As a member of the feldspar family, Andesine remains somewhat of a mystery. It is 50-70% sodium aluminum silicate and 30-50% calcium aluminum silicate. It happens to contains properties identical to Labradorite and is often confused with that gemstone. Here are some other facts you may find interesting about Andesine’s properties, metaphysical details and where it can be found today.
General Information about Andesine
Andesine is a member of a group of gemstones called plagioclase. Plagioclase makes up a large portion of the Earth’s crust. What that means is that it can probably be found in many locations throughout the world that have yet to be discovered.
It’s not surprising that its cousin, Labradorite, was discovered in Labrador, Canada while Andesine was first found in the lava rocks in the Andes in South America by Otto Wilhelm Herman von Abich in 1841. He named it Andesine because of where he found it. Other relatives include oligoclase and bytownite. The thing they have in common is that they are all composed of a mixture of anothite and albite.
Andesine hit the jewelry market in 2003 and was termed the “light bringer”. Since it’s reddish hue is due to the amount of copper it contains, it was soon discovered that Labradorite and lesser colored Andesine gemstones were being diffused with copper in order to create a stone that appeared to be Andesine even though it wasn’t. It was also found that the Andesine discovered was also being enhanced to turn it redder in order to add it to the more expensive gemstone line.
Unfortunately, buyers weren’t told about all the controversy surrounding the gem. The problem is that enhanced gems don’t bring the same value as original stones. A class action lawsuit is currently underway to stop companies from creating enhanced gems and calling it the highly prized Andesine without disclosing that fact to buyers. Another problem is that the gemstone, itself, lacks authentication. Some say the first gemstone was found in the Congo while others say it was first discovered in the Andes.
Properties of Andesine
Alternative Names: Andesine-Labradorite.
Similar Gemstones: Sunstone, Labradorite, Paraiba Tourmaline, Alexandrite.
Color: red, reddish pink, orange-pink, green, orange, yellow and multicolored.
Tenacity: brittle under pressure.
Crystal System: triclinic – pinacoidal.
Transparency: transparent, translucent, opaque.
Luster: vitreous – pearly.
Fracture: irregular, uneven, conchoidal.
Cleavage: perfect in 2 directions.
Andesine can sometimes be found in granite, syenite and metamorphic rocks but is mostly found in intermediate igneous rocks. It most often is found in massive, shapeless or granular masses. However, the gem can ocassionally be found in smaller, crystalline forms. It usually grows to around 2cm in size but is sometimes found up to 50 karats. The redder they are the more copper they contain and the higher the value.
Metaphysical Details about Andesine
It is believed that Andesine is a heart chakra that can help individuals deal with problems on a universal scale while creating protection against negativity. Since it has similar properties to Labradorite, you’ll discover it also contains many of the same healing powers. It is especially helpful for people that are sensitive since it affects thought patterns and other areas of the mind that impact psychological well-being.
If you want to increase the connection between your intellect and intuition while unleashing your creative side then this gemstone will be a perfect addition to your collection. It can be especially helpful for those that require creativity in their careers such as writers, artists, designers and those that need to connect their deeper consciousness with concrete thinking. The gem can also bring order to chaos. Andesine is considered one of the best gems to use when seeking to achieve deep meditation.
Since it aids inner vision and enhances communication with the divine, it encourages you to face life’s demands fearlessly. In that way it can allow you to see beyond negative emotions while strengthening your ability to rejuvenate your mind. Additionally, it will reduce stress and anger and is believed to cure eye and brain diseases. It also intensifies passion, love and romance in all relationships.
How to Wear Andesine
Even though Andesine is beautiful in jewelry, since it can lift your spirits when you’re down you should wear or carry it to deflect negative energy. To maximize its effect it should touch the skin. Since it is associated with the heart chakra it is most effective when worn above the heart in a necklace.
The gem should not be worn when undertaking strenuous exercise or when doing household chores as it can scratch fairly easily. It should not be long for prolonged periods of time in rings since it can be scratched. When stored should be wrapped so other jewelry doesn’t damage the finish.
Where Can We Find Andesine Today?
Sources of gem-quality Andesine are currently found in the Congo, China, Mongolia, Tibet, Columbia, Japan, India, Germany, Italy, France, Norway, Greenland, Argentina and in various states throughout the U.S.
It is said that the intense red gemstones are found above 19,000 feet in Tibet. There was much controversy over this claim until gemologists visited the site in 2010 to verify its existence.
Unfortunately, the market was flooded with heat and diffuse-copper treated Andesine-Labradorite and then presented as the rarer red Andesine gemstones. The Andesine that was mined was treated in the same way to enhance its natural color and turn it redder than it originally was. Since light has been shed on this argument, fewer of the fake Andesine gems have been seen on the market without a disclaimer explaining how they were enhanced. Despite that fact, it remains a highly sought-after gemstone.
Final Thoughts about Andesine
Andesine can be found throughout the world in various types of rocks and environments. The stone is especially rare in transparent form. It’s a beautiful crystalline gem that comes in a wide variety of colors making it highly desirable when placed in jewelry. When its metaphysical properties are taken into consideration, it’s easy to see why so many people are adding these gems to their collection.