Amazonite Gemstone Information
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About Amazonite - History and Introduction
Amazonite is also known as the Amazon Stone. Amazonite is a light green to light bluish-green color gemstone, with a soft and attractive color that can closely resemble that of nephrite and jadeite. It is sometimes erroneously referred to as 'Colorado jade' or 'Pikes Peak jade' because of its close resemblance. Amazonite's appearance is very distinctive with its grid-like, mottled, green and white pattern. Amazonite can also exhibit a very faint sheen adding to its uniqueness.
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 variety of green microcline feldspar. The feldspars are a fairly homogenous group of rock-forming tectosilicates that make up nearly 60% of the Earth’s crust. Followed by the quartz group, feldspars are the most common mineral in the entire world. Despite feldspar's fame to abundance claim, there are only a few varieties of feldspar that are considered to be gemstone quality. The word 'feldspar' originated from the German words, "feld"and "spath", which loosely translates as "rock that contains ore".
Identifying Amazonite Back to Top
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 Origin and Gemstone Sources Back to Top
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 Treatment
Amazonite is not typically treated or enhanced in any way
Amazonite Gemological Properties: Back to Top
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:
'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. Star sunstone and spectrolite are rare members of the feldspar family that are rarely seen.
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.
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.
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.
- First Published: August-15-2006
- Last Updated: October-18-2018
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