Monthly Archives: October 2021

Healing properties and History of Azurite stone

  • October 25, 2021

According to lithotherapists, azurite is a remedy for all diseases, it is enough just to apply a stone to a sore spot. It is useful for hormonal problems, hypertension. Like any blue stone, azurite relieves eye strain and is used as a prophylactic agent for decreased vision. Azur-malachite has even greater healing power. It is placed on the “third eye” area (that is, in the middle of the forehead) to harmonize the emotional state of a person.


Azurite is most suitable for Taurus, Libra and Sagittarius.


The term “azurite” was introduced into use in 1824 by the French scientist-mineralogist Francois Bedan. Despite the fact that the stone has been known since ancient times, for a long time, it was confused with a similar mineral – lapis lazuli. So, for example, Aristotle in his writings described the properties of these two gems, not noting any differences between them.

In the Middle Ages, lapis lazuli and its “double” azurite were actively used to create natural deep blue paint. Moreover, the latter was used even more often, because its processing required much less time and effort. The disadvantages of azurite paint have already been revealed in our time. It turned out that with prolonged exposure to air and under the influence of moisture, the mineral gradually turns into malachite. It is this physical property of the stone that explains the predominance of green in the paintings of ancient artists.

The largest azurite in history is called the “Singing Stone”. A nugget weighing more than 4.5 tons was found in the United States and is today exhibited at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Interesting facts and features

The term “azurite” was introduced into use in 1824 by the French scientist-mineralogist Francois Bedan. Despite the fact that the stone has been known since ancient times, for a long time it was confused with a similar mineral – lapis lazuli. So, for example, Aristotle in his writings described the properties of these two gems, not noting any differences between them.

In the Middle Ages, lapis lazuli and its “double” azurite were actively used to create natural colors of deep blue color. Moreover, the latter was used even more often, because its processing required much less time and effort.

The disadvantages of azurite paint have been revealed already in our time. It turned out that with prolonged exposure to air and under the influence of moisture, the mineral gradually turns into malachite. It is this physical property of the stone that explains the predominance of green in the paintings of ancient artists.

The largest azurite in history is called the “Singing Stone”. A nugget weighing more than 4.5 tons was found in the United States and is today exhibited at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Azurite stone and its properties:

  • October 25, 2021

Azurite (from French “azur”) – azure, (from Persian “lazard”) – blue. According to ancient descriptions, azurite was often confused with dark blue lapis lazuli, which was highly prized in the East. The words azurite and lapis lazuli come from the same Arabic root “azul” – blue, and the Persian “lazard” – azure, where the initial “l” is just an article. This stone is also called copper azure and mountain blue. In Europe, azurite was called Shessilite, because it was mined in the French town of Chessy.

Origin and chemical composition

Azurite is a copper ore that is less common in nature than lapis lazuli but is less valuable in the industry. The mineral is formed in deposits with a high content of copper sulphites as a result of their oxidation. Basically, nuggets have a cryptocrystalline form, natural stone crystals are very rare. Azurite often forms pseudomorphs with malachite. This breed is called Azur-malachite. In terms of chemical composition, azurite is aqueous copper carbonate.


The average price for azurite cabochons on the market is $ 3-7 per gram. Given the complexity of processing, the cost is significantly affected by the size of the stone – the larger it is, the more expensive it is. Azurites from Zaire are considered to be of the highest quality, where large nuggets can often be found.

Physicochemical properties of azurite

  • Chemical formula – Cu3 (CO3) 2 (OH) 2.
  • Color – light blue, blue, purple.
  • The system is monoclinic.
  • Hardness – 4 on the Mohs scale.
  • Density – 3.5-4 g per cm3.
  • The fracture is conchial.
Processing and use

Jewellery with azurite inserts is practically not found on the market, which is due to the increased fragility of the stone (cracks even with a slight mechanical effect) and unstable color. Azurite is primarily of interest to mineral collectors. Small azurite cabochons, due to their affordable price and the characteristic color, often become the first exhibits in the collections of aspiring collectors. Less often they are used as an ornamental material. In the jewellery industry, azur-malachite has found application, devoid of the shortcomings of pure azurite, but no less beautiful.

