I always thought goldstone was a 'stone'. I bet you did too. From what I've discovered on the web, it is a rust colored glass flecked with metallic particles such as copper or chromic oxide. When copper is added to molten glass, the copper crystallizes. Interestingly, even though goldstone is man-made, you will often find it listed with gemstones.
[See BELOW AVENTURINE, or AVANTURINE]
There are various stories about the origins of goldstone. One is that sometime during the early 1800's, an Italian monk was making glass at his monastery. He accidentally spilled some copper filings into his molten glass and, voila, goldstone was born. The recipe for making goldstone was kept secret by the monks, but was handed down through time.
Another rendition also has an origin in Italy. This story goes that a long time ago, molten copper was accidentally spilled into molten glass at a glass factory in Murano. The accident created goldstone. [SEE BELOW AVENTURINE, or AVANTURINE] Interestingly enough, other info I discovered on the web says the same thing for Aventurine.
Of course, there is the fantastic idea that goldstone was created by alchemists. One of the many problems that alchemists tried to solve was how to turn iron into gold. Goldstone is thought to be the result of one of these attempts. (Not be me, of course!)
While goldstone is still used in jewelry today, it was most popular during the Victorian era.
AVENTURINE, or AVANTURINE
AVENTURINE, or AVANTURINE, a variety of quartz containing bits of mica or scales of iron-oxide, which confer brilliancy on the stone. It is found chiefly in the Ural Mountains, and is cut for ornamental purposes at Ekaterinburg. Most aventurine is of reddish brown or yellow color. The mineral aventurine takes its name from the well-known aventurine-glass of Venice . This is a reddish brown glass with gold-like speckles, more brilliant than most of the natural stone. The story runs that this kind of glass was originally made accidentally at Murano by a workman, who let some copper filings fall into the molten " metal," whence the product was called avventurino.
Another source on the web states: It is interesting that the name for the stone "Aventurine" is derived by accident. Sometime during the 18th century, Venetian glass workers were preparing molten glass when copper filings accidentally fell into the batch producing a glass with sparkles. The name aventurine comes from the Italian "a ventura," which means "by chance".
There is another piece of info I discovered: the manufacturing process for Goldstone was discovered in seventeenth-century Venice by the Miotti family, which was granted an exclusive license by the Doge. Persistent folklore attributes the discovery and secrets of Goldstone to an unnamed Italian monastic order, giving rise to the alternate name "Monk's Gold" or "Monkstone". Another name, "Stellaria", is based on the starry internal reflections.
Goldstone has been called the stone of ambition and drive. Because of the copper, Goldstone is believed to embody many of the metaphysical properties of copper, including strengthening the circulatory system, strengthening bones, and easing arthritis pain.
Ok, so you get the picture. Everyone has a 'story'. However, the fact remains that there is one thing you can be sure of. It is no secret that Goldstone was very popular in the Victorian Era and to this day people still love the way it sparkles!