Andalusite is a strongly pleochroic gem, which means that is has different colors when viewed from different directions. While it is a strikingly beautiful gem, it is largely unknown by the gem buying public. With a hardness of 7-7.5 on the Mohs scale, it is very suitable for all kinds of jewelry.
Its trichroic nature, which shows shades of brown, green and reddish brown depending on the orientation of the crystal, can be enhanced by specific orientation and cut. Those cuts with a long axis such as an oval, marquise or emerald cuts tend to show one color near the center and a second, usually darker color near the ends. Square and round cuts usually blend the colors into a mosaic. Most specimens contain some inclusions, the most common being rutile needles. Brazil is the chief producer, but Sri Lanka, Russia, Spain and the US also have deposits.