Amazonite Gemstone Information
Amazonite is a magnificent stone with a storied history and has long been prized for its beauty. However, it isn’t as widely known as some of its brethren, such as jade. This leads many people today to overlook it, which can be a bit of a shame.
Since amazonite isn’t as popular, it can be surprisingly affordable. If you would like to learn more about what amazonite is and what it has to offer, here’s a look at this beautiful stone.
From the scientific perspective, the amazonite stone isn’t a gem. Instead, it’s a mineral, a tectosilicate mineral or microcline, to be precise. It’s a form of potassium feldspar.
Unlike some popular stones, amazonite tends to have some durability issues. Scratching it isn’t particularly difficult, making it less than ideal for rings. Additionally, cleavage can be a problem. With a hard enough bump in the right spot, the amazonite stone can break.
However, when used in jewelry, most makers understand amazonite’s shortcomings. As a result, they design pieces that can protect the stones, or opt for jewelry that is less likely to be damaged, such as earrings.
Generally, amazonite is green or bluish-green. At times, pieces may even look sky blue, though this isn’t as typical as greener versions.
Amazonite tends to be lighter to mid-toned and is generally opaque or semi-transparent. However, there are some forest-green versions, which are usually considered the most desirable.
Additionally, uneven color distribution is common. At times, more evenly hued stones may be considered more valuable. However, other factors – like the overall coloring – can play a role as well.
Amazonite can feature hints of other colors, including white, gray, or purple. Usually, this gives the stone a mottled or streaked appearance.
The History of Amazonite
The amazonite stone has been in use for more than 2,000 years. Archeological digs of Mesopotamian and ancient Egyptian sites have revealed pieces containing the gemstone.
Amazonite was originally called “Amazon stone,” even though it isn’t known to occur around the Amazon River. Over time, the name evolved into what we know today.
However, there was a period where some sellers called it “Amazon jade,” usually in an attempt to make the stone sound more valuable. Similarly, calling it “green amethyst” or “yellow emerald” are also misnomers. The terms were considered so deceptive, that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), an American government agency, takes action against sellers who use the terms.
Where Amazonite Is From
By Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10170895
If you are wondering where is amazonite found, the answer is, in several places. Deposits are scattered all around the globe.
Some notable sources include Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, the United States, Brazil, Ethiopia, China, Norway, Russia, Madagascar, Sweden, Poland, and Namibia. In most cases, amazonite forms in cavities, veins, and pegmatites, though amazonite granite does occur in some locations.
Generally, amazonite isn’t used in mass-market jewelry. Finding an adequate supply can be challenging, for one. Additionally, there isn’t a large call for amazonite jewelry. When demand isn’t high, many jewelry makers choose to focus on other materials.
Amazonite beads are a popular option for a range of jewelry pieces. You can find amazonite bracelet, necklace, and earring options featuring beads. However, other designs are also available. An amazonite necklace pendant may feature a cabochon, instead of beads, for example.
Amazonite Stone Meaning
The amazonite meaning can vary depending on a person’s belief system. When it comes to amazonite metaphysical properties, some think the stone brings luck, financial prosperity, and good fortune. At times, it’s even referred to as the “gambler’s stone,” though this isn’t a universally accepted nickname.
In some circles, amazonite is thought to be soothing or stress-reducing. Others see it as a balancing stone, leveling off various energies and influences.
When it comes to the amazonite chakra, it may be connected with the heart or throat chakras. Usually, the heart chakra color is green, making a potential connection to amazonite based on the stone’s coloring.
The throat chakra’s color is blue, so it can also relate to bluish pieces of amazonite. Additionally, some of the amazonite metaphysical meanings include soothing tension and enhancing communication, so there’s also a connection there.
It’s important to note that, while some groups believe in amazonite healing properties, there is no clear evidence that wearing, holding, or meditating on any gemstone provides a health benefit. Relying on a stone to prevent or treat any medical condition is unwise. However, in the vast majority of cases, wearing or holding amazonite poses no risk.
Stones Similar to Amazonite
There are a few stones that resemble amazonite. Green aventurine is a strong contender, especially the lighter colored pieces. This form of quartz has a similar tone and often features streaks or mottling. It also isn’t particularly expensive. However, it can feature inclusions, which can alter the look of the stone and produce aventurescence, a characteristic amazonite doesn’t share.
Green jade and amazonite can also look quite a bit alike. In fact, the resemblance is why many sellers once tried to falsely market amazonite as Amazon jade.
Jade is considered a more valuable stone in most cases, so it can cost substantially more than amazonite. Both forms of jade - jadeite and nephrite - are also more durable than amazonite, so they tend to hold up to wear and tear better, which may make them better choices for rings or other jewelry that may come in contact with surfaces and items during the day.
Green serpentine, prehnite, grossular garnets, and chrysoprase may also look like amazonite. Certain pieces of jasper could, too, along with some pieces of agate.
Smithsonite also has similar coloring. But smithsonite is rare and incredibly soft, so you don’t see it used in jewelry usually, and, when it is used, the pieces can be shockingly expensive.
For bluer pieces of amazonite, turquoise can have a similar look. However, turquoise tends to be opaque. Additionally, if any pyrite is present, the difference between the two stones if often clear.