Verdite Gemstone Information
About Verdite - History and Introduction
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Verdite is the trade name for a light to dark-green metamorphic rock, composed of fuchsite and clayey material. Verdite is considered to be a variety of fuchsite, which in turn, is a variety of muscovite. The green color of verdite is due to traces of chromium.
Verdite was discovered in North Kaap River, South Africa in areas where gold was found. It has been used by South African natives for hundreds of years as an ornamental stone and for amulets. Since verdite lacks hardness, it is most often carved and used for inlay work.
Verdite can be identified by its distinctive green color and Mohs hardness of approximately 3. The refractive index of verdite is also useful in identifying it among specimens of other green rock such as serpentine. Since verdite is a rock rather than a mineral, it does not have a definite chemical composition. This is also a distinguishing characteristic that can help to identify verdite from other gemstones.
The most significant verdite deposits are found in Zimbabwe. Verdite is also found in the Transvaal region of South Africa.
Buying Verdite and Determining Verdite Gemstone Value
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Verdite can be yellowish-green, bluish-green or brownish. It often has spots or a swirled appearance. The green color of verdite may appear bright or dull, depending on the chromium content.
Verdite Clarity and Luster
Verdite has been known to exhibit inclusions of rutile, corundum (ruby and sapphire), diaspore, quartz and light-colored tourmaline. It has a vitreous, silky or pearly luster and is translucent to opaque.
Verdite Cut and Shape
Verdite is often cut into cabochons, beads and spheres. It is also tumbled and often used for inlay. Verdite is frequently carved into animal or human forms as works of African art. Verdite is rarely faceted.
Verdite is not usually treated or enhanced in any way.
||K(Al,Cr)2[OH,F)2/AlSi3O10] (Fuchsite) aluminum silicate
||Approximately 3 on the Mohs scale
||2.80 to 3.0
||Translucent to opaque
|Double Refraction or Birefringence:
||0.036 to 0.043
||Vitreous, silky, pearly
Please refer to our Gemstone Glossary for details of gemology-related terms.
Verdite contains fuchsite, so it is closely related to both fuchsite and muscovite. As a member of the mica group, verdite is also related to lepidolite and biotite. Verdite is also associated with "buddstone"; a metamorphosed chert (silica-rich sedimentary rock) and boulder corundum (ruby and sapphire).
As a consequence of its green color, verdite is sometimes mistaken for jade. In fact, sometimes verdite is traded as "African jade". However, jade has a higher Mohs hardness score of 6 to 7.
Verdite Gemstone Mythology, Metaphysical and Alternative Crystal Healing Powers
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Natives of Zimbabwe, known as the Shona believe in the ability of verdite to promote fertility. Verdite is also thought to impart power and wisdom. It is also associated with reliability, strength and honesty. In traditional Hindu belief systems, verdite is thought to benefit Anahata, (the heart chakra) which is associated with decision making, love, compassion and psychic healing. Physically, verdite is believed to benefit the skin, hands, the lungs, the endocrine system and the thymus gland. Verdite is not a traditional birthstone.
Disclaimer: Metaphysical and Alternative Crystal Healing Powers and Properties are not to be taken as confirmed advice. Traditional, Ceremonial and Mythological Gemstone Lore is collected from various resources and does not represent the sole opinion of SETT Co., Ltd. This information is not to replace the advice of your doctor. Should you have any medical conditions, please see a licensed medical practitioner. GemSelect does not guarantee any claims or statements of healing or astrological birthstone powers and cannot be held liable under any circumstances.
Verdite is a little-known gemstone that is often carved into figurines, such as native African animals or sculptures that have human forms. Jewelry designs make use of verdite beads, cabochons, smooth spheres and tumbled verdite. Verdite jewelry tends to be tribal-style, mainly using beads or wire-wrapping techniques for bracelets, earrings and necklace 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.
Verdite is featured in the interior of the Bank of England and South Africa House in London.
The Anglican Church in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa, has a font made out of verdite.
Verdite is a soft gemstone, so it should be cared for in order to prevent damage. Since household dust contains quartz, which has a Mohs scale hardness of 7, simply wiping dust from a verdite gemstone could cause scratches. The best way to clean verdite gemstones is by using soapy water and a soft cloth. Be sure to rinse well to remove soapy residue. Do not expose verdite to household chemicals or excessive heat. As with most gemstones, ultrasonic cleaners and steamers are not recommended. Always remove any jewelry or gemstones before exercising, cleaning or engaging in harsh physical activities such as sports. Verdite can be easily scratched by harder substances, so it should be stored away from other gemstones. It is best to wrap gemstones in soft cloth or place them inside a fabric-lined jewelry box.