Amazonite Gemstone Information
About Amazonite - History and Introduction
Amazonite is also known as the Amazon Stone. It is a gem quality variety of green microcline, belonging to the feldspar group of minerals. The feldspars are a fairly homogenous group of rock-forming tectosilicates that make up nearly 60% of the Earth’s crust. Followed by quartz, feldspar is the most common mineral in the entire world. Despite feldspar's abundance, there are only a few varieties of feldspars considered to be gemstone quality. The word 'feldspar' originated from the German words, "feld"and "spath", which loosely translates as "rock that contains ore".
Amazonite was named after South America's Amazon River, which flows through Brazil. It was believed that amazonite was found there long ago, but mineralogists claim that no green deposits of feldspar exist in Brazil's Amazon. As a result, the stones were later assumed to be nephrite jade and not actually amazonite. Amazonite and other green feldspars do naturally occur in other areas of Brazil, just not in the Amazon River.
Amazonite is a light green to light bluish green feldspar. Amazonite's soft and attractive color closely resembles nephrite and jadeite. It is sometimes erroneously referred to as 'Colorado jade' or 'Pikes Peak jade' because of the close resemblance. Amazonite's appearance is very distinctive with its grid-like, mottled, green and white pattern. Amazonite also has a very faint sheen adding to its uniqueness.
Amazonite can be identified and distinguished in a number of ways. It is commonly confused with various other similar gemstones, but can usually be distinguished very easily. Testing for refractive index and density is a very common and effective way to identify amazonite. Polariscope testing can identify between isotropic (singly refractive) and anisotropic (doubly refractive) stones, which is helpful in differentiating similar gemstones.
Amazonite is found in only a few locations around the world. Russia's Ilmen Mountains were thought to be the only source for many years, until recent discoveries were made in the USA (Colorado and Virginia), Australia, Madagascar and Brazil.
Buying Amazonite and Determining Amazonite Gemstone Value Back to Top
Amazonite colors can vary from green and yellow-green to blue-green. The color distribution is usually very mottled and irregular. Many amazonite stones may also exhibit fine white streaks. The unique color of amazonite is a result of iron impurities that give it the striking bluish green color. Specimens with evenly distributed and saturated colors are the most desirable. Amazonite is best viewed under soft, warm daylight, such as can be seen shortly after sunrise and just before sunset.
Amazonite Clarity and Luster
Amazonite is typically opaque to translucent. It very rarely occurs in transparent form. It has a vitreous luster and a waxy shine when polished. Although it is a rare stone, amazonite is still considered a very affordable gem.
Amazonite Cut and Shape
Amazonite gemstones are available in range of different shapes and cutting styles. They are most often cut en cabochon and are only very rarely faceted. Tumbled stones and beads are very popular, especially for handmade amazonite jewelry. Most cabochons are cut into round or oval shapes, but other fancy and free-form shapes are common. Amazonite gemstone carvings, mostly cameos, animals and other objects of nature, can also be found. Many carvings available today are historical and can be traced back to ancient Egypt.
Amazonite is not typically treated or enhanced in any way
||KAlSi3O8 Potassium aluminum silicate
||Green, blue, green, gray, multicolor (white color of streak)
||6 - 6.5 on the Mohs scale
||1.522 - 1.530
||2.56 - 2.58
||Translucent to opaque
|Double Refraction / Birefringence:
Amazonite Gemstone Varieties or other Similar Gemstones: Back to Top
Amazonite is a gemstone variety of the feldspar group of minerals. There are two main subgroups of feldspar, potassium feldspar (orthoclase and microcline) and plagioclase feldspar. Amazonite is a green microcline variety of potassium feldspar and there are only a handful of closely related gemstones. Amazonite is sometimes mistaken for the following: jade, chrysoprase, chalcedony, serpentine, turquoise or aventurine.
Most Popular Related Gemstones:
Moonstone, orthoclase, andesine (andesine labradorite), labradorite and sunstone are the most common related gemstones.
Lesser Known Related Gemstones:
'Colorado jade' and 'Pikes Peak jade' are some of the lesser known trade names of amazonite. However, these are not actual 'jade' gemstones; they are simply high quality amazonite stones that possess a jade-like quality luster and color.
Amazonite Gemstone Mythology, Metaphysical and Alternative Crystal Healing Powers Back to Top
Amazonite is also known as the 'The Amazon Stone'. There are many old Brazilian legends about legendary female warriors known as the 'Amazons'. According to legend, the 'Amazons' would gift green 'amazonite' stones to all of the men that would come to visit them. Amazonite is believed to have many metaphysical powers. Amazonite stones are also thought to have tremendous healing abilities.
Amazonite carries a strong energy that is able to stimulate the better emotions and personality traits. It is said to balance masculine and feminine energy, and strengthen physical power and stamina. Amazonite is able to soothe all chakras, but if placed specifically on the heart or throat chakra, it can enhance communications concerning love in one's life. In addition, amazonite stimulates artistic ability, creativity and the powers of clairvoyance in its wearer.
Amazonite is the stone of Aquarians and represents the astrological sign of Virgo, promoting vitality for all those who wear it. Often worn by gamblers, amazonite is said to attract luck and good fortune. Amazonite is also thought to have been one of the gemstones used in the breastplate of the high priest, and in Egypt, amazonite is considered one of their holy stones.
When worn as an amulet, it can protect against a wide variety of ailments and diseases. Stones with deeper colors are considered more intense, and therefore, more effective in healing. Healers, shamans and medicine men from many cultures have been healing with gemstones for many centuries. Gemstones are most effective for healing when placed directly on the injured part of the body.
|Disclaimer: Metaphysical and Alternative Crystal Healing Powers and Properties are not to be taken as confirmed advice. Should you have any medical conditions, please see a licensed practitioner. This information is not to replace the advice of your doctor. GemSelect does not guarantee any claims or statements made and cannot be held liable under any circumstances.
Amazonite Gemstone and Jewelry Design Ideas Back to Top
Amazonite jewelry can be found in set in all of the precious metals, but the lovely blue-green color of amazonite looks especially wonderful in silver. Many jewelers often use other materials, such as leather or ceramics to create interesting designs as well.
Amazonite gemstones are ideal for pendants, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, tie tacks, cufflinks or brooches. Daily-wear rings are not very common because amazonite is fairly soft, but with care, they can make beautiful cabochon gemstone rings.
Note: Buy colored gemstones by size and not by carat weight. Colored stones vary in size-to-weight ratio. Some stones are larger and others are smaller than diamonds by weight in comparison.
Amazonite Gemstone and Jewelry Care and Cleaning Back to Top
Amazonite gemstones may require some special care, because they are known to be vulnerable to pressure and scratches. Amazonite stones can be easily cleaned using warm water and mild soap or detergent. Under extreme heat, amazonite can fade in color. Do not use any bleach or harsh chemicals when cleaning your gemstones.
Since amazonite gemstones are fairly soft, they should not be worn when participating in any strenuous physical activity, such as sports and household chores. Amazonite gemstones and jewelry should be stored separately from other jewelry to minimize fractures and scratches.