Azurite deposits

Azurites are mainly mined in Australia (Queensland), Chile, Mexico, USA (Arizona and New Mexico), Germany, France, Kazakhstan and Africa (Zaire, Namibia, Zambia). In terms of the quality of collectable azurite, the first place belongs to the famous Teumeb deposit in Namibia, where individual crystals reach 25 cm in size with impeccable quality. Azurites from deposits in Morocco – Mibladen and Tuissit are widely known. Interesting samples of azurite are mined at the copper deposits of the South Urals.

Imitation and synthetics

Today, as in the old days, azurite is often confused with its counterpart lapis lazuli, considering azurite to be only one of the varieties of the latter. Azurite is a completely independent mineral, which, in contrast to lapis lazuli, has a much brighter blue tone. Malachite stains are not observed in lapis lazuli, while azurite often fuses with malachite. Azurite is easy to distinguish from other stones, as it is the only mineral with a deep blue color that boils in hydrochloric acid.

The magical properties of azurite

In ancient Egypt, priests used azurite to communicate with the gods. In Ireland, the druids, with the help of native azurite sticks, helped the youth decide on the choice of life. Azurite is useful for those who are engaged in energy practices, fortune-telling and prediction. Occultists and mediums use azurite balls and crystals to meditate and enter an altered state of consciousness.

In the East, it is the “third eye” stone. According to the famous specialist in minerals Katrin Raphael, azurite products will help get rid of negative emotions, overcome fears, and relieve emotional arousal. If you are having a difficult period in your life and you cannot make the right decision, put on jewellery with azurite, and this stone will show you the best way to solve the problem.

As a talisman, azurite is suitable for people who, due to their duty, must be honest and objective – lawyers, judges, journalists, but only on the condition that the owner does not disassemble, otherwise, the stone may punish him.

Aquamarine stone and its properties

  • October 25, 2021

Aquamarine is a stone, at first glance, discreet. The saturation of its color is not great, and a glance cast with chalk will define the blueness of the crystal as whitish, washed out, and watery. However, it is worth taking a closer look at the transparent stone, and it becomes clear: aquamarine is not easy, its dull appearance hides the advantages inherent in the noblest of the precious minerals.

The silvery inner shine of the stone was appreciated in ancient times. Pliny wrote about the high cost of crystals that matched the color of the sea wave. Paustovsky, fascinated by aquamarine, characterized it as a star-colored stone.

The aristocracy and the nobility of the whole world gladly used and uses aquamarines as a distinctive sign of their chosenness. The Armory of the Moscow Kremlin contains the sceptre of the Polish autocrat, completely carved from aquamarine. Britain, as the ruler of the seas, set the sea-colored stone into the imperial crown. Many exquisitely cut aquamarines are kept in private and museum collections in many countries.

Physical and chemical properties of aquamarine

  • Chemical formula – Al2Be3 [Si6O18].
  • The crystals are elongated-prismatic.
  • Aquamarine color is blue, bluish-green.
  • Transparency – translucent, transparent.
  • The shine is glassy.
  • Mohs hardness – 7.5.
  • Density – 2.7 g / cm3.
  • Refraction or refraction period – 1.574-1.580.
  • Cleavage: absent.
  • Fracture: conical, uneven.
  • Crystal system: hexagonal.
  • Is the mineral fragile: Yes

Aquamarine color

Not every aquamarine is the color of seawater. The stones mined in the middle Urals and beyond Lake Baikal are blue. South Ural aquamarines found in the Ilmen mountains are greenish.

The crystals of aquamarines mined in South America can have a very thick blue color. About a hundred years ago, a sapphire blue aquamarine deposit was discovered in Brazil.

Unfortunately, the color stability of these stones turned out to be even more phenomenal than the color itself. Even a short exposure to the bright sun caused the crystals to fade. For several days of “acquaintance” with daylight, the crystals changed color from washed-out blue to dirty yellow, yellow-brown and even earthy color.

The instability to intense electromagnetic radiation of the visible spectrum and adjacent ranges is inherent in all aquamarines. Some specimens of the stone, as noted by Fersman, have indistinct color zoning. The peripheral regions of the crystalline body of aquamarine have a bluish-blue color, the central region glows with yellowness. It is the mixing of the yellow color of the inner zone of the crystal and the blue color of the outer layers that gives a green tint to the overall color of the stone.

