Stone Guitar Picks

A gemstone guitar pick may seem like a luxury, but tonally stone guitar picks are just as different as nylon and metal picks. Typically semi-precious stones are not exorbitantly priced, compared to more valuable jewels; but they will cost around thirty to fifty times as much as the standard nylon or plastic guitar picks. So is the price worth it?

Stone Guitar Pick

Figure 1 – Agate Stone Plectrum

To many guitarists, the answer is a resounding yes! Not only are they longer-lasting, easy gripping, and better sounding; they are also very appealing items to own.

Why use a stone pick?

Those who have used stone picks often prefer the crisp tone – more defined even than even metal picks. Common materials used are Agate, Jasper, Jade and Turquoise; all highly polished. There are also some very attractive man-made stone picks. With such a wide variety of styles and potential tones, it is well worth trying a few different stone types.

Stone Guitar Pick

Figure 2 – Blue Dragon Skin pick

While the picks are indeed much more durable- they won’t harm guitar strings. Thanks to finely smoothed edges, stone picks should be just as safe as plastic picks to use. Given you bought them from a store, and haven’t decided to use your rock collection as picks! Needless to say, you won’t get any use out of a diamond ring either!

Essentially, stone picks give a unique tone because of a few characteristics such as density, flexibility, and durability. Imagine striking a large bell with a plastic hammer – it will be much different than striking the same bell with a rock. Interestingly, plastic will absorb some vibrational energy when struck against a string. Stone will not, at least to the same extent – resulting in stronger, more distinct vibrations. From this example, many different speciality stores have started to sell such picks as a new way to control precise tones.

Stone Guitar Pick

Figure 3 – Black Brazilian Stone Pick

What’s wrong with stone guitar picks?

Gemstone picks will last a very long time, and offer good grip control- even more so than Tortex picks. The biggest problem with a gemstone pick is losing it. If you are like most guitar enthusiasts, losing picks around the room or house- even in pockets- can be a common nuisance. With single picks costing upwards of around $30 each, there is obviously a need to reform old habits. In fact, some companies will try and tell you that a stone guitar pick is the last one you will ever need to buy. While this is indeed possible, it is much more likely it will be lost long before it breaks.

Stone is hard. If you playing style is quite ‘thrashy’, you might find scratch damage to your instrument, either on the paintwork or pickguard. Watch how you play a friends brand new axe, or your fathers vintage Gibson!

Where to buy stone picks?

If you are indeed looking to acquire a stone pick, you will most likely have to go online, or visit a rather large music retail shop. They are much harder to find than the dozens of boxes of plastic, nylon, and metal picks littering musician shops. While $30 may seem a little high, the “cool” factor gained through bragging to friends and fellow musicians is sometimes well worth the money, and extra tonal clarity can be priceless. Different shapes, feels, translucencies, and sizes can all be crafted from many types of stones – as well as customizations and extra gripping features. If you are looking for extra tonal clarity, this could be a good upgrade to your collection.

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7 thoughts on “Stone Guitar Picks”

  1. I like the idea of a stone pick. The concepts behind the crispness of tone seem reasonable and it would be great to show off. My only problem is the one mentioned above, I lose picks all the time. I have heard that where ever you go, there a spider with in 7 feet of you. In my house every where you go there is a guitar pick with in six inches of you.

    The Digital Guitar

  2. I like this idea too but I wonder if having a gemstone pick won’t affect the sound of the guitar as you play it. Though it looked like this piece for a guitar would last long to keep.

  3. I have come across lots and lots of stone picks in my life. I have never really found one that is worth actually using. Also very impractical since it may damage your guitar, and if lost they are too costly.

  4. I make stone guitar picks and sell them online for $9.00 each. I believe that every guitar player should own at least one of these beauties, the sound they bring out in any stringed instrument is truly amazing and they look fantastic! I can drill holes in them and put them on a chain with a special clasp that allows them to be easily released and played, this is a great alternative to losing your pick or breaking it while carrying it in your pocket.
    Stop by my website and have a look at the wonderful selection of stone picks available…
    Have a great day, hope to see you soon!

  5. It’s all about honing your tone!

    Thank you for sharing this awesome article –
    We’ve also got some glassy smooth gemstone guitar picks, as well as exotic wood picks.

    Whether you’re looking for a warm organic tone or bright & harmonic sound, we’ve got something for you!

    Leather guitar pick carriers are also available to store & protect your valuable investments 🙂

    Check us out @

  6. The first stone guitar pick was made in the late 70’s and it was called the Min’d pick. i know this because it was invented by my father John Dougherty. I still use the picks today after 32 years of playing.

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