Bee­stonite – a gem of an idea with many facets


Christ­mas is on its way – bring­ing what gifts? Jew­ellery twin­kling in shop win­dows, lures in the present-buy­ers.

Each stone car­ries its sym­bol­ism: am­ber for warmth, well­be­ing and nur­ture; ama­zonite for truth, har­mony and peace.

Whether sci­ence or sor­cery, we love to give things mean­ing and sym­bol­ism – and the study of gems is un­de­ni­ably a fas­ci­nat­ing topic.

We have, on our stu­dent body, the youngest ever mem­ber of the Gem­mo­log­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion of Great Bri­tain: Gem-A.

She is well on her way to be­com­ing a reg­is­tered gemol­o­gist, but I won­der what she would make of Bee­stonite, the pre­cious ma­te­rial I men­tioned in last month’s piece?

It sounds in­trigu­ing; quite rare, cer­tainly semi-pre­cious; tough, trans­par­ent, struc­tured, colour­ful and in­fin­itely ap­peal­ing.

OK, the game’s up! Bee­stonite, which I sim­ply ap­plied as an ad­jec­tive for a child at Bee­ston, sounds so plau­si­ble as the name of a min­eral.

It is hard to re­sist seek­ing out the sym­bol­ism of gem­stones that can eas­ily ap­ply to Bee­ston students and de­vel­op­ing a li­brary of metaphors.

The gemol­o­gist spots the stone, rubs off the dust, sees the sparkle, struc­ture and strength, much as we greet chil­dren ar­riv­ing at school for the first time. As life un­folds, we pol­ish the gem, find­ing hid­den depths, rare an­gles, re­flected light and won­der­ful colours.

So, the sym­bol­ism of Bee­stonite? I hope those of am­ber and ama­zonite, of course, bring­ing with them con­fi­dence and good man­ners, but also the ex­u­ber­ance of days spent learn­ing on the beach or in the woods, of epic ses­sions with rip sticks, magic tricks, di­a­bolo, surf skates, caster boards or scoot­ers.

Now there’s a few Christ­mas ideas!

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