Aventurine Gemstone Information
About Aventurine - History and Introduction
Aventurine is a variety of chalcedony quartz characterized by its translucency and sparkly metallic inclusions. Glittery inclusions are typically composed of muscovite mica, which usually results in medium to dark green aventurine stones with a silvery green or blue sheen. The metallic inclusions give aventurine quartz a unique sparkling iridescent effect, known as aventurescence. In addition to muscovite mica, hematite or goethite may also be included, which also yields iridescence.
Aventurine typically ranges from light to dark-green in color. Aventurine's color is caused by trace elements of fuchsite in otherwise colorless quartz. Fuchsite is a chromium-rich variety of muscovite. Aventurine is often so heavily included with fuchsite, that it is technically defined as a rock and not a mineral. Despite this technicality, aventurine is still classified as quartz by most, who consider fuchsite to be only an inclusion within the quartz.
Aventurine's unique optical phenomenon of 'aventurescence' ranges in intensity from weak to intense. The level of intensity depends on the density and size of metallic inclusions. The body color of aventurine also varies depending on inclusions. In fact, most aventurine quartz appears banded and exhibits noticeable lighter and darker color zones. Aventurine has a grainy texture in its rough state, but displays an attractive, soft and dull vitreous luster when polished. Aventurine quartz is sometimes confused with aventurine feldspar, but feldspar occurs orange to red and has a higher level of transparency, which makes it easily distinguishable. Aventurine feldspar is now commonly referred to as 'sunstone', leaving the name 'aventurine' to refer primarily to the quartz variety.
Quartz has been used for centuries for gemstones and other ornamental objects. Some of the earliest known primitive tools were composed of quartz and discovered in Ethiopia's Omo Valley. Many of the tools date back more than two and a half million years and were found to be constructed from aventurine quartz. Aventurine is a superior material for tool-making because of its excellent hardness and also its isotropic brittleness that allows it to be shaped relatively easily.
Identifying Aventurine Back to Top
Aventurine can typically be distinguished and identified by color and the presence of 'aventurescence'. Aventurine quartz has a unique occurrence, hardness, luster, conchoidal fracture, refractive index and specific gravity.
Aventurine may be easily confused with malachite and jade, but only by appearance, since both are much softer than aventurine quartz. The term 'Indian jade' is often incorrectly applied when referring to Aventurine.
Aventurine Origin and Gemstone Sources Back to Top
Aventurine quartz can be found in many locations around the world. Some of the most popular sources include Brazil, Chile, India, Austria, Russia and Tanzania.
Buying Aventurine and Determining Aventurine Gemstone Value Back to Top
Aventurine Gemological Properties: Back to Top
Please refer to our Gemstone Glossary for details on gemology-related terms.
Aventurine: Varieties or Similar Gemstones: Back to Top
Aventurine quartz is one of the many quartz gemstones available today. Quartz is the second most abundant mineral on Earth. In fact, approximately 12% of the Earth's crust is composed of quartz. There are a handful of gems which may appear similar to aventurine, including sunstone, malachite, variscite, chrysoprase, jade (Indian jade), chalcedony and amazonite. However, most of these are easily distinguished through simple scratch testing and inspection of colors or inclusions.
Aventurine's iridescent "aventurescence" is usually enough to identify and distinguish it amongst other gemstones. Goldstone is an artificial glass that is commonly used as an alternative for aventurine quartz.
Aventurine Gemstone Mythology, Metaphysical and Alternative Crystal Healing Powers Back to Top
Aventurine is known to be a stone of luck. Green aventurine is thought to hold the most power compared to other colors available. Aventurine is thought to stimulate dreams and have a positive effect on psychic ability. It is known to promote feelings of well-being and give its wearer a positive outlook on life. Aventurine can ease anxiety and strong emotion. Aventurine is thought to help one make decisions from the heart, stimulating creative inspiration and giving its wearer the courage to live among others (this applies to light to dark-green aventurine). It is a comforter and supporter as well as a balancing stone.
Pure green aventurine has the strongest healing energy. Many believe that it has the capability to calm a troubled spirit and bring about inner peace. In summary, aventurine symbolizes tranquility, patience and creativity. Physically, aventurine is thought to facilitate psychotherapy. It is an ideal stone for treating heart and respiratory disorders. Aventurine is also believed to help improve vision. It is associated with the planet Mercury and also the 6th and 7th chakras (the brow and crown chakras). Aventurine is a stone of Cancer and is also popular for those born under the signs of Taurus and Sagittarius.
Aventurine Gemstone and Jewelry Design Ideas Back to Top
Aventurine is popular for jewelry making, especially because of its excellent hardness and durability. Since it most often occurs opaque, it is often cut into beads and cabochons. Aventurine is ideal for any type of beaded or stranded jewelry, including necklaces, bracelets and ornamental carvings. Some popular ornamental carvings include bookends, animal cameos and figurines. Aventurine is ideal for use in gemstone cabochon rings and pendants.
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.
Aventurine Gemstone and Jewelry Care and Cleaning Back to Top
Aventurine can be easily cleaned with warm soapy water and a soft cloth or brush. Aventurine quartz is considered to be very durable and has relatively good hardness (7 on the Moh's scale), but care should still be taken around other materials, because there are many other gem types that are harder than quartz. As with almost all gemstones, the use of harsh household chemicals should be avoided when caring for or cleaning aventurine gemstones. Avoid prolonged exposure to extreme heat, which may cause damage to aventurine gemstones.
When storing aventurine gemstones, store them inside a fabric-lined box or wrapped in a soft cloth. Aventurine should be stored separately from other types of gemstone to prevent damage or scratches. It is best to remove any jewelry before engaging in any strenuous physical activity, such as exercise or sports.
- First Published: July-18-2013
- Last Updated: May-16-2014
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