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Shattuckite Gemstone Information

Shattuckite Gemstone Information

The shattuckite gemstone is a clear winner when you're looking for a vivid gem that's almost guaranteed to turn heads. While most people aren't familiar with the stone, its fantastic colour is hard to ignore. That's why it's often a favourite for jewelry fans looking for striking but unconventional pieces, as well as collectors seeking vibrant gems for their collections.

If you're curious about the shattuckite gemstone, including its colour, history, and more, here's what you need to know.

Shattuckite Properties

Like many stones, shattuckite isn't technically a gem. Instead, it's a copper silicate mineral. In most cases, shattuckite doesn't form in crystals. Instead, reniform, globular, botryoidal, and stalactitical formations are more common. However, there are samples of radiating shattuckite that are incredibly striking.

Generally, shattuckite is a translucent stone that readily takes a polish. While its natural lustre can range from silky to glassy, once polished, a distinct shine reflects light with ease.

Crystallised Shattuckite

Rob Lavinsky, – CC-BY-SA-3.0

Shattuckite is a softer stone, coming in at around a 3.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. As a result, it's reasonably easy to carve, shape, and tumble smooth.

If you're wondering, "Is shattuckite the same as chrysocolla?" the answer is "no." While the two gems can come in similar colours and share other visual characteristics, their chemical compositions are different.

As for the question, "Is shattuckite toxic?" there is some risk, but only in specific situations. High doses of copper can be harmful to people. Similarly, exposure to copper dust can irritate the mouth, nose, and eyes and lead to ill health effects like nausea and dizziness.

However, simply wearing or holding shattuckite isn't likely to cause harm. Instead, the gem – which is soluble in acid – would have to be consumed or handled in a manner that led to copper dust exposure. Additionally, the quantity would have to be notable in most cases. As a result, most people aren't at risk.

Shattuckite Color

The colour is usually the most significant when it comes to shattuckite properties that people prize. Generally, the shattuckite gemstone ranges from vibrant turquoise to deep royal blue in colour, with shades near a bright robin's egg or sky blue being particularly common. Shattuckite even has a blue streak, which is relatively rare.

Shattuckite also comes in a range of patterns. There may be striations, mottling, webbing, or similar looks across the stone's surface. Couple that with some natural fluctuations in the shades of blue, and the end result is incredibly striking.

botryoidal Shattuckite

Rob Lavinsky, – CC-BY-SA-3.0

Since shattuckite is often a pseudomorph of other minerals, you may also see the vibrant blue hues coupled with different colours. For example, cuprite could add sections of blood or brick red or even some shades of brown. Quartz may lead to white or colourless areas, while dioptase may introduce stronger greens.

The History of Shattuckite

Shattuckite was discovered in Bisbee, Arizona, by a mining corporation looking for copper in the copper-rich Southwestern United States. In fact, the name of the organization – the Shattuck Arizona Copper Company – is how the stone got its name.

Generally, the shattuckite stone is a purely ornamental one. It's particularly popular for carvings as it's relatively soft and has exceptional colour. Otherwise, there aren't many shattuckite uses beyond serving as collectors' gems.

Where Is Shattuckite Found?

Shattuckite is mainly found in the Southwestern United States, including Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico. Mostly, this is because copper is a big part of the stone's makeup. Since copper is common in that part of the United States, you're more likely to find shattuckite in those areas.

There are also deposits in Mexico, as one may have guessed. Some other notable sources of shattuckite are spread out all across the globe. For example, there are deposits in Congo, Greece, and Namibia.

Shattuckite Jewelry

Shattuckite and Quartz crystal

Rob Lavinsky, – CC-BY-SA-3.0

Due to its striking colour and intriguing patterning, shattuckite is incredibly popular for jewelry. However, you won't typically find it in chain stores, primarily because the high amount of variation makes it ill-suited to mass production. Instead, you'll want to turn to independent designers to find the pieces.

Independent designers have more flexibility in stone selection as they don't have to produce pieces en masse. As a result, they can take advantage of a handful of – or even just one – amazing stones, creating one-off pieces or small runs.

You don't typically see faceted stones with shattuckite jewelry since shattuckite isn't transparent. Instead, the shattuckite cabochon is far more common, making its way into pendants, earrings, bracelets, and more.

Shattuckite beads are also widely used, allowing designers to create fantastic strand necklaces and bracelets. A shattuckite tumbled stone may even make its way onto a necklace, either as part of a strand or as a pendant. Tumbled shattuckite is also popular for pendulums, as customers may favour more organic shapes for them.

Shattuckite Meaning

Tumbled Shattuckite

As with most stones, the shattuckite meaning can vary depending on a person's belief system. For some, the shattuckite metaphysical properties focus on intuition and psychic abilities. Others think it's more closely connected with communication, particularly when it comes to speaking from the heart or understanding the meaning beyond the words of what other people share.

Mental clarity is another area where shattuckite is said to help, allowing people to get in touch with their motivations and connect with spirit guides to make wiser decisions. Some also think the stone boosts courage and internal strength, particularly in the face of stressful situations.

Finally, the shattuckite meaning can include harmony and balance. It's thought to bring mental capabilities and intuition together, allowing the two facets to work together seamlessly.

As for the shattuckite healing properties, some believe the stone helps with cell and DNA repair. Others believe the stone assists with ailments of the nose, throat, and lungs.

However, it's critical to remember that there's no scientific proof that any gem – including the shattuckite gemstone – can prevent or treat any medical condition. Seeing a medical professional is always best if you're experiencing a health-related issue. That way, you can get the proper treatment for the condition.

Stones Similar to Shattuckite

While finding genuine shattuckite isn't typically difficult, and the stone isn't usually expensive, there may be times when choosing a substitute is a better choice. Fortunately, there are a few stones that resemble shattuckite.

One of the strongest potential matches is chrysocolla. It is found in the same brilliant blue shades that are associated with shattuckite and often has patterning that's also a strong match. As a result, the two are often confused with one another, aside from those with a trained eye.

Turquoise is another gem that can look similar to shattuckite. However, turquoise doesn't usually have as much colour variation in a single stone. Additionally, the patterns tend to set the two apart, as the turquoise matrix is incredibly distinct.

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