Lepidolite Gemstone Information
About Lepidolite - History and Introduction
Lepidolite belongs to the mica group of materials, specifically it is lithium, aluminium-rich mica. Since lepidolite is a mica material, it is not defined as stone. Lepidolite was first discovered in the 18th century, when it was called "lilalite" because of its lavender colour. However, it was later named "lepidolite" by scientists, from the Greek "lepidos", which means "scale", referring to its scaly appearance caused by flakes of lithium. Lepidolite occurs in granite pegmatites and tin veins. It is often found with other crystals such as tourmaline and quartz. Lepidolite is an important source of lithium, which is the lightest metal in the world. Lithium is used in rechargeable batteries, aircraft parts and domestic appliances, such as toasters and microwave ovens. Lithium compounds are also used in mobile phones, air purifiers, high temperature lubricants and mood-stabilizing drugs. For ornamental use, lepidolite is used to make paperweights, ashtrays and suchlike. It is also made into gemstones.
Identifying Lepidolite Back to Top
Lepidolite can be identified by its restricted order of formation, platy habit and pebbly appearance.
Lepidolite; Origin and Gemstone Sources Back to Top
Sources of lepidolite include Brazil, Russia, the USA, Canada, Sweden, Germany, Finland, the Czech Republic, Japan, Zimbabwe and Madagascar.
Buying Lepidolite and Determining Lepidolite Gemstone Value Back to Top
Lepidolite Gemmological Properties: Back to Top
Please refer to our Gemstone Glossary for details of gemmology-related terms.
Lepidolite: Related or Similar Gemstones Back to Top
Lepidolite is often confused with muscovite, but lepidolite has a lower relief than muscovite.
Lepidolite Gemstone Mythology, Metaphysical and Alternative Crystal Healing Powers Back to Top
Lepidolite is sometimes referred to as the "grandmother stone" or the "peace stone" because it is thought to have nurturing and calming properties. Therefore, lepidolite is believed to be of great comfort to those who are feeling stressed or nervous. It is also thought to help those with bipolar disorder because of its mind-balancing properties. Lepidolite is associated with the zodiacal sign of Libra and the 7th chakra in the traditional Hindu belief system. The 7th chakra is positioned on the crown of the head and is linked to the brain and central nervous system. Lepidolite is thought to open the mind and calm the higher self.
Lepidolite Gemstone and Jewellery Design Ideas Back to Top
Lepidolite can be cut en cabochon, into spheres or fancy shapes. It can also be tumbled and drilled. Therefore, lepidolite is ideal for making beaded necklaces and bracelets, pendants, rings and other types of jewellery. Lepidolite can be set into silver, gold or other metals.
Note: Buy coloured gemstones by size and not by carat weight. Coloured stones vary in size-to-weight ratio. Some stones are larger and others are smaller than diamonds by weight in comparison.
Lepidolite Gemstone Jewellery Care and Cleaning Back to Top
Lepidolite is considered to be quite tough, but it is also fairly soft at 2.5 - 4 on the Mohs scale. It's softer than many gemstones, but with care, jewellery and ornaments can last for many generations. Lepidolite can be quite sensitive to strong pressure, high temperatures, and harsh household chemicals and cleaners. Avoid exposing lepidolite to bleach or sulphuric acid. Lepidolite can be cleaned using warm, soapy water. Wipe down stones using only a soft cloth and be sure to rinse well to remove any soapy residue.
Always remove any lepidolite gems or jewellery before exercising, playing sports or engaging in vigorous household chores. When storing your lepidolite, store it separately from other gems and jewellery to prevent scratches and fractures. It is best to wrap your stones using a soft cloth and place them into a fabric-lined jewellery box for extra protection.
- First Published: February-12-2014
- Last Updated: May-30-2014
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