What is Amazonite?
- Amazonite is a green to blue green potassium feldspar mineral known as microline.
- As a feldspar crystal Amazonite displays a very subtle shimmer.
- Amazonite is also known as Amazon Stone.
How is Amazonite formed?
- Amazonite has a triclinic crystal system and a hardness of Mohs 6 to 6.5.
- Amazonite forms in large masses in metamorphic, intrusive and pegmatitic rocks
- The true cause of the blue green colour of Amazonite at present remains unknown. It may be caused by the inclusion of elements such as lead and iron. Research is still ongoing at the time of writing.
- Amazonite and Smoky Quartz can sometimes be found crystalised together in pegmatites and this type of stone is known as Graphic Amazonite.
Where is Amazonite found around the planet?
- Amazonite is also known as Amazon Stone, however this name is a bit of a misnomer as no Amazonite deposits have ever been found in the Amazon. It seems the mistake came about due to a Nephrite Jade deposit in the Amazon being misidentified as a new mineral and thus named Amazon Stone. When the deposits of the mineral we know today as Amazonite were discovered in Ilmensky Mountains in Russia it's similarity in colour to the Nephrite Jade in the Amazon gave this feldspar it's name.
- Although feldspar makes up around 40% of the Earth's crust, it's green variety Amazonite is relatively rare and for a long time the only known source was Russia, however in recent years deposits have been found in China, USA, Libya, Ethiopia and Mongolia.
What is the history and folklore of Amazonite?
- There appears to be a much written about the history of Amazonite but how accurate it is may be debatable as other stones are often mistaken for Amazonite.
- This beautiful blue green stone has be found in the mask of Tutankhamun but where the stones in the mask came from is a mystery, and despite these archaeological finds there is no known ancient references to the stone.
- The first known description of Amazonite was written by a Russian in the 18th century.
How do I care for Amazonite?
- Amazonite is a hard stone and can be wiped over with a soft damp cloth.
- Amazonite can fade when exposed to heat and direct sunlight for extended periods of time.