It was first discovered in 1806 during the Napoleonic war when a large quantity was sent to Denmark from Greenland. It caught the attention of the British who had it examined by Glasgow Chemist Thomas Thomson who subsequently named it after its high sodium content. Sodalite did not become well known until 1891 when Frank Dawson Adams discovered huge deposits in Bancroft, Ontario. In 1893 Ontario displayed several rough and carved specimens at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
Bancroft Ontario, Litchfield, Maine, Ice River British Columbia and Brazil are where the largest and most commercial deposits of Sodalite can be found. It is also found in smaller quantities in Greenland, Russia, Montana and India.
In 1905 the Prince and Princess of Wales visited Canada and fell in love with Sodalite. They quickly arranged to have some shipped to England and not long afterwards the quarry where it was mined became known as the Princess Sodalite Quarry.
Sodalite has been used for decorative purposes for thousands of years and it can be traced back to ancient South American civilizations. In the 1870's Alfons Stubel (a German geologist and the first person to climb the Tungurahua volcano) found blue beads along with Quartz and Obsidian arrowheads in the ruins of Tiahuanaco, a pre-Columbian city on Lake Titicaca in Bolivia and these beads were later confirmed to be being Sodalite.
In crystal healing, Sodalite is said to assist you on a journey to discover the true nature of yourself and the limitless power you have to create your own life. It can help you to see your real potential and to trust your own instinctive knowledge. It can also help you to more easily recognize the choices that are correct for you and will give you the strength to choose them. Wearing this gemstone provides great endurance and energy even during the most challenging schedules, it can increase confidence and enhance creativity and can also have a balancing effect on emotions and the mental state. Sodalite alleviates fear, brings clarity of mind and is excellent for psychic protection.
It is graded 5 to 5.6 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness.
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