Similar, but not aquamarine

Weakly colored blue spinels resemble aquamarine, but they cannot be compared with the famous gem in gem quality. Spinels are characterized by gaseous inclusions in the stone mass, visible as tiny bubbles. Aquamarines have no such defects.

Similar to aquamarine and topaz. However, topaz shines brighter and gives a much richer play of refracted light. From a certain angle of view, in the thickness of the faceted flat aquamarine, a silvery reflection is noticeable, in the shape of a chrysanthemum flower. Topaz is not capable of such “art”.

The high (up to 70%) quartz content in natural aquamarine gives fraudsters the hope of imitating natural stone with glass fakes. But glass tinted with cobalt salts does not have the dichroic effect inherent in aquamarine. A precious crystal (this is especially noticeable in artificial lighting) when changing the angle of incidence of light is seen differently. Tinted glass is the same for any type of observation.

Natural aquamarines of low color intensity can undergo pre-sale thermal preparation. Heating the stone to 400˚C in a muffle furnace “thickens” the color, intensifies the blue of the natural mineral. Irradiation of pale aquamarine with X-rays leads to similar results. “Improved” stones, however, often “show temper”, acquiring an unattractive color zoning or dirty tones in a uniform color.

In addition, this stone is even less resistant to sunlight than natural aquamarine.

The artificial cultivation of light blue and gem-quality beryls is not practised.

The magical properties of aquamarine

The high optical properties of natural aquamarine were used by ancient craftsmen: lenses were carved from large stones. Needless to say, in the minds of the people, aquamarine was considered, if not magical, then at least slightly supernatural mineral.

The mystical perception of bluish crystals thickened as much as possible by the Middle Ages when aquamarine began to be considered the lord of the water element. Every captain of a serious seagoing vessel was supposed to own a piece of jewellery with quality aquamarines. Repeated maritime failures were attributed to neglect of the stone.

The magical properties of aquamarine are still considered powerful today. The distinct blue color of the crystal indicates a transparent and bright perspective in the life of the owner. An unexpected color change towards green is a warning sign of possible trouble. Reducing the transparency of the stone is a warning of imminent personal troubles.

Wearing or daily tactile communication with a precious mineral makes a person bolder. The owner of aquamarine is easier to learn complex humanities – philosophy, political science, sociological disciplines.

The healing properties of aquamarine

Looking at a stone lit by fire or an incandescent lamp can help improve vision. However, aquamarine plays the main lithotherapeutic role in pain relief of the entire digestive tract. It is equally effective for toothache, liver pain, and hemorrhoidal pain.

By reducing the sensitivity of nerve endings, aquamarine helps to calm the nervous system as a whole. The beneficial effects of the stone help stabilize emotions and increase mental stamina.

Noticeable medicinal properties of aquamarine are also shown in the fight against diseases of the thyroid gland. Faceted blue crystals, collected in beads, enhance the effect of drugs, balance the synthesis of hormones, and prevent the development of thyrotoxicosis.

Aquamarine for the signs of the zodiac

The signs of Water can count on the full help of aquamarine. The stone is especially effective in relation to Pisces and Cancers. Zodiac Air signs may wear aquamarine jewellery from time to time, but Gemini is better off refraining from purchasing aquamarine jewellery.

Active Taurus cannot expect help from aquamarine: in the presence of such an energetic person, the stone closes, becomes spiritually inert. Aquamarine can bring frustration and failure to Sagittarius.

Talismans and amulets from aquamarine

Since ancient times, aquamarine has been the mascot of watermen. Whoever you work in the sea or river fleet, buy several aquamarines and keep them in your workplace or in your cabin!

Aquamarine amulet is the first assistant in smoking cessation. Less, but the bluestone also helps in the fight against alcohol abuse. Among other things, aquamarine amulets support creative and research activities. The stone, mentally tuned to good luck in solving complex scientific problems, helps to find the most rational way to solve the mysteries of nature.

