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Dumortierite Properties Facts and Photos

inclusions of dumortierite in the mineral pyrophyllite. In a museum display cabinet

Dumortierite Meaning and Properties

The mineral dumortierite was first identified in 1881 by a French mineralogist who named it in honour of palaeontologist Eugene Dumortier [1803 - 1873].

Although best known as a blue coloured stone dumortierite can also be violet, pink or brown.

Blue dumortierite is sometimes mistaken for the mineral sodalite.  Stones have also been used to imitate lapis lazuli.  Lapis is much rarer hence considerably more expensive but it's really not difficult to tell one from the other.

Dumortierite is found in metamorphic rocks rich in aluminium.  The finest grades can be exceptionally beautiful and often feature a mass of long slender crystals embedded within the mineral quartz.

Dumortierite crystals have a vitreous lustre, are generally quite small and may exhibit pleochroism with colours varying from red to blue to violet.

Commercial grade stones used for decorative purposes are quartz heavily included with dumortierite.

Dumortierite can be found in several countries around the world.  A relatively hard stone, it grades 8 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness.

dumortierite in two quartz crystals

When used for its healing properties dumortierite is said to be beneficial for patience and slowing down aggravated and irritable energies.  It can also be used to calm excitable behaviour and stubbornness.

Dumortierite stimulates communication between the body's various systems and can help with the expression of spiritual ideas and the comprehension of hidden meanings.

It helps to resolve opposing points of view and when placed on the throat chakra can encourage open communication and the desire to share advice.

large dumortierite mineral in a museum display cabinet

How to Pronounce Dumortierite

We've heard some interesting ways to pronounce the mineral dumortierite.  We recently heard it pronounced du~more~cherite.  This got us thinking whether the way we have always said it was in fact correct.

With dumortierite being named after French palaeontologist Eugène Dumortier, we believe the correct way of saying the name is dumor~ti~air~rite.  This seems logical considering the surname of this person would have been pronounced dumor~ti-air. 

When minerals are named after a person or place the suffix 'ite' is often used.  Examples include labrador~ite, unak~ite, mooka~ite and English~ite.

The  suffix 'ite' was first used by ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle [384 BC - 322 BC] for the mineral hematite (Greek; haematitis) which he described as "dried and condensed blood".

The mineral sugilite is often pronounced with a soft g as in 'genius' but should be pronounced with a hard g as in 'gun'.  This is because it was named after a Japanese professor whose name was 'Sugi', said with a hard g.

The pronunciation of dumortierite on Mindat which is the world's largest mineralogical database is probably the way most people say it.  We're still not convinced it's correct.  Surely if something is named after a person, it should be pronounced as similar as possible to their name.

Here's the recording.  Scroll down to 'Pronunciation of Dumortierite'.  

   

Article Pictures

Our photograph at the top of the page is dumortierite in pyrophyllite.  Housed in London's Natural History Museum, it comes from Namibia in south west Africa  (photo Stone Mania).

The second photo courtesy of Stan Celestian features inclusions of dumortierite in quartz.  The crystals are from Bahia in Brazil.  The dumortierite in our final photo is on display in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Washington D.C.

All pictures are clickable and redirect to the original non-compressed image.

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