Lithicoin was designed to be a more sophisticated and convenient way to collect our favorite stones, but beyond being collectible, we see them as a tool. In my jewelry workshop, I often use small pieces of material to explain to customers concepts like book-matching (cutting one piece into two and opening like a book to mirror the patterns) or how patterns in stone are three dimensional, despite the two dimensional nature of an inlay in a finished piece of jewelry.
The Lithicoin concept was designed with several uses in mind. Here are a few ways I think they can be a useful tool:
It's my belief that stones have played an important role in humanity's experience of color - after all, they were our first chance to have permanent, portable color that wasn't environmental (sunsets, rainbows) or biological (flowers, butterfly wings). Stones form an incredible gradient of color, and the natural patterns such as fine banding and tree-like dendrite forms offer endless inspiration for artists and designers. Jewelers and other makers utilizing stones in their work will find Lithicoins useful for illustrating new jewelry designs. Why work from a photo off the internet or in a book when the actual material can be held in hand?
I have several stone identification books and most of them are my age or older. They're fantastic for technical information about various stones but don't often go into specific variants like different types of agate or jasper, and the photographs are generally small. Lithicoin makes a fantastic hands-on reference for stone identification. Collecting examples of material from the same location offers a glimpse at the diversity of color and pattern present at that location. Collecting examples of the same material from different locations offers a look at the overall diversity of a material when slightly different environmental or geological variables exist.
If you sell jewelry or crafts incorporating natural stone, it is likely you have designs which can be made identical in shape but with a variety of different materials. Whether it's a pendant or body jewelry, why stock the same style in endless variation when you can present your customer with a hands-on catalog of real stone specimens? In my own jewelry business, I have seen increased sales when customers are able to be in the workshop seeing and touching materials prior to placing a custom order. Give your customers the freedom to choose their favorite material from your inventory of Lithicoin stone specimen coins and watch the excitement build. We can even custom make a selection of Lithicoins to match the materials you offer in your designs, and in many cases we can custom carve finished jewelry or cabochon inlays to your specification from identical material.
In my past lectures, which have included light play in gemstones and speaking on jades of the Americas, there's been no more helpful tool than having the actual materials available as examples. The size and shape of Lithicoins makes them easily held by kids and adults, and they are easily stored in tubes or flat binder pages. The thin cross section of Lithicoin specimen coins makes them ideal for explaining concepts such as color saturation - stacking multiple coins of the same material results in highly saturated color and less translucency. Light physics can be taught by taking advantage of this translucency, and many Lithicoins such as Labradorite exhibit unique and colorful light play effects which illustrate reflection, refraction, diffusion, diffraction, etc.
I'd like to send more Lithicoins out into the world, so I have a proposal for you! Take a few minutes to complete three steps, and I will give you and your friend a choice of either Raw Edge Amethyst or Moss Agate Lithicoins.
All Lithicoin stone coins ship in an protective case to avoid damage during shipment and allow the coins to be easily stored without fear of damage. You may wish to remove your case to carry your "Pocket Safe" coin or simply examine a more fragile coin in closer detail. The cases seal tightly, and they do take some care to open. Here's how we open them.
You may have heard the word "lithic" in the past and not realized its meaning. Lithic is most often heard with prefixes appended to it - words like "monolithic" or "paleolithic" - and the thing these words have in common is that they are referencing stone.
Lithic simply means "pertaining to or consisting of stone."
The catalog number is unique to each individual Lithicoin, and allows your coin to be accessed at any time by typing this number into the search field on our site.
This is the location where a Lithicoin's material is sourced. We are as specific as possible in the main coin description when we know more about origin (sometimes we will know a specific mine location), but we try to at least note the country. Sometimes we may not know the origin of a particular piece of material, and these coins are marked as "Unknown."
Standard size for Lithicoin stone specimens is approximately 32mm x 3mm (1.25"x0.11" or 1 3/4" x 1/8"). Size can vary by about .5mm (one half millimeter) due to being hand carved from a natural material.
Opacity refers to the translucency of a coin material when backlit. Materials that do not allow light to pass through are considered "Opaque." If light passes through a part or all of a Lithicoin, it is considered "Partially or fully translucent."
Our durability ratings are designed to help you understand how a Lithicoin should be handled. We use the following ratings as suggestions, but please understand that we can make no guarantees about the actual durability of any natural material.
Pocket Safe: This Lithicoin is suitable for frequent handling or daily carry without the case. Try to minimize the number of additional hard objects carried in your pocket or bag (metal coins, etc.) to minimize the chance of breakage or scratches. Many stones are harder than the metals in our everyday lives, but we prefer a cautious approach.
Handle with care outside of case: This Lithicoin can be removed from the case and handled but should not be pocket carried. Exercise caution to avoid drops, and do not apply pressure or any twisting motions.
Fragile, case recommended: This Lithicoin has physical characteristics such as fragile crystal coverage, internal seams or planes, geode sections, or is a brittle material that can be easily scratched or broken. These coins should not be removed from their cases unless you intend to sit down and carefully enjoy them.
We can't predict every scenario a coin might encounter, and natural materials can be unpredictable. We do not provide any guarantee or warranty in the event of damage.