The Eye of Saint Lucia stone’s history begins with a legend that appeared in the 4th century: Lucy, a young girl of nobility, thanks to her many prayers to the Virgin Mary, managed to procure the miraculous recovery of her mother who was suffering from an incurable disease. They prayed for healing at the tomb of St. Agatha. Lucy then had a dream in which Saint Agatha told her that her mother is cured. She also predicted that she would become a venerated saint in Syracuse. Lucy then devoted her virginity to Saint Agatha. When she returned to Syracuse, Lucy behaved like a devout Christian and disposed of her belongings. She worshipped Mary so much that she tore her eyes out and threw them into the sea to ward off suitors and to prevent herself from deviating from her faith. Devoted entirely towards prayer, she performed a significant number of miracles. In response to her total devotion, Mary restored her sight and made her eyes even more beautiful and radiant. Another version of the legend recounts that as a sign of love for her fiancé who had rejected her because she was a Christian, the young woman tore her eyes out and offered them to him on a platter. A carved figurine depicts this scene. It is this latter version of the legend, associated with the etymology of the first name Lucie for light (lux in Latin, luz in Spanish), that continues to be perpetuated and gives this stone, which takes an eye shape, quite exceptional virtues. This legend concerns the operculum of the Mediterranean Rough Turbo found on the Mediterranean shores of Marseille and which symbolises the eyes of Saint Lucia.
This mineral is primarily found in warm seas such as the China Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. It has a rather round shell, with a size of ten millimetres to one hundred millimetres. There are several species of small shells that produce it and can have different colors. It has a white side with a spiral that resembles that of the Eye of Saint Lucia and one that has a colour that can be dark brown to light orange, or with shades that can range from dark blue to green. Finally, the colourful side is very rounded and does not resemble an ear like the Eye of Saint Lucia found on the beaches on Mediterranean shores. It is often found in shops. They are imported from Asia in handmade jewellery under the name Eye of Saint Lucia, the name not being protected.
In Corsica, the Eye of Saint Lucia is a very worked mineral. It is often combined with gold, silver or the red coral of Bonifacio to make jewellery. Many jewellers on the island offer rings, bracelets, pendants and earrings.
Eye of Saint Lucia, also known as the ‘Venus Eye’ or ‘Virgin Eye’ is a mineralised operculum that comes from a mollusc of the Turbinidae gastropod family. It is a type of periwinkle better known as ‘biou’ which has a rounded shell.
Eye of Saint Lucia is also called turbo, astralium rugosum, rough turbo or astraea rugosa by scientists.
The operculum shell has a white surface with a spiral and another vibrant orange coral. The warm orange side resembles the human ear. According to legend, the orange surface is the stylised symbol of the Virgin Mary and the opposite white face symbolises the Eye of Saint Lucia. Oval-shaped, the operculum shell has a maximum size of twenty-five to thirty millimetres. Its thickness is around five millimetres.
Rough Turbo is primarily harvested by professional fishermen. Once the operculum shell is removed, the shellfish is released back into the water.
Eye of Saint Lucia stone is used today in the form of jewels, particularly in the daily practice of litho therapy in order to benefit from its various virtues.
Eye of Saint Lucia is primarily found on Mediterranean shores, particularly in Marseille but also in Corsica where it is found on the beaches or by snorkelling at shallow depths.
Eye of Saint Lucia has many mental and physical virtues and properties. First, it works on the Root Chakra and the Third Eye Chakra, warding off the evil eye and negative energy, as well as fostering luck. This stone/shell brings protection and joy to the wearer. It is thus considered a lucky charm, especially by fishermen in Corsica who believe it brings good luck. Eye of Saint Lucia stone also promotes wealth if it is stored with money. In addition, possessing Eye of Saint Lucia stone promotes self-confidence, an unwavering faith in oneself and one’s actions. This stone can be worn either as a pendant, or can be carried as a pebble and placed in a pocket or bag. In this way, Eye of Saint Lucia stone provides the bearer with the help, strength and support they need to face the uncertainties of life and to experience happiness. It thus allows one to understand the future with serenity and calm.
Eye of Saint Lucia stone also has many physical virtues. In particular, it is recommended in case of eye problems. It may also be recommended for throat disorders.