Diamond stone and its properties

  • October 22, 2021

The word diamond comes from the Greek “Adamas” – unsurpassed. Scientists have not come to a consensus on the origin of diamonds. According to the most popular hypothesis, the mineral was formed as a result of the cooling of silicates in the mantle of the earth’s crust. And it owes its appearance on the surface of the planet to a series of powerful underground explosions.

Diamonds in nature are inclusions in mountain olivines, serpentines and graphites… In addition, they are sometimes found in river and sea coastal pebble placers, where they get as a result of the destruction of volcanic rocks. To obtain one carat of natural diamonds, it is necessary to process about 250 tons of diamond ore. Considering that, on average, a nugget loses half of its weight during cutting, the number of ore required can be doubled.

In terms of chemical composition, it is one of the simplest minerals, it is pure carbon with minor impurities of calcium, magnesium and iron oxides.

Physical and chemical properties of diamond

  • Chemical formula – C (carbon).
  • Color – colorless, with shades of yellow, less often – red, orange, green, blue.
  • The crystal system is cubic.
  • Hardness 10 on the Mohs scale.
  • Density, specific gravity – 3.52 g per cm3.
  • The fracture is conchial.
  • Refractive indices – 2.417.
  • Cleavage is perfect, octahedral.
  • Habitus, crystal shape – octahedral, dodecahedral.
  • Pleochroism is not.
  • Transparency – from transparent to opaque.

Where and how are they mined?

The main diamond deposits are concentrated in Australia, South Africa, Congo and Russia. These countries account for about 60% of the world’s mineral production. Botswana, Angola and Namibia also have significant reserves. Until the end of the 17th century. almost all diamonds were mined in the mines of India, but today they are almost completely devastated.

Legend has it that in ancient times people used birds of prey to mine diamonds. Pieces of raw meat were thrown into deep crevices with precious placers, to which small crystals adhered. Smelling the smell of prey, the eagles descended into these crevices, grabbed food and carried it away in their claws. After that, it remained to follow the bird, sneak up imperceptibly and snatch out the meat with the jewels adhered to it. The second method involved searching for eagle’s nests, around which a large number of bird droppings gathered. People picked it up and took out diamond nuggets, sometimes reaching considerable sizes.

In fact, in the old days, diamonds were mined only from the river and sea placers by carefully washing out pebbles and sand. The main tools were a shovel, sieve and pick. An alternative to this method was the discovery at the end of the 19th century. A kimberlite pipe is a geological body of vertical shape, formed by the breakthrough of gases through the earth’s crust. Kimberlite is a volcanic rock in which diamond crystals are found along with other minerals. Today, almost the entire diamond mining industry is built on the use of this natural phenomenon.

Interesting facts and features

Each diamond has a unique structure and characteristics. Two identical stones, like two identical fingerprints, do not exist. The widespread myth that a diamond cannot be broken once played a cruel joke with the Swiss mercenaries of King Louis XI. During one of the many internecine conflicts, they seized the jewels of Duke Charles the Bold. Having heard about the extraordinary hardness of diamonds, the war decided to check the authenticity of the stones. The diamonds could not withstand the powerful blows of the hammer and crumble. A huge amount of jewellery was thrown away because the Swiss considered it to be fake. At the end of the 15th century. The Archduke of Austria, doubting the bride’s positive answer, heeded the advice to back up his intentions with jewellery.

How to distinguish fakes

Without exception, all diamond buyers are afraid of being deceived. In doing so, they tend to pay the lowest possible penalty for the stones. Fraudsters and dishonest traders successfully play on these conflicting feelings. The most common attacker ploy is to replace gems with cheaper counterparts. To imitate diamonds, they usually use transparent zircon, colorless sapphire, or ordinary crystal. To identify a fake, you need to look through the stone at the sun. A cut diamond reflects rays in such a way that only a bright point can be seen through it. L imitators let light through completely.

In addition, counterfeit sellers often mention the popular myth of the complete transparency of diamonds in the water. In fact, this is fiction. The invisibility effect can be achieved between those materials that have the same refractive index. The refractive index of water is 1, that of a diamond is 2.4. Of all the diamond imitators, the closest in this characteristic to water is ordinary glass, the refractive index of which is 1.5. Thus, a real stone, lowered into a glass, will continue to sparkle, but a fake one will not.

