This sapphire blue, shimmery, multi purpose gemstone with unusual properties, is the gemstone of the week. For many years, this stone was considered more of a mineral than a gemstone. The name comes from the Greek word, “kyanos”, meaning dark blue.
Kyanite is unusual in the fact that it has the same chemical compostion as andalusite. Both are aluminum silicate, but have different crystal structures. In addition to being used for jewelry, kyanite is also used in industrial applications including spark plugs, electrical insulators and heat resistant ceramics to reduce the shrinkage as it expands.
Kyanite has been mined for about a century, but little is known about it's history. The color of Kyanite is not always uniform and can be blotchy and streaky. The crystals can be transparent to translucent and the crystals are found in long blades or columns. The stone can also be found in green and black and occaisonally, rarely, yellow, white and gray. Depending on which way the crystals are cut in a particular stone, the harness on the Moh scale can range from 4.5-6.5. The blue color comes from trace elements of iron and titanium. Green Kyanite gets the color from vanadium. Faceted Kyanite is a rareity. Because of the hardness variations in each stone, this complicates the faceting process.
Interest in Kyanite as a gemstone has been low, mostly due to the lack of sufficient supplies of gem quality rough. A recent find of gemstone quality rough in Nepal will probably raise the interest in this beautiful stone. Other sources of Kyanite are Austria, Brazil, India, Myanmar, Serbia, Switzerland, Namibia, and California. California has mostly green Kyanite.
It is believed that Kyanite is the stone of channeling, altered states, vivid dreams and dream recall. It is said that it will protect the wearer during these states. It is alos believed to bring loyalty, tranquility and honesty to the wearer.
The photos below are different color ranges of Kyanite that I have in my collection.