General Information About Pectolite
In 1828 Pectolite was first discovered in the Italian Alps of Monte Baldo. It was named for the Greek words “pektos” meaning compacted and “lithos” meaning stone. The majority of specimen quality gems are clear to gray but some can be found with a greenish hue.
The gem quality stones are blue and are only found within 1 square mile in the Dominican Republic. They were originally found in 1916 by a Spanish priest, Father Miguel Domingo, who was drawn to them because their color reflected the color of the ocean in tropical regions. The gems were rediscovered in 1974 by Peace Corp worker Miguel Mendez who decided to call them Larimar after his daughter Larissa plus “mar” which is the Spanish word for sea.
Properties of Pectolite
- Composition: hydrous sodium calcium silicate that, on occasion, can be found with traces of manganese;
- Varieties: Larimar (the sky blue form);
- Hardness: 4.5-5;
- Gravity: 2.7-2.9;
- Luster: vitreous to silky;
- Transparency: transparent to translucent;
- Color: white, colorless, gray, with a yellow hue and sky blue;
- Crystal System: triclinic;
- Cleavage: perfect in 2 directions at 90º angles;
- Fracture: splintery, uneven and brittle because of the cleavage;
- Crystal Habits: fibrous tufts, radiating acicular crystal clusters and compact or botryoidal masses;
- Associated Minerals: zeolites, prehnite, calcite, datolite and serpentine;
- Often Confused With: Okenite, Wollastonite and Artinite.
Pectolite is primarily found in igneous environments where cavities of basalt or veins appear in seams of diabase. Occasionally it can also be found in metamorphic serpentine deposits as well as in nepheline syenite deposits. Rarely are single crystals found. When they are, they tend to be elongated prismatic splinters that are very sharp. They usually occur as protrusions from radiating aggregates that are dense. They can also be dangerous in that the needles of the crystal separate easily and once they penetrate the skin they are extremely difficult to remove.
Percolite’s mainly found as fibrous and radiating veins, balls or tufts, mammilary and globular masses or in fan-like masses that radiate from a central point outwards. Occasionally globular pectolite can be found lining basalt cavities and geodes. They can be tough and dense but can also be very delicate and soft to the touch.
If touched with too much pressure they can even be dented, splinter and easily break. That’s because of their brittle, slender crystals. Percolite can occasionally fluoresce when exposed to ultra violet light. One form of Pectolite, Larimar, is a light blue variety that has dendritic inclusions. It’s the form that’s often used in healing practices and jewelry.
Metaphysical Details About Pectolite
If you’re seeking wisdom and peace then Pectolite may be the best choice for you. The different colors are synonymous with different energies while relieving guilt and providing healing on spiritual and emotional levels. Pectolite also balances energies of the 3rd-eye chakras and crown. In that way, relaxation and peace can be achieved. On a physical level, it’s been shown to lower high blood pressure as well as reduce bone and joint pain.
The blue form, Larimar, holds the power of Atlantis, the legendary continent, with the energy of water. That’s why it’s referred to as the Atlantis stone. It is believed that those owning one are better able to see events from multiple perspectives which provides enlightenment. It is also able to heal the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual body because it represents clarity, healing, peace and love. As such, it can reduce stress and anxiety, increase skills involving speech and communication and attract the wearer’s soul mate.
Where Can We Find Pectolite Today?
Pectolite is mined throughout the world including in England, Canada, Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic. In the US, California, Arkansas, New Jersey, Michigan, and New York have active mines. Gemstone-quality deposits are difficult to find and even more dangerous to mine.
The only place Larimar is found is in the Dominican Republic. In that location it often washes in from the river as alluvial deposits that have been carried toward the ocean by the Bahoruco River.
Mining the gems can be extremely difficult since Pectolite is splintery, brittle and extremely sharp. When handled, shards can splinter off and puncture the skin easily after which it is very difficult to remove.
Pectolite is a fairly common mineral yet a rare gemstone that is not well-known. Because of its complex composition, it is often used as a collector’s specimen rather than a jewel. The one exception is Larimar which is the blue variety. Metaphysically, Pectolite can be advantageous for many reasons especially when it comes to healing on multiple levels.
Our readers are always eager to hear about the experiences of others with healing stones and gemstones. Feel free to share your experience with this gemstone in the comments below!