It is almost impossible to distinguish a natural diamond from one created in the laboratory. The advanced technology allows synthesizing of artificial diamonds weighing up to 15 carats. In such a situation, the buyer should be confused by the obviously low price, which may be ten times less than the real one. There are no objective reasons for selling diamonds for a song.

An interesting way to identify a fake was invented by the French chemist Margot. The scientist proposed to determine the true diamond by sliding an aluminium stick along its surface, having previously wetted the stone with water. On rhinestones, the metal will leave a clear, silvery line that is very difficult to erase. And on a natural diamond, no trace of aluminium will be visible. Only a professional appraiser can guarantee 100% authenticity of a diamond. Well-known tips and tricks will only help to identify a low-quality fake.

Processing and use

Diamonds are most widely used in the jewellery industry. But few people know that not every stone is of gem quality. No more than 15% of mined minerals are suitable for creating a diamond, another 45% of nuggets are considered conditionally suitable for cutting. The remaining 40% of diamonds are used as composite materials and superhard elements for industrial purposes. The most common diamond cuts are brilliant cut and rose cut. The first is used for processing large nuggets, the second is for small diamonds.

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The magical and healing properties of alexandrite

  • October 22, 2021


According to astrologers, Alexandrite is most suitable for Gemini, Pisces and Scorpio. Aries can also wear it. But Taurus, Sagittarius, Cancer and Virgo should treat alexandrite with caution.

Alexandrite – a widow’s stone?

Despite the fact that alexandrite was discovered relatively recently and is still very young, there are already several legends and beliefs about it. In Russia, for example, it is believed that alexandrite is a widow’s stone. However, it can only be harmful if you wear one stone. The negative effect of alexandrite disappears if you wear two, or even better – three or four stones.

Alexandrite is loved all over the world

In Europe, this stone was considered a symbol of amorousness and at the same time – jealousy, which was facilitated by a change in color – from calm green to red, the color of rage. In Sri Lanka, where alexandrite is mined, it is considered a stone of longevity and prosperity. This is one of the favorite stones of the clergy. During the hours of prayer and meditation, he pacifies the soul.

In Indian astrology, alexandrite is characterized as a stone with a strong energy that reacts with a change in color to a change in the mood of the wearer.

It is suitable only for people who are strong in spirit and born under the sign of Scorpio. They must be ready to overcome adversity and all kinds of trials, then victory and luck await them. The Avestan school of astrology, on the contrary, believes that alexandrite tests a person for strength, giving him all kinds of difficulties. Among avid gamblers and gamblers, alexandrite is considered a talisman that ensures a win.

This stone is called the magic barometer, which shows the color change of the state, possible in the near future. For example, the appearance of yellow in it is a harbinger of an ordeal for the owner. Alexandrite is also considered the stone of travellers. It helps to adapt to a new environment, to understand a different way of life, to find a common language with anyone. If a person wears alexandrite, foreign languages ​​are easier for him.

Healing properties

It has long been believed that the two colors of the alexandrite are magically associated with two circles of blood circulation in the human body. Therefore, for medicinal purposes, alexandrite is used mainly in connection with blood diseases. So, it was believed that alexandrite not only strengthens blood vessels but also cleanses the blood or stops bleeding that has arisen.

Lithotherapists believe that while wearing alexandrite, you need to monitor how often it changes color – constant color changes may indicate a sharp change in blood sugar levels. Before going to bed, alexandrite should be removed.

The history of alexandrite: two centuries or four millennia?

Finding Nordenskjold

Alexandrite was discovered by the Finnish mineralogist N. Nordenskjold. Exploring the Ural emerald mines, the scientist found a small green stone and took it with him in order to examine it in more detail under a magnifying glass. In the evening, holding the nugget to a candle flame, the mineralogist discovered that its color from emerald green to blood red.

Nordenskjold immediately reported the strange find to St. Petersburg. The properties of the stone, including the extraordinary hardness and ability to color reversal, were first studied by the jeweler Perovsky. He already wanted to give the mineral the name “diaphanite”, which in Greek means “seeming double”, but on that day, April 17, 1834, Russia celebrated the 16th anniversary of the son of Emperor Nicholas II Alexander. Wanting to please the ruling dynasty, Perovsky presented the nugget as a gift to the young Tsarevich, naming the stone in his honor alexandrite.

