A few days ago, I got a tweet asking me if the fairy crosses that are an integral part of The Gemstone Chronicles stories were real or a figment of my imagination. The truth is…they are REAL!!
Now, I don’t think there are any elves trapped inside the stones, but the fairy crosses I referenced in Book One: The Carnelian do exist. Let’s take a look at the crosses from the book.
Fairy Crosses – The Science:
If my readers recall, Aidan found a group of staurolite crosses by some mounds while Maggie and Beebop set up the gemstone hunting equipment. Staurolite is the Georgia state mineral. Staurolite crystals naturally form into cross shapes – though we don’t really know why. There are three different types of the crosses. The most common cross is the prismatic shaped and is a less-defined cross shape. The second most commonly found shape is a “X” known as the St. Andrew’s Cross. The Maltese Cross is perfectly formed and is therefore the rarest and most highly prized shape. The staurolite crosses are most commonly found in Georgia in Fannin County near the North Carolina and Tennessee borders, but they are also found in other places such as Virginia, New Mexico, Minnesota, Norway, and Switzerland.
Now that we know about the scientific aspects of fairy crosses, what do the legends say about them? In The Gemstone Chronicles Book One: The Carnelian, Beebop tells Aidan and Maggie two legends about the origin of the staurolite fairy crosses. The first legend was that the fairies, who lived in the beautiful north Georgia mountains, heard that the son of the Great Creator had been crucified. They wept in sorrow at the news and their tears fell to the ground and formed the crosses.
The second legend is part of one of the most heartbreaking realities in the history of the United States. Until 1828, most settlers stayed away from the north Georgia mountains. In 1828, gold was found in the mountains and soon after, the Georgia Gold Rush began. Suddenly, the mountains became the place to be. President Andrew Jackson forced the Cherokee from their ancestral lands and moved the nation to Oklahoma along the “Trail of Tears.” Because of this forced exodus, the legends say the Cherokee wept and their tears formed the fairy crosses found in the mountains today. As noted in the book, the play “Unto These Hills” is performed during the summer months in Cherokee, NC and depicts the tale of the “Trail of Tears.”
Fairy Cross Types:
Here are the three types of staurolite fairy crosses:
First, the Maltese Staurolite Fairy Cross. isn’t it beautiful?
Secondly, the St. Andrew’s Staurolite Fairy Cross. Note the characteristic “X” shape.
Lastly, the Prismatic Staurolite Fairy Cross. This type has a random shape. One thing to note about any of the crosses is that no two are identical.
Despite the variety, none of the crosses above housed Findecano, the elf Aidan and Maggie freed from his stone prison. Findecano’s prison was a chiastolite, a different type of fairy cross. Chiastolite fairy crosses are not native to north Georgia. Chiastolite is a variety of andalusite and has carbon inclusions that form its characteristic black cross. Chiastolites are found in many locations around the world. Prime locations are Spain, and California, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts in the United States. In the book, Beebop speculated the stone could have reached Georgia by trade among the native Americans, or by Spaniards exploring the New World .
Below is a picture of a Chiastolite Fairy Cross. Can’t you imagine an elf and a troll trapped in it just waiting for someone to smash the stone and free them?
I hope this post answers the questions readers have about Fairy Crosses. If not, please send them to me and I’ll try to find an answer!
I haven’t found one yet in my rock hunting trips, so I try to keep a sharp eye out for them. Besides, legends say wearing fairy crosses bring good luck, so if I happen to find one, I will be sure to keep it with me!