One of the really noticeable things about being in the Azores is seeing all the basalt stones, reminders that the islands are all born from volcanos. Geologically speaking, the islands are all pretty young. I learned that basalt is what’s left when molten lava cools down. It’s spewed from the earth with a lot of heat and energy, and it’s easily recognizable by all the holes left from the gasses that escaped when the lava cooled.
A lot of people feel that the energy that created basalt still has power, and can help ease stress or increase fertility. For these reasons, plus how pretty it is, basalt is popular for jewelry. It’s light weight, and although it’s typically black or grey it can be dyed. However, it’s very brittle to work with and can be sharp to the touch. For that reason there aren’t many artisans who like to work with it.
A lot of the basalt jewelry you find in stores on the island is sourced from somewhere else with less brittle basalt. I’ve got a few pieces of jewelry that use locally obtained basalt crafted by an island jeweler. She made this jewelry just for me, which makes them extra special. All I have left is a nest necklace and an infinity necklace, and I love to wear either of these pieces because it’s like having a part of the island with me. There are only a few of these left, and they’d make great gifts.