Friday, May 20, 2011

Sodalite is the Gemstone of the Week

Sodalite,an opaque, royal blue gemstone with white streaks, is often confused with Lapis Lazuli. It is one of the minerals that makes up Lapis. The chemical compostion of Sodalite is sodium aluminum silicate chloride. The chloride is what differentiates this from Lapis. Lapis contains sulphur. There are two ideas for where the name comes from-one is for the sodium content and the other is from the Latin word “solidus” for solid, since it was a solid used in the process of glass making. It will fuse to a colorless glass if heated to a high enough temperature.
Sodalite is a hard mineral, yet because of the crystal structure, fragile with a hardness on the Moh scale of 5-5.6.
Sodalite is sometimes referred to as Princess Blue after Princess Patricia, granddaughter of Queen Victoria. She fell in love with this gemstone after a visit to Ontario, Canada and used it to decorate Marlbourough House in England. Sodalite has been discovered in ancient ruins and tombs in ornamental forms. It was often used as a substitute for Lapis Lazuli.
Signifiacant deposits of Sodalite are found in Bancroft, Ontario, Mont-St-Hilaire, Quebec, Lichtfield, Maine, and magnet Cove, Arkansas. Smaller deposits are found in Brazil, Bolivia, Portugal, Romania, Burma, and Russia.
It is believed that Sodalite was used by Egyptian priests to dispel fear and promote a clear insightful mind. It is also believe to help with a wide range of physical aliments from diabetes, and digestion issues to thyroid problems. It is also thought to be a soothing stone and to instill confidence.

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