I joke that I started my first business in second grade, when I made a habit of selling stones I had found around our apartment complex to the other neighborhood children. My love for stones continues to this day, and I've spent the past 14 years studying humanity's relationship with stone, teaching others about this fascinating history, and creating jewelry from natural materials.
I've realized during this time that many of the stones that I and my customers love are not often collected. Unlike the crystals popular with collectors, most agates, jaspers, jades, and others tend to show their beauty only when opened to reveal the natural colors and patterns hidden within.
The Lithicoin project is intended to provide an easily stored and traded method of collecting the beautiful stones I use in my every day work at Onetribe, where we create jewelry for individuals with traditional enlarged piercings of the ear lobe, lip, and other areas. I personally select, cut, and polish these materials in our Richmond, Virginia workshop. The size and thickness of our specimen coins works remarkably well to show the translucency and inclusions present in many materials.
It's my hope that this easy to store and fun to view format will inspire even those who have never collected, or who gave up to be "grown up," to surround themselves with reminders of the diverse beauty of our natural environment.
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.