Semi-precious stones from Peru, a hidden treasure

Peruvian craftsmanship is one of the most diversified in the world: pottery, textiles, ornaments… We could almost forget the abundance of minerals and semi-precious stones in the country…

Peru is best known for its history in close correlation with gold. But popular culture omits the presence of many mines in the mountains. In the midst of colorful textiles, extravagant pottery and local crafts, however, many minerals are hidden… Lepetitjournal invites you to discover ten semi-precious stones representative of the diversity of gems present in the land of the Incas.

Opal from Peru

Also called Andean Opal, this rock is considered the national stone of Peru. It is mainly found in the desert area of ​​Nasca south of Lima, in the area between the Pacific Coast and the Andes Mountains. Their colors can vary from intense blue, to green and turquoise. Others are paler, close to pink or milky like a moonstone. This gem is very rich in hydrogen, oxygen and silicon. In the Peruvian tradition, the opal is considered a gift from the Pachamama, goddess of Mother Earth and fertility for the Incas.

This stone is mainly used to calm the mind, and strengthen self-acceptance. It avoids inopportune judgment and helps to assume one’s sensitivity. This is why this rock can be useful to appease the spirits in case of conflict. It can also sometimes help to find sleep. Thanks to its energy, feelings and ideas flow more easily, without stress or restraint. In lithotherapy, it is said that Blue Opal is one of the most powerful healing stones.

Opal from Peru. Photo credit: Mindat


Often black, this semi-precious stone can also take on a dark green, gray or even red color. This volcanic rock, rich in silica, comes from an acid lava. During prehistory, the hardness of this gem was used to make the edge of weapons and tools, especially in pre-Columbian America.

Being originally used for the creation of blades, obsidian is one of the most powerful stones of protection. In lithotherapy, it is advisable to handle it with care, because its energy does not correspond to all personalities. This gem acts quickly and is suitable for people who are sensitive or even fragile to negative waves. On a daily basis, the rock strengthens mental strength and can be useful for making the right decisions. At the physical level, it is said to help blood circulation and healing.

Semi-precious stones from Peru, a hidden treasure
Obsidian. Photo credit: Ji-Elle

Andean alabaster

Derived from the Latin “alabaster” and from the ancient Greek “alabastros” meaning “Vase without handle”, Andean alabaster is also known under the name of Stone of Huamanga. Often used for nativity scenes, this gem is also called “rumi boy” or “child’s stone”.

During colonization, this rock made up for the shortage of marble and porcelain. Having a texture and a color close to the latter, the artists carved Christian figures on it. Alabaster was then used by craftsmen to make sculptures of all kinds. Today, its precision and softness make it an original, authentic and sought-after souvenir. In Peru, this semi-precious stone is found in the provinces of Cangallo, Ayacucho and a school of sculpture has even emerged in Huamanga.

Apart from its purely decorative aspect, in lithotherapy, alabaster is adopted to facilitate changes. It facilitates forgiveness by focusing on the positive. The stone provides moral energy to overcome conflicts and resentment towards loved ones.

Semi-precious stones from Peru, a hidden treasure
Christian figures in Alabaster. Photo credit: Vassil

The Peruvian Chrysocolla

Derived from the Greek words “chrysos” which means “gold”, and “kola” meaning “glue”, chrysocolla or Peruvian turquoise is considered a semi-precious stone. Often decorated with so-called “German” silver (or 999 silver or alpaca silver), this rock is easily worked to give various forms to local and artisanal jewelery from the country. It is possible to find it near all the major copper deposits in Peru or Chile.

Turquoise generally brings joy, tranquility and inner peace. It is also associated with patience and intuition. It is said that it was often used by hermits and monks, to help them adjust to isolation. It can therefore potentially make you a little homebody, because it drives out the feelings of anxiety linked to loneliness. In the Middle Ages, this gem was used to clean wounds, help healing and even used as an emetic.

Semi-precious stones from Peru, a hidden treasure
Chrysocolla from Peru. Photo credit: Robert M. Levinsky

The Serpentine of Peru

From the Latin “serpentinus” or “stone snake”, its name comes from its appearance similar to the scales of the skin of this reptile, but also from the fact that it helped to protect against snake bites and poisoning in the Antiquity. Being able to have several colors, it is possible to find green, brown, gray, beige, black, yellow, white or even colorless.

The Serpentine would relieve frequent hypoglycaemia, would help for diabetes and would make it possible to remedy certain deficiencies in calcium and magnesium, for example. In lithotherapy, it is used to protect one’s mind while promoting creativity and encouraging meditation to circulate energies.

Semi-precious stones from Peru, a hidden treasure
Photo credit: Reino Minerales


Close to gold for its color and shape, it was often confused by Europeans with this precious mineral. This is where it gets its nickname “fool’s gold”. It is also known for its ability to produce sparks when it collides with other rocks. This is why it is also called “firestone”. Exploited as a source of sulfur and iron, it is used by industry. In 1985, 18% of the sulfur was obtained from this rock with many attributes.

Perceived as an anchor stone in lithotherapy, this gem increases its energy tenfold. With constructive thoughts, she brings a certain rigor and a sense of organization. This rock also has the ability to balance surrounding magnetic fields.

Semi-precious stones from Peru, a hidden treasure
Pyrite. Photo credit: Ivar Leidus

Angelite from Peru

This sulphate and calcium stone can take on a color ranging from light blue to pastel blue gray. It is mainly mined in deposits in Peru, near Lima, but also in Italy. Angelite is the modern name given to anhydrite, which comes from the Greek “anhudros”, meaning “without water”. The new name of this rock thus relates more to its energy and its virtues.

This gem is conducive to tranquility and meditation. It promotes patience and inner calm. For young mothers, it encourages milk surges and can calm babies. The key word of this stone is comfort, it chases away fears and anger.

Semi-precious stones from Peru, a hidden treasure
Photo credit: Lech Darski

Inca Agate

This agate comes from the Andes of Peru. It takes its name in reference to the ancient pre-Hispanic civilization, whose territory extended over this entire mountain range. It is a stone that is difficult to cut, often making it very expensive to buy. This is why, when it is of good quality, it is one of the most sought after by collectors.

This rock is an anchor stone, equated with joy, luck and abundance. In lithotherapy, it is used to allow a physical, emotional and intellectual balance. It acts as a stabilizer of aura and energies of the physical body. He is also given a gift of self-analysis and introspection to be able to learn to accept himself.

Semi-precious stones from Peru, a hidden treasure
Inca Agate. Photo credit: Emmanuelle Guyon

Peruvian Chrysanthemum

This stone takes its name from the flower it represents because of its high concentration of calcite. This peculiarity gives it a flower shape in the center of the rock, especially visible when it is cut.

In Japanese culture, this stone is associated with the inner balance of Ying and Yang. It symbolizes renewal and the beginning. To achieve this, the gem promotes patience, confidence and hope. During harmful thoughts, it maintains optimism.

Semi-precious stones from Peru, a hidden treasure
Two types of chrysanthemums, coming from China. Photo credit: Parent Gery


This stone is a variety of Agate, shrouded in mystery and legend. In Greek mythology, Cupid stole his mother Aphrodite’s fingernails. But these clippings would have fallen into the hands of the Fates, the sisters of fate. These deities would then have transformed these relics into fine stones called Onyx. This is why the name of this rock comes from the Greek “onux” which means “nail”.

This mineral would have the virtues of giving a fluid speech and fighting against bad energies. As a stone of protection, it is used against allergies and addictions.

Semi-precious stones from Peru, a hidden treasure
Onyx. Photo credit: Mhrobben

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Semi-precious stones from Peru, a hidden treasure

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