Amazonite is a variety of the potassium feldspar called microcline, noted for its gorgeous green color. Although we tend to associate ‘Amazon’ with a very famous retailer today, it was in 1847 that the name amazonite was given to this gemstone by the famed German mineralogist August Breithaupt.
Although the name amazonite stuck, it had been known by many names to prior to the 1800s, including ‘Stone of Courage’ and ‘Stone of Truth’. The ‘Amazon’ reference was likely chosen because deposits of the green gemstone had been unearthed in Brazil. Its green color is reminiscent of the lush green forestry of the Amazon Rainforest, although the deposits were not situated near the rainforest itself.
Another popular theory was that amazonite was named after the semi-mythical Amazon warriors of Ancient Mesopotamia, a fearsome band of all female warriors. They were reported to have adorned their shields with amazonite to increase their protection.
Amazonite Throughout History
Uses of amazonite stretch back as far as recorded human history. The ancient Sumerian/Babylonians used amazonite to craft seals as far back as 16,000 years BCE.
The ancient Egyptians held amazonite in very high esteem. Due to its composition, lapidaries have been able to carve amazonite into prayer beads, amulets, trinkets and ornamental figures. One of the more noteworthy discoveries was that of a scarab beetle ring made from amazonite found within Tutankhamen’s tomb.
Amazonite has also been associated with the Book Of The Dead, as amazonite was used to carve out tablets displaying some chapters of the now famous Egyptian funerary rites.
Given its green color, some have associated amazonite to be worn by Jewish High Priests during Biblical times, showing just how timeless the allure of amazonite truly is.
Where Is Amazonite Found?
Amazonite deposits are found primarily in the Ilmensky Mountains, 50 miles southwest of Chelyabinsk, Russia, where it occurs in granitic rocks. Other deposits can be found in the United States, Libya, China and Mongolia, with deposits being actually quite rare. We source our amazonite from Colorado.
If you could do with some extra courage in your life, check out our made to order Colorado amazonite jewelry here.