Hackmanite Meaning & Properties of the Chameleon Stone
Hackmanite is an intriguing rare stone with highly unique properties. While it's commonly referred to as a gemstone, it's technically a sulfur chloric sodium aluminum silicate mineral that crystalizes in various formations on earth. The hackmanite stone is widely referred to as the chameleon stone because it exhibits tenebrescence, a captivating color-changing quality.
Ultimately, the hackmanite gemstone is an intriguing gem with a fascinating history, unique properties, and a curious nature when it comes to its potential uses. If you're curious about the hackmanite gem, here's everything you need to know.
History of Hackmanite
When compared to many other gems, hackmanite is a relatively recent discovery. As a result, there's no record of any historical uses by various cultures.
Hackmanite was initially unearthed in Greenland in 1896 during an expedition led by L.K. Bergstrom, a geologist. After its founding, Victor Axel Hackman – a geologist and University of Helsinki professor – studied the mineral, making notable scientific contributions regarding its properties. The stone was ultimately named after Hackman.
After its discovery and for just shy of 100 years, hackmanite primarily served as a collector's stone. However, in 1991, a gem-quality hackmanite source in Canada was discovered, featuring a higher degree of transparency. After that, some jewelry designers began using the stone to create intriguing pieces that exhibited the tenebrescence.
Tenebrescence is a specific optical quality not widely seen in gemstones, making hackmanite unique. When exposed to sunlight or UV light, hackmanite exhibits color-changing qualities. Since the gem is often quite beautiful when viewed in other light, the tenebrescence simply created another reason to take advantage of a breathtaking stone for ornamental purposes like jewelry or as an addition to a collection.
Where Is Hackmanite Found?
While hackmanite was initially discovered in Greenland, it's also found in several other countries. Notable deposits have appeared in Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, Myanmar, Norway, Pakistan, and Russia.
Most hackmanite specimens are opaque, though there are translucent and transparent crystal varieties, both of which are usually more valuable than opaque versions. Some white veining is also common in the stone, typically due to the presence of calcite.
When it comes to luster, it can range from greasy to glassy. Hackmanite isn't overly delicate, but it does register as a 5.5 to 6.0 on the Mohs hardness scale, so it isn't particularly tough either. As a result, most hackmanite jewelry uses are limited to low-contact pieces, such as necklaces or earrings, over high-contact pieces, like rings.
Hackmanite Uses and Metaphysical Properties
As mentioned above, hackmanite is most commonly used as a collector's stone, though it also makes its way into jewelry. Hackmanite is also popular for many gem-related spiritual practices, as many people believe it possesses healing and beneficial metaphysical properties.
Some feel hackmanite assists with perception, problem-solving, and connecting with the world from a higher consciousness. Others associate the stone with feelings of balance, tranquility, and heightened intuition.
Hackmanite Meaning and Symbolism
Due to its color-shifting properties, many consider the hackmanite meaning to focus your energy on change. Some believe it can assist with adjusting your life's circumstances, particularly supporting quick change when fast life adjustments are needed.
When it comes to chakras, many associate hackmanite with the crown chakra. Partially, that's because hackmanite typically shows shades of purple. However, others also connect it to the third eye and throat chakras, as its metaphysical properties can work well for them, as well.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hackmanite
Is Hackmanite the Same as Sodalite?
Hackmanite is technically a variety of sodalite. However, hackmanite exhibits tenebrescence, which allows it to stand out from traditional sodalite. When exposed to UV light, the stone's hue shifts toward vibrant indigo or purple, often retaining the new hue for up to six hours. Depending on the sun and light spectrum, the stone may even appear to glow in vibrant shades of orange.
Additionally, sodalite is more commonly found in striking shades of blue, though it also comes in shades of indigo, grey, green, red, pink, and yellow and can also be colorless. Hackmanite is more commonly a pale shade of purple, indigo, or violet, though the color often fades to grey or light green, typically appearing very close to white. However, there's also colorless hackmanite, as well as creamy white versions.
Is Hackmanite Real or Fake?
Hackmanite is a genuine stone that naturally exhibits tenebrescence. However, that doesn't mean there aren't faux hackmanite pieces around. For example, specific coatings can cause any stone to seemingly react under UV light. However, some of those don't retain the shift in color after the UV light exposure ends, or they may result in glow-in-the-dark colors that aren't associated with hackmanite.
Additionally, the UV reaction on fake hackmanite crystals is usually far more even, essentially creating a uniform glow across the entire surface. With genuine hackmanite crystals, there's normally some variance in the strength of the glow or color shift, which can make separating authentic hackmanite crystals from replicas easier.
What Color Is Hackmanite?
Typically, hackmanite comes in shades of purple, indigo, violet, and grey, often with a mix of a few hues and a mottled, patchy, or spotted pattern. However, some may be pinkish in color, and some hackmanite is even colorless. White veining in the specimens is also typical.
The purple, indigo, or violet coloring is typically lighter when initially unearthed. However, it can shift after exposure to sunlight, leading to different or stronger hues. In some cases, the original color may revert if it's protected against UV light, though precisely how long it takes to revert can vary.
Is Hackmanite Expensive?
Whether hackmanite is expensive depends on the piece. More opaque stones used for cabochons and beads are often reasonably affordable. However, the exact characteristics of the cabochons and beads can make the pieces more expensive than lower-quality versions of the gem. For example, inclusions reduce the price dramatically, though they don't necessarily diminish the beauty of a specimen.
High degrees of transparency or specific base colors can alter the price, making hackmanite pretty expensive. Additionally, the origin of the gemstone can cause the price to rise. For instance, hackmanite stones from the Mont Saint-Hilaire mines in Quebec often command large price tags as that source is getting close to total depletion.
Stones Similar to Hackmanite
Technically, there aren't many stones similar to hackmanite due to its tenebrescence. Very few gems naturally exhibit that optical phenomenon, with spodumene, tugtupite, and some varieties of scapolite and barite being among the few exceptions. However, each of those stones can have a different color profile, causing them to stand apart from each other.
If you're looking for stones with dark purple coloring, amethyst is the most widely available option, and it comes in a range of hues. Lavender rose quartz may also resemble more translucent pieces of lighter-colored hackmanite, while sugilite or purple jade can potentially work as a substitute for opaquer hackmanite. However, none of those feature tenebrescence, so keep that in mind.