From the darkness of the ages

In fact, alexandrites were known long before the 19th century. The first mentions of a stone, shining and iridescent like a peacock’s eye, are found in the ancient Indian treatise “Mahabharata”, which is more than four millennia old. During excavations in Zaporozhye, archaeologists discovered the burial of the Polovtsian Khan of the 12th century, it was alexandrite that adorned his ring. The problem is that before Perovsky, no one could determine the nature of the mineral. The first detailed gemological description of the stone dates back to 1842.

Superstitions and legends of alexandrite

The gem immediately became fashionable among the Russian elite of that time. It was considered prestigious to wear jewelry with alexandrite, because these stones were not only expensive, but also rare. Only representatives of the upper classes, close to the court of the emperor, could afford them. The scanty choice of jewelry with alexandrite was partly due to, among other things, one omen – among the miners it was customary that if you find this nugget, then you will not see emeralds. So the hard workers tried not to pay attention to the alexandrites, and even more so not to raise them from the ground.

After the death of Alexander II, the popularity of the gem began to wane. However, be that as it may, the consequences of the fashion trends of the century before last are felt even now. Finding jewelry with genuine alexandrite is not an easy task. The reserves of the Ural mineral were completely depleted, and today it is easier to buy an artificial crystal with a color reverse effect than to find a natural one.

According to legend, the stone acquired the ability to change color after witnessing the crime of Cain. As if, since biblical times, a green crystal during the day has been filled with the blood of innocent Abel every evening, who has become a victim of fratricide.

Alexandrite: interesting features and facts

The largest gem-quality alexandrite was found in the Ural mines. The weight of the nugget was 532 carats, the price was more than 25 thousand rubles. There was no buyer who could give such an amount for the jewel, and the stone was divided into several pieces. For comparison: the annual salary in the first half of the nineteenth century. did not exceed 500 rubles.

The largest alexandrite weighing 1,876 carats (375.3 g) was found in Sri Lanka, and the largest of the faceted stones weighs 66 carats (13.2 g).

Residents of the former USSR are sure that all the jewellery purchased in Soviet stores is natural. However, few people know that for the entire period of the existence of the Soviet Union, not a single real alexandrite was sold through the official jewellery network. The fact is that the mineral was considered state property and was never sold for free. Thus, the only thing that guarantees the purchase of a product with alexandrite in the Soviet era is its synthetic origin.

In people, alexandrite is usually called a widow’s stone. It is believed that it can only be worn as a pair. The emergence of this sign has real historical prerequisites. The revival of the fashion for jewellery with alexandrite happened in the post-war period. Many women who lost their husbands on the battlefield wore rings and earrings with artificial alexandrite. So, there was a warning that the stone brings grief to the family. But it really has nothing to do with genuine jewellery.

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Varieties of alexandrite | Physical and chemical properties of alexandrite

  • October 22, 2021
  • Chemical formula – Al2BeO4, impurity – Cr.
  • Color – bluish green, sometimes olive, yellow, rarely colorless.
  • The system is rhombic.
  • Hardness – 8.5 on the Mohs scale.
  • Density – 3.5-3.8 g per cm3.
  • The fracture is conchial.

Varieties of alexandrite

Translucent alexandrites are characterized by the effect of opalescence – “cat’s eye”. Such crystals are called cymophanes. Green and red highlights on the edges of the stone are reflected in one direction when light enters, which leads to the appearance of a bright strip on its surface. The ability to change color distinguishes alexandrite from other stones and makes it unique in the jewelry market.

They say about alexandrite: “In the morning he is an emerald, in the evening he is a ruby.” In the old days, it was called a stone, for which “the morning is green, and the evening is red,” because in the light of the sun it plays with all shades of green, and under an electric lamp its color turns red.

Alexandrite deposits

All the deposits being developed today are placer deposits. The main suppliers of alexandrite to the world market are Sri Lanka, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Kenya. In addition, deposits are known in Burma, Madagascar and Tasmania, in the United States.

Real alexandrite comes from the Urals!

