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What is a gypsy stone?

A gypsy stone, also known as a hag stone or adder stone, is a type of stone believed to have magical and protective properties. These stones are naturally occurring stones that have a naturally formed hole through the center of them. The hole must be formed naturally by water or other forces of nature rather than being manmade. Gypsy stones have a long history of use in folklore and spiritual practices across many different cultures worldwide.

What are Gypsy Stones?

Gypsy stones are stones that have a naturally occurring hole through the center of them. The hole must be formed naturally by the elements rather than being manmade. Gypsy stones are found in rivers or ponds typically, where the flowing water over time creates a hole through a soft stone. They are sometimes also called hag stones or adder stones.

These special stones have been used for centuries by a variety of cultures. Gypsy stones are believed to have magical properties and provide the wearer protection. They are most famously used for protection against nightmares, curses, negative energy, and evil spirits. Some also believe they can ward off spells. Gypsy stones are also thought to bring good luck to the wearer.

Common Origins and Locations

Gypsy stones can be found all over the world, typically anywhere there is flowing water in rivers or streams that could naturally cause holes to form in rocks over time. However, some places around the world are more known for their gypsy stones.

In the United States, gypsy stones are commonly found in rivers along the Appalachian Mountains. Some other notable origin sites are:

  • The Yorkshire Dales in England
  • Arran Islands in Scotland
  • The Rio Grande River in the United States
  • The Sognefjord in Norway

Gypsy stones are formed from softer rock types like limestone, chalk, or sandstone typically. The minerals calcite and flint within these rocks more readily form the natural holes.

History and Folklore

Gypsy stones have a long history of use in various spiritual practices and folklore across many cultures. They have been used in spiritual rituals, traditions, and superstitions throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas. Some of the common folklore and history behind gypsy stones includes:

Warding Off Evil

One of the most prevalent folklore beliefs is that gypsy stones can ward off or protect against evil spirits, curses, the Evil Eye, nightmares, and negative energy. This stems from the belief that the natural hole in the stone prevents or traps any evil from passing through it to reach the wearer. Many traditions included hanging gypsy stones over doorways, in windows, or even around the necks of people and livestock to protect homes and barns.

Providing Luck

Gypsy stones are also thought to bring the wearer good luck and fortune. This again ties back to their protective abilities. It was believed that keeping a gypsy stone close protected your luck against any ill-meaning spirits. Sailors would often carry one to bring good fortune on their voyages.

Spiritual Protection

Shamans, medicine men, and other spiritual healers would use gypsy stones in various rituals and ceremonies. The stones were thought to aid in channeling spirits, seeing the future, energy healing, and communing with ancestral spirits. Some Native American tribes would include them in burial rituals to protect the dead in the afterlife.

Healing Properties

Various healing properties have been attributed to gypsy stones over the years as well. These include curing illnesses, aiding sleep, soothing headaches, increasing fertility, and more. Different cultures had various methods of using the stones for healing such as placing them on certain points of the body, brewing them in teas, or carrying them in pouches.

Meanings and Symbols

Gypsy stones have taken on a variety of symbolic meanings throughout the centuries. Some of the most common meanings and symbols associated with these stones include:

Connections Between Worlds

The hole through the gypsy stone is thought to represent a gateway or portal between worlds. It connects the physical world we live in with the spirit realm on the other side. This symbolizes our ability to access other realms of energy and consciousness using the stone.

Overcoming Obstacles

The hole in a gypsy stone also represents being able to pass through obstacles, move beyond barriers, and overcome challenges in life. Just as water flows easily through the hole in the stone, we too can learn to maneuver through difficulties.

Inner Vision

Looking through the hole in a gypsy stone is believed to give us better spiritual vision. It acts like the lens we can use to see energy, spirits, and fortune more clearly.

Feminine Power

Gypsy stones are sometimes seen as representing the powerful feminine life force energy. Their round shape and hole symbolize the womb and vagina in some cultures. They are thought to hold the creative power of the Divine Feminine.

