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Amazonite

Etymology and history

The name of Amazonite is taken from that of the Amazon River, from which certain green stones were formerly obtained, but it is doubtful whether green feldspar occurs in the Amazon area.

Amazonite description

Amazonite (sometimes called "Amazon stone") is a green variety of microcline feldspar.

Amazonite is a mineral of limited occurrence. Formerly it was obtained almost exclusively from the area of Miass in the Ilmen mountains, 50 miles southwest of Chelyabinsk, Russia, where it occurs in granitic rocks. More recently, high-quality crystals have been obtained from Pike's Peak, Colorado, where it is found associated with smoky quartz, orthoclase, and albite in a coarse granite or pegmatite. Its relative softness of 6-6.5 on the Mohs scale makes Amazonite vulnerable to pressure and scratches and requires some care. Amazonite, though not common, is still very affordable. Amazonite color varies from green, yellow-green to blue-green. The color distribution is irregular. Some gemstones may also exhibit fine white streaks.

Amazonite in jewelry

For many years, the source of amazonite color was a mystery. Naturally, many people assumed the color was due to copper because copper compounds often have blue and green colors. The jewels use amazonite in production of bracelets, pendants, necklaces, broches, rings and earrings.

Occurrence

Amazonite is found in the United States, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Russia, Australia, Namibia Amazonite is usually light green to blue-green, mottled and sometimes contains light striations.

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