I did it! I found my first Lucky Stone at the beach! Growing up, I had heard of Lucky Stones and always thought they were smooth, whitish stones until my friend told me that they are really a part of an ear bone of a fish! Eeew!
Intrigued, I read up about them but was unsure of the size and/or scale of these "stones." I enjoy searching for sea glass. But I always kept an eye out for a Lucky Stone. How would I ever find one if I hadn't seen anything but a photo? There are a lot of whitish stones along the shoreline.
At Fairport Harbor, there are not a lot of rocks nor sea glass. Both the stones and sea glass are smaller here. Walking along the shoreline as the sun was low made it easy to spot the shiny beach glass pieces. But a stone caught my eye as a bit different. It was not as big as the white stones I usually see. It also was flat on one side and a bit jagged. I looked for the telltale "L" and saw something worth keeping.
This article describes the Lucky Stone as the otolith, or ear bone, of a Freshwater Drum fish, or Sheephead, a fish that can reach an adult size of 12 to 30 inches! These stones have been found at archaeological sites. They were possibly used as decorations or good luck charms by aboriginals.
This article on Neo Naturalist states that fish grow otoliths one layer at a time, much like an oyster grows a pearl. By looking at the layers, scientists can learn about the age of the fish. They can also determine some environmental factors by studying the layers.
There is an interesting article over at Lucky Stone Jewelry and you'll see some beautiful pieces of jewelry made out of the stones. You'll also find both the stones and jewelry by searching on Etsy. See some beautiful photos over at Sea Glass Rocks.
The Lucky Stones have a tell-tale "L" or "J" inscribed in them. One represents the left otolith and the other the right. The "L" is said to represent "Luck" and the "J", "Joy."
I'm utterly fascinated by this little stone. I might try my hand at making a wire-wrapped pendant. Right now, I just enjoy looking at it and thinking about its interesting journey through Lake Erie.