Turtle Stone Gongshi

   Tortoise Shell Stone from Guizhou Province, China
  'Tortoise Shell Stone' from Guizhou Province, China

It Takes Time

Tu’i Malila was born in 1777 and died of natural causes in 1965 at the ripe old age of 188! Although the name translates as King Malila, Tu’i Malila was neither king nor human, but a tortoise, one of the longest lived animals in the world. In fact, King Malila was not even a male; however, on Tonga, the island of her residence, she was honored as a member of the royal family. It’s no wonder. She exemplified for Tongans the traits necessary for a long and successful life – perseverance, dignity, peacefulness and silence. Her example was so profound; she is honored to this day by Tongans, people all over the world, and nature.

Testudinate is volcanic rock formed by extreme heat and pressure  
Testudinate is volcanic rock formed by extreme heat and pressure  

This week’s New Arrival features a Gongshi – or Spirit Stone – from Guizhou, China. Collectors call this a Tortoise Shell stone; however, geologists know it as Testudinate, a rare type of stone formed by volcanic rocks under extreme heat and pressure over eons of time. It’s understandable how geologists came up with the name. Real tortoises are members of the Testudinidae family, a reference to land dwelling vertebrates with a shell. It’s also understandable why this stone is considered a member of the spirit stone family. Examine it closely, stretch your imagination, and you might even hear Tu’i Malila break her silence.

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Tortoise Shell Stone