Andalusite is a not well-known gemstone that is quite unique. In transparent form it will display various colors when viewed from different angles. The intensity of the colors will also look very different depending on how it is cut and the angle from which it is viewed. The gem’s fascinating color habits, properties, history and metaphysical characteristics make it the perfect choice for many individuals. It is well-worth the time to learn more about it. Following are some facts you may not be aware of.
General Information about Andalusite
Andalusite was first found in 1789 in Spain. It was named by Jean-Claude Delametherie in 1798 for the Andalusia region where it was believed to have been originally found. In actually, he and Werner examined specimens that had been collected in El Cardoso (Guadalajara) which was a town they thought was in Andalusia. The area where the first specimens were mined were in an outcrop of the Zahurdon region. However, the story was repeated by authors throughout history which supported the name. When going a little further back in history, it was found the gemstone was described and illustrated along with aragonite in 1754 by Torrubia, a Spanish author.
Unlike many other gemstones that are cut in order to bring out a primary color, Andalusite is cut in such a way that the play of colors is constantly changing as it is moved around in the light. Additionally, the higher quality stones also contain unique patterns such as the type that appears like a checkerboard or another that looks like a dark cross has been embedded in it. The majority of these gems, however, are never cut into gemstones and are not mined with their use in mind. Rather, the majority on the market were found while mining for other types of gems.
Properties of Andalusite
Other Names: Cross Stone, Poor Man’s Alexandrite, Fairy Stones, Fairy Cross.
Varieties: Chiastolite (containing cross-shaped inclusions of carbon), Titanian Andalusite (titanium-bearing) and Viridine (manganese-bearing).
Hardness: 6.5 – 7.5 the same as pyrite and quartz.
Color: white, red, green, gray, yellow, brown, pink, rarely violet, black, dark green and multicolored.
Transparency: transparent, opaque (with inclusions) and translucent.
Luster: vitreous, sub-vitreous and greasy.
Crystal System: orthorhombic.
Cleavage: distinct, indistinct or poor.
Fracture: splintery with thin, elongated fractures produced by partings that intersect.
Habit: blocky crystal shapes tend to be equant, euhedral crystals that occur are well-formed and prismatic crystals are shaped like slender prisms.
Fluorescence: Not fluorescent under UV light.
Andalusite is usually found in metamorphosed pre-aluminous sedimentary rocks. However, the gem can also be found in low-pressure, low to high temperature metamorphic rocks. It’s often found by following the pressure-temperature paths of rocks that serve as hosts. The gem is an aluminum nesosilicate mineral made up primarily of sillimanite and kyanite. It is able to resist high heat. This makes them gem perfect for use in kilns, furnaces and other industrial applications as well as jewelry.
Metaphysical Details about Andalusite
Andalusite is a protective stone associated with the Solar Pexus, Heart and Throat Chakras. As such, it is believed to be a lucky charm that will protect wearers against the “evil eye”. It can work on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. Yellow is believed to be the most powerful when it comes to healing. Its power can be enhanced when combined with natural diamonds, citrine and other gemstones with metaphysical properties.
On a physical level, it has been shown effective for brain disorders, tremors and paralysis. It contains properties that reduce inflammation, fevers, rheumatism and gout. On the other hand, it increases blood flow, lactation and improves edema as well as increases the amount of relaxing sleep an individual gets each night.
Emotionally, Andalusite symbolizes independence and is believed to be a “seeing stone”. As such, it allows individuals to face fears without stress or anxiety, increases the ability to see problems from multiple perspectives and enhances goal orientation.
Finally, on a spiritual level Andalusite helps individuals center themselves during meditation while enhancing one’s ability to retain a spiritual perspective when ill. It is also believed to aid in overcoming problems in life while making the spiritual journey easier. As a protective stone, it wards off evil while on the journey to enlightenment.
How to Wear Andalusite
When used as a healing stone, Andalusite should be worn in such a way as to touch the skin. It can also be held in the hand for the same purpose. When cut for jewelry it is beautiful to wear day or night as it is quite durable and scratch-resistant. It is especially beautiful when used in rings as the constant movement of the hands make the colors within to play in a constantly changing way.
Where Can We Find Andalusite Today?
Andalusite is found throughout the world including Spain, Sri Lanka, Brazil, France, Sweden, Russia, China, Australia, South Africa and the USA. In the Chiastolite variety, well-formed deposits have been found not only in Spain but also in Portugal. The larger, blockier crystals have been found in Austria.
In the US, some of the best deposits have been found in Massachusetts with the largest crystals from Virginia and South Dakota. California is also now showing promising results in their mining efforts. Since cut Andalusite gemstones are still fairly rare, it is only now gaining interest in the jewelry market. Still, the stone continues to be used extensively in industrial applications.
If you’re looking for a gemstone that’s truly unique yet contains powerful metaphysical properties, Andalusite may be the perfect option for you. Its striking appearance and unique display of multiple colors as the light plays across the facets make it a sight to behold. If you have experience with this or another gemstone that’s unusual and/or has strong metaphysical powers, feel free to share your story with our other readers. We’d love to hear from you.