Andalusite Buying Tips for a New Gemstone Collector

Andalusite is an extremely rare and unique gemstone, and has a heavy caring regime following its existence. Used largely in jewellery as a ring stone, Andalusite is revered for its diverse colour exhibition occurring due to its trichroic pleochroism effect. Available in multiple colours, most gemstone cutters minimize the effect by cutting them in particular styles, and exaggerate one particular colour. Andalusite being very hard and durable hardly requires any special care, but it is better to be careful with the use in the long run.

Here are some helpful Andalusite shopping tips for new buyers.

Choosing colours:

Andalusite is available in diverse colours like pink, green, red, grey, dark brown and olive green. Depending on the concentration of impurities like Manganese and Iron, the colour could be deep pink and red. Iron in Andalusite could be anywhere between 1.5 to 4.4 % by weight, mostly occurring in Fe3+ and Fe2+ forms. Presence of iron ions gives it a paramagnetic property as well.

Corner Stone reverence:

It is referred to as Lapis crucifer, or a corner stone due to the presence of rutile inclusions inside the Crystal. Since ages, this is considered as a sign of reverence, and hence has higher demands. Andalusite with black particles of graphite occurring in geometric patterns is actually named as Chiastolite. It is formed during the metamorphism of the rocks.

Cut:

The cut is the most important aspect of buying any ring, especially Andalusite that exhibits pleochroism effect. The rings made of Andalusite gemstones are cut in round and rectangular cushion shape. Pear, round, cushion, emerald and oval are common shapes available in the market. Depending on the colour brilliance, the cutting glorifies the darker and lighter shade empathically.

Source of gemstone:

Brazilian varieties have highest demand in the market. Sri Lankan Andalusites are equally revered for their clear and lustrous appeal. In recent times, gemstones from UK, Spain and Australia too have made their mark in the market. Purity of the stone is an important aspect, and Brazilian gemstones are popular for this reason.
The source of gemstone also mean that you are buying Andalusite, and not its polymorphic varieties—Kyanite and Sillimanite.

Imitations:

Andalusite gemstones are hardly exposed to heat treatments. They are mostly available in colourless and light pink varieties. Darker gemstones however are treated to lighten their lustre. Since this is a reversible process, it is hardly recommended. Meanwhile, imitation market is full of Andalusite faux gemstones, which can be identified from its pleochroism property.

Stone preservation:

Since Andalusite is a natural gemstone, there could be presence of radioactive elements in it. Always get them checked from certified laboratories. They could be harmful, and on top of it decay in the long run, leaving an amorphous residue with no significant value.
Apart from this, get coated Andalusite gemstones that are resistant to chemical effect and UV rays. Light coloured gemstones could reverse back to its darker shade on exposure to sun rays.

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