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Petalite Gemstone

Also known  as  Castorite,  Petalite  is  a  rare  colourless  gem  that  is  a  real  favourite  with collectors  around  the  planet.  As  its  unusual perfect cleavage can at times appear leaf like in  pattern Petalite’s name is derived from the Greek word for a leaf “petalon”.

The gem was first discovered in Brazil in 1800 by Brazilian Gemmologist J Andradae Silva.

The gemstone is extremely difficult to cut and  until recently Lapidarists would only attempt to make Cabochon cuts. Although the gem has a hardness of 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale, it is quite  brittle, so it’s important when set into jewellery, especially in rings, just to take a little more care when wearing this gem.

In addition to the colourless variety, which has  incredible brilliance, the gem is also available in  pastel shades of yellow and grey.  However it is  the colourless variety that is most popular.

Petalite  has  also  been  discovered  in  the  UK,  Italy, the USA and Afghanistan.

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A concave cut Petalite pendant from the Jacque Christie collection

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