I have this addiction, some might say obsession, with collecting stones. These specimens are stones with naturally occurring holes found on the beaches of Lake Winnipeg around Gimli, Manitoba, Canada.
Some call them crinoids but they are more likely to be gastropods. These ‘lucky stones’, which we locals lovingly call them, are imprints and “negatives” of gastropods or snails.
I wanted to know more about these fascinating stones so I sent some samples to “Ask-a-Geologist”. I got an identification from Jean Dougherty, Geological Survey of Canada.
“The most prominent feature of the gastropod is the spiral-shaped shell. These can vary considerably in shape from a low whorl to a high whorl. Now imagine that these gastropods (snails) have died. Over time, the soft body of the snail would have rotted away leaving only the shell. Then imagine the shells having been buried in sediments at the bottom of some sea. Over millions of years, more sediment builds up overtop of them, and presses them into sedimentary rocks (this process is called ‘diagenesis’). The shell also undergoes a chemical transformation in which it is mineralized, becoming a rock. Depending on the rock type containing the fossil, either the fossil could be weathered away, leaving a hollow space where the fossil once was, or the rock could get worn away leaving the fossil, or some combination of these two. In the case of your samples, the third process happened. The fossil eventually dissolved and disappeared, leaving rock, but some of the rock was weathered away also. Depending on the degree to which the rock was worn away, you are still left with some amount of the fossil’s structure still visible. The spiral shell of the gastropod turns around a central hollow tube which gets narrower as you get to the point of the spiral. That is why, in some of your samples, the hole is wider on one side of the rock than on the other side of the rock – they are what remains of that narrowing tube.”
Stones that have natural holes have always been considered mystical and sacred, with special healing properties, windows into the soul and doorways to other dimensions. These stones are reported to have extremely powerful magical properties, the most important of which is protection.
In 2011 I received a wonderful email from a woman in the United States:
“I am a camp counselor/ trip guide at a wilderness canoe camp based in Ely, Minnesota, and will be leading a month long trip in Woodland Caribou Park and down the Bloodvein River into Lake Winnipeg beginning in late July. I have been searching far and wide for something special to give to my three 16-17 year old campers to commemorate our adventure together this summer, and your necklaces seem perfect: they are relevant to the place we will be traveling, they are simple and naturally elegant, and I love the idea that they offer protection, as this will be my camper’s first experience with whitewater paddling.”
I designed 5 matching necklaces for them.
Apparently they are especially lucky when given to someone.
One has to be lucky to find these stones. The trick is to look for the hole, not the rock.See this post for more lucky stone confligrations.