones, or have pinched nerves, Vatican Stone is a great crystal to take to physical therapy.  It pushes us to do the hard work to heal our body, while encouraging us to be patient and realistic about how long it may take and how much we can truly regain.  It reminds that while we can’t stop the aging process, but we can do more to love and care for our body.  It is an excellent talisman for hearing loss as well as for carpal tunnel syndrome.

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Vatican Stone Mineralogy

Where does Vatican Stone come from?

Fossils are found around the world, but large deposits are relatively rare.  Some of the best deposits are protected areas and the fossils remain in place.  Coral fossils are found in several locations, but Vatican Stone is found only in Great Britain.

Mining and Treatments

Most Fossils are mined from the primary deposit and typically in their original relationship with the host rock.   Fossils may be found on the surface of the earth or uncovered in any kind of mining environment. Except in the case of extremely valuable fossils, such as dinosaur bones, most fossils are mined as a secondary finds.  Shell fossils may be found near the ocean or far away.

While fake fossils can be made, it is typically only worthwhile if the fossil is exceptionally valuable, such as a dinosaur.  Vatican Stones are fully natural, enhanced only by cutting and polishing.

Great Britain Placeholder
Great Britain

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Mineral Family

A fossil is the remnant or impression of an organism which lived in the past. Fossils come in many different forms and, depending on what is being preserved, the fossilization process can also be very different.  The four most common forms of fossils are unaltered preservation (shells, fossil teeth, organic material in Amber), mineral preservation (Petrified Wood, most dinosaur bones), trace fossils (dinosaur footprints), and fossil impressions (leaf prints and footprints).  Vatican Stone is most likely mineral preservation.  It is a black limestone with grey coral fossils.

Vatican Stone’s energy works well with its family – other Fossils.  Try it in combination with Agatized CoralPetrified WoodSand Dollar FossilShell Fossil and Turritella Agate.

Vatican Stone Formation and Crystal Associates

Fossils are remnants of organisms living in a past geological age. Most are preserved in fine-grained sedimentary rock such as limestone or shale.  Typically the soft parts of the organism decompose quickly and the hard parts, such as shells and bones, remain in place longer. Eventually the remains gradually turn into stone.  Vatican Stone is a type of fossilized Coral.

Vatican’s energy works well with its “friends” – crystal associates formed in the same geological environment.  Try it in combination Blue Fluorite.

Mineralogy Vatican Stone
Rock Type Fossil in Black Limestone, most likely mineral preservation
Major Minerals Calcite and Aragonite
Color Black with greyish fossils
Texture Course
Transparency Opaque
Special Features Distinct fossils

History of Vatican Stone

Vatican Stone is a relatively “new” stone to the metaphysical world, and so is not included in any lapidaries, texts that describe gemstones and their powers. As a result, the healing properties of Vatican Stone are still being explored. In geological circles, this stone is more likely to be referred to as “Frosterley Marble.” But the metaphysical community typically uses the name Vatican Stone instead, a name which references the fact that this stone was used to decorate Catholic churches.  The stone has been carved into striking pillars for Cathedrals, inlaid in floors, and carved into baptismal fonts, sculptures, and sacrament cups.

Many people incorrectly believe that the fossils in this stone are Ammonites, an extinct species of mollusks, more closely related to coleoids like Octopus, Squid and Cuttlefish, than to modern shellfish. While Ammonites have been beautifully preserved in fossil beds around the world, they are not responsible for the fossils found in Vatican Stone. Instead, the fossils are of an ancient horn Coral species, Dibunophyllum bipartitum.  This species thrived during the Carboniferous Period (359-299 million years ago). This species of Coral looked similar to modern Cup Corals in the Balanophylia genus.

At that time, Great Britain and Ireland were tropical islands, close to the equator, nowhere near their current northerly location. Much of the land was submerged under a shallow sea and covered with a thick bed of coral. What little land was above the sea was a tropical swamp. Towards the end of the Carboniferous Period, the various continents fused into a single super-continent, Pangaea. The British Isles and Ireland were pushed Northward, as well as up out of the water. Mountain ranges were formed, and the remains of the swamps were preserved in what would eventually become coal. Vatican Stone is a remnant of this period. It shows perfect Coral fossils, preserved in a black Limestone.

Vatican Stone has been mined in the county of Durham, in north-eastern England for centuries. The oldest written reference to the stone dates to 1183, in a document which mentions “Lambert the marble cutter of Stanhope.” Just as Vatican Stone is often incorrectly thought to be Ammonites, rather than Coral, it was formerly thought to be a type of Marble, rather than Limestone.

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