Andalusite

Other Names: Lapis Crucifer, Chiastolite (for specific variety)
Origin of Name: Originates from area in which stone was found, Andalusia, Spain.
Meaning of the Stone:
Classification: Semi-precious
Family: Silicate mineral
Region: Spain, Brazil, Sri Lanka
Color: Pink to red-brown, yellow, green, white, gray
Transparency: Transparent, Translucent
Fracture: sub-conchoidal
Hardness (Gravity): 6.5-7.5( 3.13-3.21)
Crystal System: Orthohombric
Similar Minerals: Kyanite, sillimanite

1. Legend and History:

Andalusite is named from its occurrence in the Spanish province of Andalusia. It is believed to be a stone of protection, which may be used to rid of the evil eye curses. In addition, it is considered to have certain healing powers, such as enhancing ones intellect, abilities to solve problems, and mental clarity.

2. Origin in nature and use:

Apart from originating in Spain, certain deposits have been found in Brazil and Sri Lanka, yet still is considered to be a rather rare gemstone; It is extremely remarkable in its ability to display marked pleochroism, and thus has wrongly been compared to Alexandrite.
Andalusite is a mineral which occurs under low pressure and high temperatures as a common regional metamorphic mineral. In addition, due to its variables in excavation, along with those consisting from kyanite and sillimanite, it is a useful tool to identify the pressure and temperature paths of the rocks in which they are hosted.
The reason Andalusite is considered an interesting gemstone is due to its colorations after it has been cut.

3. Interesting Facts:

Andalusite has not been economically exploited yet, due to the fact that it is associated with mica schist which increases alkali content in its ultimate product.

4. Care and Storing:

In order to clean Andalusite gemstones, warm soapy water is best to be used along with a soft cloth; Steam must however be avoided, thus one must make sure the water is warm, but not too hot so as to be steamy. Andalusite should be stored alone, or in a separate compartment of a display box as it may easily be scratched and damaged due to its softness.

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