Sodalite Gemstone Information
About Sodalite - History and Introduction
Sodalite is typically a deep blue mineral that gets its name from its sodium content. A sodalite deposit was discovered in Greenland in 1806 and then sodalite ornaments were seen in 1891, when larger deposits of gem-quality material were found in Ontario, Canada. Apart from blue, sodalite can be gray, yellow, orange or pink. However, for gemstone use, sodalite is typically blue, and often has white veins running through it. Sodalite is also sometimes sold as "alomite", "blue stone" and "ditroite".
A pink variety of sodalite is called hackmanite. This purple or pink gemstone was found in gem-quality deposits in 1991, in Quebec. Hackmanite exhibits the rare gemstone phenomenon of tenebrescence (also known as reversible photochromism), which means that it changes color when exposed to sunlight, and the process is reversed when the light changes.
Identifying Sodalite Back to Top
Sodalite can be identified by its deep blue color and strong orange fluorescence. It can sometimes exhibit a violet tint and in opaque form often has white veins or patches running through it, which are composed of calcite. Sodalite is rare in transparent crystal form and can be gray, yellow, orange, blue, violet or colorless.
Sodalite; Origin and Gemstone Sources Back to Top
Sodalite is found in Brazil (Bahia), Greenland, India, Canada (Ontario), Namibia, Russia (the Urals) and the USA (Montana).
Buying Sodalite and Determining Sodalite Gemstone Value Back to Top
Sodalite Gemological Properties: Back to Top
Please refer to our Gemstone Glossary for details of gemology-related terms.
Sodalite: Related or Similar Gemstones Back to Top
A violet-pink tenebrescent variety of sodalite is known as hackmanite. Sodalite can also be found in transparent, colorless form. Transparent sodalight is very rare as most sodalite gemstones are violet-blue and opaque. Lapis lazuli is similar in appearance to sodalite, and lapis can even include sodalite as a consituent. Owed to similaries, sodalite can easily be mistaken for lapis lazuli. However, lapis lazuli has a higher specific gravity (density), ranging from 2.5 to 3. Moreover, lapis lazuli is technically defined as a rock, whereas sodalite is a pure mineral by itself.
Sodalite can also be mistaken for blue azurite (also called chessylite) because of its similar blue azure color. However, azurite has a lower hardness rating based on Mohs scale of mineral hardness, ranging from only 3.5 to 4, and azurite is composed of basic copper carbonate. Dumortierite is also similar to sodalite in color, but has a higher Mohs hardness of 7 (up to 8.5 in aggregate form). Lazulite has a similar color and hardness to sodalite, but lacks the fluorescence of sodalite.
Sodalite Gemstone Mythology, Metaphysical and Alternative Crystal Healing Powers Back to Top
Sodalite is said to bring logic, inner peace, and calming energy. It is also believed to protect its wearer from negative energy and to help those who wear it to see the positive sides of others. In traditional Hindu belief systems, sodalite is associated with Vishuddha, or the throat chakra. This chakra relates to creation and self-expression. Physically, Vishuddha is linked to the thyroid gland. Sodalite is a non-traditional birthstone for those born in December or under the sign of Sagittarius. In feng shui, sodalite possesses water energy and is thought to benefit occupational domains. Sodalite is said to assist athletes by improving endurance and motivation to achieve goals. Additionally, sodalite sometimes referred to as a "poet's stone" because it is thought to be conducive to writers. Physically, sodalite is considered to be beneficial for the glands and helpful for weight loss, insomnia, calcium deficiency and the sinuses.
Sodalite Gemstone and Jewelry Design Ideas Back to Top
Sodalite is a fairly versatile gemstone that can be used in a variety of gemstone jewelry designs. Sodalite beads are popular in beaded necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. Beads can be spherical, tubular, square or tumbled. Sodalite also makes attractive cabochon pendants, rings and earrings. Sodalite can be set in silver, gold or copper. It can be wire-wrapped or used in tribal-style jewelry. Sodalite looks stunning by itself or teamed with white gemstones, such as pearls, quartz or topaz. Since sodalite is rather soft, care should always be taken when wearing sodalite gemstone jewelry, particularly when wearing sodalite 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.
Famous Sodalite Gemstones Back to Top
Evald Nielsen, a Danish silversmith and master of the Goldsmith's Guild of Copenhagen, sold jewelry to people from Denmark, Germany and the USA. He created some unique Art Nouveau pieces with sodalite stones that are now collector's items.
World-renowned Greek jewelry designer, Ilias Lalaounis, has used sodalite in a number of his golden creations. A Lalaounis sodalite and 18 karat gold necklace fetched $10,000, plus premiums, at a Bonhams auction. An 18 karat gold and sodalite jewelry suite by Lalaounis was sold for $24,525 at Christie's in 2009.
Rolex have used sodalite in the dials of watches for ladies.
Sodalite is also used for decorative stone panels in tables and suchlike. An eighteenth century Qing Dynasty sodalite plaque in a bronze frame was sold for $44,797 at a Christie's auction in Paris, in December 2013.
Sodalite Gemstone Jewelry Care and Cleaning Back to Top
Sodalite is considered to be fairy tough, but it is also fairly soft at 5.5 to 6 on the Mohs scale. It's softer than many gemstones, but with care, jewelry and ornaments can last for many generations. Sodalite can be quite sensitive to strong pressure, high temperatures and harsh household chemicals and cleaners. Avoid exposing sodalite to bleach or sulphuric acid. Most sodalite can be cleaned using warm, soapy water, but some dyed materials may not be stable. For dyed or impregnated stones, it's best to test a small area first to ensure stability. Wipe down stones using only a soft cloth and be sure to rinse well to remove any soapy residue.
Always remove any sodalite gems or jewelry before exercising, playing sports or engaging in vigorous household chores. When storing your sodalite gemstones, store them separately from other gems and jewelry to prevent scratches and fractures. It is best to wrap your stones using a soft cloth and place them into a fabric-lined jewelry box for extra protection.
- First Published: March-28-2014
- Last Updated: October-17-2017
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