Amazonite

Amazonite is a green variety of microcline feldspar.

The name 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 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.

Crystals of amazonite can also be found in Crystal Park, El Paso County, Colorado. Other localities in the United States which yield amazonite include the Morefield Mine in Amelia, Virginia. It is also found in pegmatite in Madagascar and in Brazil.

One quality that makes this stone popular is schiller. Schiller is similar to iridescense. It comes from light reflecting off different planes within the crystal structure of the mineral. Light reflects differently in each of these minerals causing the effect of schiller.

Amazonite has a hardness of 6 to 6.5 on Moh's Scale.


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