Amazonite: Stone of Hope
Amazonite mineral rock, also known as the Amazon Stone, is a relatively rare semi-opaque blue green mineral found in various parts of the world, including Russia, North and South America, Australia, and Namibia. It was first described as a distinct mineral in the 18th century, although archaeological finds from the ancient civilisations of Egypt and Mesopotamia show it has been mined for at least two thousand years.
Amazonite can form the largest crystals of any mineral. Treasured for its exquisite colour range and glossy, glassy lustre, the stone has been used throughout history for making jewellery and ornamental pieces, carving important texts, and as a decorative material for building facades. Amazonite ranges in colour from pale green through blue green and turquoise to yellow green, sometimes clouded with white, and great colour variation can exist within a single stone, providing endless variety and texture to its appearance. Due to its colour range, Amazonite has often been confused with turquoise and jade
The name ‘Amazonite’ was coined only in 1847 by the German mineralogist, August Breithaupt, but the rock had been known by various names before that, including the Stone of Courage and the Stone of Truth. The term may have been chosen because deposits of the mineral had been found in Brazil and its green colour was redolent of the Amazon rainforest and of the river itself, although no Amazonite deposits have been found in either the rainforest or Amazon River basin. Another possibility is that it was named after the legendary Amazon warrior women of Ancient Mesopotamia, who reputedly decorated their shields with Amazonite stones to increase their protection and used the power of the stones to cure sickness and heal wounds.
We know that Amazonite was highly valued by the Ancient Egyptians, who used it to make beautiful jewellery and artefacts. An Amazonite scarab ring was found amongst Tutankhamun’s treasures, and parts of the Ancient Egyptian funerary text, the Book of the Dead, were carved on slabs of Amazonite. Today, Amazonite is known as the Stone of Hope and its enduring beauty as a gemstone, and soothing, relaxing qualities, make it as popular as it ever has been.