Some weeks ago when jewellery was the featured presentation on The Shopping Channel I took a look out of curiosity to see what was there. The first offering was a pendant with a beautiful bluish-green stone with a faint sheen making me immediately think turquoise but that was wrong because it was in fact a gemstone.
I had never before heard of, never before seen, an Amazonite so named for South America’s Amazon River where it flows through Brazil leading to the assumption that this part of the river was the gem’s birthplace so to speak, where it was originally discovered.
That assumption is certainly plausible given that many gemstones are named after their places of discovery, e,.g. Tanzanite so named for Tanzania where it was discovered but, according to mineralogists, incorrect in this instance because the mineral that created the Amazonite does not naturally occur in Brazil’s Amazon River though does naturally occur in other areas of Brazil, which may explain the belief or story of the gem being found there, in Brazil’s Amazon, many years ago. Or, its name may have been taken from legend or myth such as that of the mythical Amazonian female warriors or from a Brazilian legend that tells of Amazonian women giving green stones to men who visited them.
Amazonite Mineral and Family
The mineral or rather family of minerals responsible for Amazonite is feldspar, specifically a green variety of feldspar that has often been mistaken for Nephrite Jade or Jadeite. And being a family, like quartz, it has many members with different names, e.g. Moonstone and Labradorite that are, in fact, members of the feldspar family and siblings or sister stones of Amazonite. Feldspar minerals, like quartz that places second, are the most common and also the most abundant minerals on earth making up about 60% of the earth’s crust. This abundance, however, is deceiving because only a few varieties make the grade or are classified as being of gemstone quality.
Similar and Related Gemstones
According to gemologists, mistakes in identifying Amazonite are quite common because of colour similarity with jade, serpentine, chalcedony, chrysoprase, and aventurine. Its most popular related gemstones are Moonstone, Rainbow Moonstone, Labradorite, and Sunstone So, if you are of a mind to add an Amazonite to your jewellery collection, you need to consult Monika at LL Private Jewellers to make sure you’re getting the genuine stone and not a closely related one.
Amazonite Colours, Locations, and Believed Properties
Amazonite colours, from iron impurities in the stone, vary from light green and yellowish-green to green to light bluish-green green sometimes with fine white streaks. The colour is sometimes evenly distributed and saturated as in that lovely and highly desirable turquoise colour while at other times the colour distribution is irregular and mottled. Amazonite is also a ‘natural’ stone requiring no treatments of any kind (heating to enhance colour 0.
While the Amazonite is known as the Amazon Stone, we now know that is a misnomer because it does not come from the Amazon River where it flows through Brazil though it has been found in other parts of Brazil and Russia’s ilmen Mountains, with recent discoveries in Colorado, Virginia, Australia, and Madagascar.
Being an ‘old’ stone known as far back as Pharaonic Egypt, the Amazonite was believed to hold certain magical powers such as protection and healing properties. When displaying that beautiful turquoise colour it is believed to bring harmony to one’s life by removing stress and imbalance, moderate aggressiveness, counter intolerance, and encourage an openness to new ideas and environments.
For further information and to see this very attractive gemstone for yourself please contact LL Private Jewellers at 604-684-6343.