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Although many believe this sensational gem was first discovered in the UK, Amblygonite was in fact initially discovered in the early 1800s in Germany, by Johann Breithaupt, a mineralogist who was credited with the discovery and identification of 47 different minerals!
I have a real soft spot for Amblyonite: its beauty is mesmerising and whenever I show a piece to someone in my office, the gem never fails to both stir emotions and to impress my guests. The gem’s appearance often resembles a cross between Aquamarine and Paraiba Tourmaline. Its colour is tranquil when indoors, however when worn outdoors its appearance is as lively and sparkly as the sun dancing on the surface off the Mediterranean Sea on a summer afternoon. Unfortunately even though Amblygonite is a relatively common phosphate mineral, the supply of gem-quality pieces is very erratic and over the years I have only ever seen a few parcels of the gem being sold in the trade. If Amblygonite was not so scarce, I believe it would be one of the most highly regarded gemstones on the planet. For now it remains a specialist gemstone that aficionados and connoisseurs fight over whenever a piece is made available for sale.
Its name is derived from the Greek words for ‘blunt’ (amblus) and ‘angle’ (gouia), probably due to the unusual angles of the gem’s cleavage. It is sometimes referred to as the ‘Prophet Stone’.
Amblygonite is most often found in white and pastel shades of green, lilac, pink, and yellow, but rarely is of a transparent gem-quality material.
As the gem is rich in the chemical element lithium, it is often discovered in the same location as Tourmaline and Apatite.
The two largest gem-quality finds of Amblygonite have been in California and France. The current collection on sale at The Genuine Gemstone Company was discovered in East Brazil where the Lavra mine, situated at Rio Jequitinhonha (half way between Minas Gerais and the coast), is famous for one of the largest Alexandrite finds in the world. On discovering possibly the most gorgeous Amblygonite ever unearthed, the mine owners partied hard for many days, saying that the occasion was as important as the time when Alexandrite was found. However, their initial excitement did not last long, as very little of the gem has yet been recovered.
Unfortunately, Amblygonite is very difficult to find. It is also a complete nightmare to cut! With four different directions of cleavage, even the very best lapidarists find the gem a real challenge to facet! When the clarity of the gem is of a high standard and when it is discovered with delicate tones it is a real treasure. As it is relatively soft, it is best kept as a collectable or mounted in a pendant or earrings. Occasionally it can be set into rings, usually in a bezel setting so as to prevent the gemstone from being damaged.
Amblygonite is said to soothe and relax all who wear the gem. Crystal Healers believe that the gem reduces anxiety and stress, whilst others claim that it assists with creativity and brings dreams to life.
Specimen quality Amblygonite is found in several counties around the world including the UK, France and Germany: however gem-quality material (as far as I know) is currently only being mined in Minas Gerais, Brazil.
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GIA qualified Gemmologists
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Members of the Coloured Gemstone Assocation