Spirit Animals

Some of the animals associated with gypsy stones that attribute to their meaning are snakes, frogs, cats, horses, and birds. Snakes are seen as magical creatures that move fluidly between realms. Cats provide protection. Birds guide the soul. Horses represent power. And frogs bring luck and fertility.

Metaphysical Properties

In crystal and stone healing belief systems, gypsy stones are thought to have a variety of metaphysical properties. This refers to subtle energies and attributes beyond the physical. Some commonly ascribed metaphysical properties of gypsy stones are:


One of the strongest metaphysical properties of gypsy stones is their ability to provide psychic, spiritual, and physical protection. They block negative energy and repel bad spirits, curses, spells, and the Evil Eye.


Gypsy stones help attract good luck and fortune. They shield you from misfortune and open you up to opportunity.

Emotional Balance

Gypsy stones promote centered, grounded emotions. They soothe strong feelings like anger, grief, and anxiety. The promote inner peace.


These stones have a long history of being used in divination practices like scrying. They aid intuition and are thought to let you see into the future.

Spiritual Vision

Gypsy stones enhance spiritual visioning, dream work, and visualization. They connect you with other realms and heighten perception.


The flowing, fluid nature of gypsy stones stimulates creative thinking and expression. They open you up to creative flow.

Using Gypsy Stones

There are many traditional and modern ways to use gypsy stones to tap into their meanings and properties. Some of the most common ways to use gypsy stones include:


Gypsy stones are often worn in necklaces, bracelets, rings, and other jewelry to keep their protective and lucky energies close. They make meaningful gifts as jewelry too.


Many people choose to decorate with gypsy stones around their homes. They are placed on window sills, bookshelves, bathroom sinks, bedside tables, and more for protection and their unique aesthetic.

Spiritual Tools

Shamans, healers, and magical practitioners may use gypsy stones in rituals, spells, ceremonies, divination, and meditation for accessing spiritual realms and power.


Historically gypsy stones were carried in pouches or bags as personal amulets for their protective and lucky properties.


Gypsy stones can make truly beautiful artwork due to their striking natural appearance. They are incorporated into various sculptures, wall hangings, mosaics, and decor pieces.


Gazing through the natural hole in a gypsy stone is thought to enhance spiritual visions, induce intuitive states, and aid scrying divination practices.

Selecting Your Gypsy Stone

When selecting a gypsy stone to work with, there are a few things to look for to find one that resonates with you:

Natural Hole

The hole must be formed fully naturally rather than being carved by a person. A naturally creates hole has the proper energy flow.


Larger gypsy stones tend to have a deeper energy and presence. But a stone should feel balanced and comfortable in your hand.


Is the stone round, oval, flat? Different shapes may provide subtle energy influences you are drawn to.


While most gypsy stones are neutral tans, greys, or browns, occasionally a stone contains colorful veining or patches. These can enhance the energies.


Some gypsy stones have more complex or interesting patterns, holes, inclusions or shapes. These complexities tend to increase their character and power.


Stones sourced closer to their natural flowing water sources retain a stronger natural connection.


Most importantly, handle various gypsy stones and pick the one that simply feels right in your hand and speaks to you intuitively.

Caring For a Gypsy Stone

Gypsy stones are quite durable and require minimal care. However, a few simple practices will maintain their energy and appearance:

  • Cleanse in fresh running water occasionally to wash away accumulated energies.
  • Recharge in direct sunlight or on astone or crystal cluster.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals or soap that may damage the surface.
  • Store in a fabric pouch or display stand to protect its natural shape.
  • Take care not to drop or chip the stone which may break it.


Gypsy stones are a truly unique type of stone that have been used and revered for their powerful properties since ancient times. These naturally holed stones provide protection, luck, inner vision, connection with spiritual realms, and creative flow according to crystal healing traditions. Their distinctive look and lore make them popular metaphysical tools and meaningful gifts. When starting your collection of gypsy stones, be sure to select ones that feel aligned with your own personal needs, intuitions, and beliefs.