Monday, April 5, 2010
Mohs' Hardness and Amazonite
When people refer to the hardness of the mineral they mean the scratch hardness which was introduced more than 159 years ago by the Viennese mineralogist Frank Mohs (1773-1839). He used ten minerals of differing hardness to draw up a comparative scale. The Mohs' hardness scale is valid throughout the world to the present day.
Pale azure blue Amazonite is as cool and refreshing as a mountain breeze. This semi-opaque variety of Amazonite is blue-green to pale green stone in the feldspar group. It comes mainly from United States and Australia.
The pale blue Amazonite in this necklace is combined with sterling silver in an asymmetrical design a very sophisticated look any woman would feel proud to wear.
The deep green/blue of Russian Amazonite combined with the hues of cream in a natural, opaque stone is mainly from Russia.
The Russian Amazonite necklace featured here with Peridot Jasper and Yellow Jade creates a very beautiful color combination.
Both display a schiller of light which is caused by inclusions. Schiller is a lustrous reflection from planes in a mineral grain and is similar to what is more commonly known as iridescence. The schiller is caused by a feature of the stone's crystal structure. Orthoclase feldspar and albite are present in close association, arranged in layers. This causes an interference effect of light.
A Brazilian legend boasts that Europeans (familiar with green microline from Russia) assumed that the “green stones” given to them by the Amazon people was the same stone. As it turns out, Amazonite is not found in the Amazon Basin and the legend was most likely referring to Nephrite (jade). It is believed that Amazonite was first called ''Amazon Stone,'' and was later changed to Amazonite.
Care and Cleaning
Even though Amazonite has a hardness of 6, it is pressure sensitive and should be stored by itself so that it cannot be scratched by other gemstones.
Amazonite is sensitive to chemicals, abrasives, heat, acids, and ammonia. Never use a steamer, hot water or ultrasonic cleaners with this gemstone. Use mild soap and room temperature tap water with a soft cloth so you do not diminish the luster of the gemstone.
Folklore, Legend, and Healing Properties:
Amazonite balances feminine and masculine energy, enhances creative expression, promotes kindness and practicality and is an excellent stone for artists and for men. Amazonite is considered a soothing stone that offers confidence and is often called the "hope stone" because it inspires confidence and hope.
Used extensively by the Egyptians it is called the stone of courage and is said to be named after the Amazon women warriors. Some archaeological evidence suggests that the Amazonians were a matriarchal society during the Bronze Age.