Posts Tagged ‘minerals

07
May
09

Featured blog: Turquoise ~ the Shaman stone

Thank you to MountainDreamers, for this great blog on turquoise.

One of my favorites stones (is there really such a thing , they are all so fun) is Turquoise. It is a beautiful stone in shades from light greens to dark blue. It is a secondary mineral found near copper veins with the chemical formula of CuAl6 (PO4) 4 (OH) 8 – 4 (H2O) It has a hardness of 5-6 between apatite and orthoclase. Turquoise was named afer it’s origal source in Turkey as it traveled back to Europe.

Turquoise can also be a challenge to purchase as there are many choices, and not all are genuine turquoise. 95 % of genuine turquoise is stablelized to enhance the hardness of the stone. Only 5 % of turquoise is what we would call natural where it is mined , tumbled and ready to use for jewelry. This type of turquoise is fairly expensive and can be hundreds of dollars for a strand. There is plenty of stablelized genuine turquoise that has had a plastic resin to enhance the hardness for long wear. Even with stablelization, turquoise can change color over time from lotions, body oils and other chemicals it contacts. Turquoise is mined in the USA ( Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico) China, Peru, Mexico, Iran, Tibet, Siberia, Australia, Africa,and Europe (Turkey) . The stone forms when water passes thru Copper and other minerals to form the blue colored stone. Some turquoise has been dyed as well as stablelized.

There are the turquoise substitutes, howelite, magnesite, and dolomite which are white stones with a natural dark matrix that absorb dyes well to give the appearence of turquoise.

African turquoise is a nice stone but is a jasper by origin and not a genuine turquoise stone

Chinese turquoise from the Hubei and Anhui areas are stablelized with a parrafin wax treatment that only affects the outter layers. Other treatments can also include dyeing.

Simulated Block turquoise has small bits of rock , dyes and plastic resin. Block turquoise has no rock , it is only plastic and dyes and is made in large loaf size batches.

Lime turquoise is a magnesite from China that has been dyed green, it is harder than the natural turquoise from the Hubei mines.

Mexican Turquoise is similar to that found in Arizona in the Globe mine. Sonora is home to the Pino Chueco mine, this turquoise has been stablelized and some is sold under the Nazcori name.

Mojave or Apple Green turquoise is blue turquoise that is dyed a vibrant Apple green, it can be scraps of turquoise that is bound in resin and dyed.

Yellow turquoise is usually a hard howlite or jasper that has been dyed , from China , Soft yellow turquoise from China’s Hubei province has been stablelized and dyed a deep yellow

When selecting a stone , of course find stones that appeal to your taste, but try to get as much information about the origin and processing so you can accurately label your product for resale. Genuine turquoise dealers will give you a certificate in writing stating the value of your purchase.

Metaphysical properties: Turquoise is the stone of the Shaman, it opens all chakras, and allows us to feel at home in both the spiritual and physical worlds, it increases the flow of love and comunication, it opens particularly the 5th or throat chakra and aids with opening the 4th chakra (heart). It helps with improving the immune system and will detox poisons , alcohol , and radiation.

Pictures (top to bottom):

1.  Necklace made from Campo frio turquoise

2.  Earrings using Sleeping beauty turquoise

3.  Necklace featuring Kingman turquoise

4.  Necklace using Sleeping Beauty Turquoise

Thank you Mountain Dreamers!  This is a great article, and turquoise IS one of my favorites!!

Please visit Mountain Dreamers at her 1000 Markets shop!

Advertisements
04
Mar
09

Know your Feldspar

Let’s start with Wikipedia’s definition of Feldspar as: the name of a group of rock-forming minerals which make up as much as 60% of the Earth’s crust.

Feldspars crystallize from magma, and they can also occur as compact minerals, as veins, and are also present in many types of metamorphic rock.

Now, let’s hear about all the great variations  of Feldspar from our guest blogger, Kristen of Earth Charms~

I have recently seen a lot of larvikite being sold as spectrolite. I thought I would jump in here and straighten things out.

First of all, we will start with Labradorite:

Labradorite (calcium sodium aluminum silicate) is a stone that doesn’t look

Labradorite

Labradorite

special until you see what we like to call “the flash”. The surface of the stone shows off an amazing array of colors (sometimes a full spectrum). A mineral resource describes it this way, “Labradorite can produce a colorful play of light across cleavage planes and in sliced sections called labradorescence.” Labradorite tends to be a dull grey/green in color until you see the flashes. Most of the flashes you see will be blue, aqua, green, yellow/gold, and orange.

Spectrolite

Spectrolite

Spectrolite is labradorite. It is the labradorite with the most intense colorful flashes, the highest quality mineral specimens. If you Google “Image spectrolite”, you’ll see it’s labradorite with the flash on full blast.

Now how about larvikite?

Larvikite is a feldspar like labradorite. This means it also has the flashy properties. However, larvikite is a grey and black stone with blue and white flashes. Larvikite is known by many names, including: Birds Eye Granite, Black Moonstone, Blue Norwegian Moonstone, Blue Pearl Granite, Blue Granite, Norwegian Pearl Granite,

Larvikite

Larvikite

Emerald Pearl, and Pub Stone. It is not, however, a granite or a pearl by any means. It IS related to moonstone (which is also a flashy feldspar like labradorite).

Larvikite is not spectrolite! The colors of these stones are easily distinguishable.

The pictures to the right are, from top to bottom: labradorite, spectrolite, larvikite, moonstone

Sunstone has inclusions of red hematite, giving it a warm-toned, glittery appearance. Sunstone is also known as “red labradorite” and “aventurine-feldspar”. The Oregon variety of sunstone can contain copper crystals, and those stones are known as “schillers”. The colors range from pale orange to deep red, depending on the inclusions.

Moonstone

Moonstone

Moonstones are either the mineral adularia, or the combination of plagioclase feldspar oligoclase. Moonstones tend to have a pale color, soft appearance, and either a light shimmer on the surface or blue flashes similar to those in labradorite. Commonly, moonstones in jewelry are white, grey, or peach in color.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks to Kristen of Earth Charms for all that great information.