Phosphosiderite Gemstone Information
Whether you're looking for a new piece of jewelry or a gem for your collection, there's a chance that the phosphosiderite gemstone isn't on your radar. However, it's easy to argue that it should be on your list.
Along with spectacular colouring, phosphosiderite is magnificent when faceted or cut into cabochons, depending on the version of the gem. Plus, even phosphosiderite rough crystals can be breathtaking.
Since many people aren't familiar with phosphosiderite, they may not know everything the stone has to offer. If you'd like to learn more about the phosphosiderite stone, including its properties, meaning, and history, here's what you need to know.
First, it's important to note that – from a technical standpoint – phosphosiderite isn't a gem. Instead, it's a mineral, one made up of phosphate and iron.
While the composition remains largely the same, pieces of phosphosiderite can have some varying characteristics. Phosphosiderite rough crystals tend to be transparent or translucent. The crystals themselves tend to be relatively small, coming in below 2.5 cm in many cases.
However, phosphosiderite can also form botryoidal masses, creating a series of rounded domes that look similar to bubbles bunched together. You're more likely to find opaque versions of the stone with these.
As for the lustre, it tends to run in the vitreous to the sub-resinous range. That means you may find pieces with a glassy surface, while others may have a look closer to honey for its reflective properties (though not necessarily the colour) or may even seem pearly or slightly waxy.
One intriguing characteristic of phosphosiderite is that it's fully dissolvable in hydrochloric acid. However, it's nearly insoluble in nitric acid.
Like many stones, phosphosiderite doesn't technically come in just one colour. While a specific hue is far more common, there are rare variants, too, leading to some variety.
When it comes to the most widely found shade, purple is it. Purple phosphosiderite tends to lean slightly red, leading to a hue that's better described as violet or orchid purple. Yellow streaks are reasonably common in the stone, though they may not be viewable in pieces cut for jewelry.
Photo copyright Christian Rewitzer
However, some rarer colours can also occur. Some specimens are a darker purple, more akin to a deep plum. There's also rose red and soft peachy pink, as well as a ruddy brown version. In some cases, you can even find moss green or orange phosphosiderite.
Colourless phosphosiderite also occurs. With those, pleochroism can occur, causing flashes of pink or red depending on the angle the stone is held.
The History of Phosphosiderite
The phosphosiderite gemstone was originally discovered in 1858, though it wasn't formally named until 1890. Mainly, that's because it was initially classified as a "type I hurealite," which isn't an accurate description.
Phosphosiderite is named after its composition: phosphate and iron. While most can see where "phosphate" works into the name, the "iron portion isn't initially clear. However, "sideros" means "iron" in Greek, giving the mineral its name.
When it comes to its uses, phosphosiderite is usually ornamental. Along with being found in jewelry pieces, many collectors enjoy having raw phosphosiderite in their collections.
Where Is Phosphosiderite Found?
Phosphosiderite is found in several areas on the planet. Some of the most notable mines are in Argentina, Chile, Germany, Portugal, and the United States. However, the stone can also be found in France, Liberia, Mozambique, South Africa, and Sweden.
If you're on the hunt for phosphosiderite jewelry, you do have plenty of options. However, you won't find pieces in most chain jewelry stores. Along with phosphosiderite being a bit rare, the gems aren't broadly consistent in their appearance. As a result, phosphosiderite isn't a great choice for mass-produced pieces.
Fortunately, independent designers adore phosphosiderite. Since they typically work in smaller batches, some degree of variation isn't as big of a problem. Plus, one-of-a-kind pieces are an option for many independent designers, allowing them to take advantage of a single phosphosiderite gemstone if they're so inspired.
When it comes to the kind of phosphosiderite jewelry that's available, you can find nearly any type imaginable. Transparent or translucent stones may be faceted or turned into cabochons for pendants, earrings, and rings.
Cabochons for pendants, rings, and earrings are also an option when phosphosiderite is opaque. However, you may also find a phosphosiderite bracelet or strange necklace featuring polished beads.
Tumbled phosphosiderite is another popular choice. Along with pendants and earrings, tumbled phosphosiderite can work well for pendulums, too.
As with most other stones, the phosphosiderite meaning can vary depending on a person's belief system. Additionally, the gem's colour can play a role, particularly when it comes to associations with a chakra.
Many feel that the phosphosiderite gemstone is a balancing stone. It's often described as soothing or relaxing, making it a solid choice for meditations or quiet contemplation. Others feel that it has stronger metaphysical properties, allowing a person to access their third eye chakra or tap into memories from past lives.
Photo copyright Christian Rewitzer
In some cases, phosphosiderite is associated with spiritual growth in a general sense. When it comes to physical healing capabilities, some think that the gem can address issues of the stomach area. Others believe it improves a range of body functions and benefits the hair and skin.
In the end, it's critical to remember that any stone – including phosphosiderite – isn't a substitute for medical care from a healthcare professional. If you have a medical condition, proper treatment is essential. However, holding, wearing, or meditating on phosphosiderite typically won't cause harm, so doing so can be wise if it brings you peace of mind.
Stone Similar to Phosphosiderite
Since phosphosiderite can come in several colours and may range from opaque to transparent, there can be a range of similar stones. Purple jasper or lavender jade could be the strongest matches for the opaque purple version of phosphosiderite. You may even find some yellow striations with the latter, making it an even better fit.
In some cases, amethyst may resemble phosphosiderite. Generally, that will depend on the individual piece, particularly since the colouring of amethyst is typically darker than what you find with the phosphosiderite stone.
For phosphosiderite crystals, which stones are great matches, can vary depending on the colouring. Various kinds of tourmaline or topaz may fit the bill, as well as specific garnet types and Carnelian. The same can go for quartz, sapphire, and ruby.
Whether you should explore potential phosphosiderite substitutes may depend on the version you're trying to find. With the opaque purple phosphosiderite, pieces are often widely available and reasonably affordable, so going with the real thing might be your best bet.
With the rest of the colours, choosing a lookalike may be wise. Finding phosphosiderite jewelry featuring the other versions can be harder than going with a substitute, so you may have an easier time choosing another gem.