MINERAL OF THE MONTH: February 2008 Amazonite

Amazonite, sometimes called Amazonstone, is a layered form of microcline feldspar; it was originally named after the Amazon River when similar green stones were found there. However, no deposits of Amazonite have ever been found near the Amazon River. Amazonite is a rare mineral. Originally, it was obtained from the Limen Mountains in Russia. More recently, it has been mined in the Pike’s Peak area of Colorado as well as in Madagascar, Canada, Italy, and Brazil.

Although Amazonite does exhibit a beautiful green color when polished, it is difficult to fashion into jewelry because it easily fractures. Most people believed that the blue-green color was due to copper compounds. Scientists discovered in the mid-1980s, though, that the color is caused by small quantities of lead and water.

Amazonite is a relatively soft stone, ranging from 5-6 on the Mohs scale. It has a specific gravity of around 2.56. It has a vitreous luster and can be translucent, or opaque if it contains a greater amount of impurities. It has a conchoidal fracture, but an also split between the layers. Because of the crystal structure within the mineral, it produces the schiller effect similar, but not quite as dramatic, as Labradorite.

It is thought that amazonite is a soothing stone that can improve self-confidence. It can also inspire confidence and positive attitude, and therefore can also diminish fear and anxiety.

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