The world’s only primary alexandrite deposit is located in the Urals. Unfortunately, over the course of several decades, it was fully developed. Ural alexandrites were considered the best and at one time were the standards of quality. Only Ural alexandrite in daylight has a color very similar to the color of emerald. But at the same time, the Ural stones are inferior in size, purity and transparency to stones from the placers of Brazil and Sri Lanka.

If the Ural alexandrite without inclusions is very rare, then for alexandrite from Brazil, Sri Lanka, Africa it is rather the norm.

Processing and use of alexandrite

The most common forms of alexandrite cut are stepped and drop-shaped. Cymophanes are usually cabochonized in order to fully convey the play of light inside the stone. In jewelry, alexandrite is often combined with emeralds, diamonds and pearls.

Alexandrite: impudent fakes, high-quality imitations and familiar synthetics

The main signs

The only stone that can be confused externally with alexandrite is green andalusite. However, such a substitution does not make sense, because andalusite is not found more often in nature. Artificial corundum and spinel are used as alexandrite imitators. If a natural gem shimmers with green-red colors, then synthetic analogs change color from blue-gray to pink.

In addition, the reverse effect of natural alexandrite is much less pronounced. However, it is quite difficult for a layman to distinguish a fake. Professional appraisers use special devices – a refractometer and a spectroscope to determine the origin of a mineral. The refractive index of natural alexandrite is 1.74, and at the red end of the color spectrum, the stone exhibits dark absorption lines.

Imitation and synthetics

Alexandrite is a rare guest in the jewelry market, and it is not so easy to buy jewelry with it, even if you are not a poor person. It is much easier to buy synthesized alexandrite – these are corundum or spinel grown in laboratory conditions, which, just like natural stone, change color under natural and artificial light, and outwardly do not differ from it in any way. Such alexandrites are quite affordable for middle-income buyers.

Particularly widespread inserts of color-changing synthetic corundum were used in the USSR. At the same time, buyers, as a rule, believed that they were buying a piece of jewelry with real alexandrite. Only specialists can distinguish a natural stone from synthetic corundum or spinel using a refractometer. The production of synthetic alexandrite began in 1973.

The world’s best synthetic alexandrite is industrially produced in Russia, in Novosibirsk. These stones are much purer than natural ones and have a red-violet color, close to amethyst, in artificial light and blue-violet in daylight. They are hundreds of times cheaper than natural alexandrites. The synthesis volume is only a few kilograms per year. By the way, synthetic alexandrites from Russia are actively sold on the US market under the guise of natural stones from Brazil, Sri Lanka and Africa. Many dealers are not even aware of the fraud.

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Albite stone and its properties

  • October 22, 2021

Albite stone belongs to silicate group feldspars and is considered one of the most widespread igneous minerals (pegmatites) of the rock-forming type. This mineral is an aluminosilicate and belongs to the plagioclase subgroup.

The mineral owes its name to its color – in Latin albus means white. The stone was first described in 1815 in Sweden by scientists Johann Gottlieb Hahn and Jon Jakob Berzelius. At the end of the 19th century, the Russian geologist and geochemist Alexander Fersman, who carried out detailed studies of this mineral, drew attention to albite, the properties of which had been little studied. On the coast of the White Sea, he found an interesting variety of this stone, which has iridescence from gray-blue to blue-violet, and named it belomorite.

Another famous variety of this stone is peristerite, which is named so for its unique iridescence of bluish-blue color, similar to the ebb of pigeon feathers.

Albit has synonyms – white feldspar, white sherl, albiclase or amazonite-plakio-eyed.

Physical and chemical properties of albite

The physical and chemical properties of albite are well studied:

  • Color – from colorless to white and gray-blue;
  • Luster – glass;
  • Transparency – translucent or transparent;
  • The color of the line is white;
  • Mohs hardness – 6 – 6.5;
  • Density 2.6-2.65 g / cm3;
  • Fracture – uneven, conchial;
  • The system is primitive (triclinic);
  • Form – tabular and lamellar crystals. Sometimes it can be found in the form of twin crystals, polysynthetic twins or radiant fan-shaped rosettes;
  • Crystals have a framework lattice with a continuous three-dimensional framework;
  • The symmetry class is pinacoidal;
  • Cleavage is perfect for {001} and average for {010};
  • Decomposes to HF with release of gelatinous SiO2;
  • Accompanying minerals – vodzhinite, struverite, muscovite, orthoclase and others;
  • Similar minerals: peristerite, olikoglaz.

