These stones highlight some of the oldest specimens found on earth! They represent the mysterious past of our planet and the organisms that predated even our earliest genetic ancestors. The oldest materials that can be found on earth don’t actually come from our planet-- they fall from the heavens in the form of meteorites, and the cores can actually be up to seven billion years old. This matter, now located on our earth, is even older than our sun!
This does make the supply from meteorites extremely rare. The largest specimens tend to live in museums, or in private collections-- and they’ve been there for decades. Interest in meteorites is not a new concept to human history, either. Iron beads from meteorites have been found in the tombs of the Ancient Egyptians, making some of the oldest ironwork in history being used with metal from space.
The meteorite we source our beads from is the famous Muonionalusta meteorite, which was found in Sweden at the beginning of the 20th century. This meteorite is estimated to be over one million years old, making it some of the oldest material you can ever hold! We’ve restocked our meteorite bead pairs, as well as added a brand-new set of silver-plated meteorite beads. These new beads do not require the same kind of upkeep that unplated beads do, as they will not oxidize the same way as raw iron will. You can read more about the Muonionalusta meteorite here, as well as the care of meteorite beads here if you prefer the untreated kinds.
Meteorites rarely actually impact the earth, thanks to the gravitational pull from our moon and our atmosphere. Impact events only happen around twice a century, with the most recent meteorite flying through the Russian skyline in 2013 (which you likely recall, because international media coverage was abundant). The effects of an impact can be devastating, because even meteorites considered relatively “small” (only a yard or two across) can create massive craters on the surface of the earth. You can travel to one particularly well-preserved impact site located in Arizona, off of Route 66. It is thought that such large-scale impact sites like the one in Arizona were a leading cause of planet-wide extinction at the end of the Mesozoic era.
Fossils and petrified wood have helped us better understand the earth and its inhabitants before the end of the Mesozoic era. Over time, the organic material is replaced with other minerals, but the shape (sometimes even the very cell structure) remains as evidence of life. Jet, and some samples of petrified wood, come from organic material that was put under massive amounts of pressure over millions of years. Jet is a precursor to coal, and the high carbon content gives it its lustrous black tone. Amber is the fossilized form of tree resin, which is mined heavily and still very useful. It has been used in jewelry sine Neolithic times! It is valued for its preservation qualities in paleontology, because creatures and plant matter trapped in sap can provide very clear clues to ancient life. However inclusions can diminish the value of the amber in the gem market. Like Jet, it is an exceedingly light material, perfect for designs like earrings and rings that won’t get too weighty on the wearer. The dinosaur bone sold through Dakota Stones is minimally beneficial for scientific study, which is how it has been made available to the gem market. As the majority of organic material has been replaced by agate and other silica based compounds, crystal-like inclusions can be observed between intricate patterns on the surface of the beads. The cell structure of the bones is still evident as well! Like any creature, each one is incredibly unique, and we offer them in multiple tones.
Of all these samples, remember the best materials tend to be donated towards research to better understand our solar system. You are not robbing a significant scientific opportunity by purchasing these beads. The samples that make it to be shaped into beads often come from specimens that have been studied thoroughly and now have no use in science today.