The chemical formula of albite is Na [AlSi3O8]. Often the composition includes impurities of chromium, lead, potassium, calcium and magnesium, due to which the color spectrum of the crystal can vary from white to blue, green and even yellow.

The mineral is hardly soluble in acids – only hydrofluoric acid can successfully dissolve it. It also melts weakly.

Distribution of albite

Like other minerals from the plagioclase subgroup, the stone is widespread throughout the globe, but at the same time it is practically not found in its pure form. In fact, the entire group of plakio-eyed minerals is a mixture of albite and anorite. Therefore, in 95% of cases, albite occurs as inclusions or inclusions in other minerals. By the way, it is thanks to the thinnest albite ingrowths that the iridescence effect appears in the adularia. The photo shows an example of the location of albite as an accompanying mineral in the parent rock.

As mentioned above, albite belongs to rock-forming minerals and is distributed almost everywhere. Deposits are distinguished depending on the purpose for which this mineral is mined. Since its value in terms of jewelry is rather low, most of the production is carried out for the ceramic industry. Albite is also used to create refractory and finishing materials.

Beautiful transparent crystals, which are suitable for cutting and are used in jewelry production and creation of collections, are not mined everywhere. There are a number of deposits in Africa: Zimbabwe, Kenya, Madagascar, but here production is carried out in an almost artisanal way – as elsewhere on the Black Continent. In America, large mines are located in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Virginia (USA), as well as near Ottawa (Canada). In Russia, the mineral albite is mined in the Irkutsk region, not far from Nizhny Tagil, in the Western Keivy (Kola Peninsula), in the southern Transbaikalia in the area of ​​the Malkhansky ridge. In the north of Norway and the Eastern Pamirs, large stones with the iridescent effect are mined, and in Bintal (Switzerland) and the Brazilian Minas Gerais – almost pure crystals of a very large form.

Application of albite

Massifs weighing at least 5-10 carats are subject to faceting. The most common and practically the only type of cut is the cabochon. Cut stones are used in the manufacture of bijouterie (bracelets and beads), as jewelry and finishing materials. A significant part of the cut stones is intended for collectors. The latter also prefer natural druses, in which albite crystals form unique structures with other minerals such as hematite, quartz or orthoclase.

The price for albite differs depending on whether it is a raw material or a cut stone. If we take massifs where crystals are generously diluted with other minerals, then the cost of 1 kg does not exceed an average of $ 2-8. But cut stones are valued much higher – a transparent crystal weighing 3-5 carats will cost $ 10-15 – this is due to the fact that such large stones are relatively rare. But sometimes very large specimens are also found – in Ukraine, a pure tabular crystal of albite was found with a height of almost 20 cm.

The medicinal properties of albite

Although the stone is not considered precious or semi-precious, it is used in folk medicine. The medicinal properties of albite are considered lower than those of precious “pure” stones, but, nevertheless, it is used for diseases of the organs of internal secretion and the gastric tract: liver, kidneys, spleen, pancreas and stomach. Unlike other stones, it does not need to be worn all the time to achieve a healing effect – you just need to apply the stone to the organ that is bothering you and lie down for a while. In general, it is recommended to carry out such a procedure in a horizontal, relaxed position, and best of all – during rest or an hour’s sleep. To use the stone again, it is recommended after the procedure to put it under running cold water for a few minutes – this way everything bad will come out of the stone,

The magical properties of albite

Among practising magicians, albite is considered a conductor of solar and lunar energy, therefore it is widely used as a means to relieve stress, nervousness and tension. Those people who react very sharply to emotional or any external stimuli should carry an amulet with this stone, or better with two – the talisman will give the necessary patience and extinguish negative emotions in the bud. Also, the stone is suitable for travellers in order to ward off danger from them.

The stone belongs to the water element, and the magical properties of albite are associated with the lunar cycle of ebb and flow, symbolizing the infinity of life. Albite can be used to normalize your emotional state and achieve harmony and balance in it.

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