Sodalite Properties Facts and Photos
1. About the Mineral Sodalite
2. Once Popular with Royalty
3. Healing Properties
4. More Facts
5. Article Photos
6. Our Collection of Sodalite
About the Mineral Sodalite
The mineral sodalite is best known as a royal blue coloured stone. Although sometimes mistaken for lapis lazuli it's much lighter in weight and is never included with pyrite. Another significant difference is sodalite is a mineral, lapis lazuli is a rock.
The first notable reference to sodalite was in 1806 during the Napoleonic war. It was identified when a large quantity was sent from Greenland to Denmark.
During the journey it caught the attention of the British who had it examined by Scottish chemist Thomas Thomson. He subsequently named the mineral sodalite because of its high sodium content.
Sodalite remained relatively unknown until 1891 when huge deposits were discovered in Bancroft Ontario. In 1893 several stones from this region went on display at The World's Columbian exposition in Chicago.
Bancroft Ontario, Ice River British Columbia, Litchfield in Maine USA and Brazil are home to the largest commercial deposits.
Sodalite can also be found in smaller quantities in Greenland, Russia, Montana, India, Bolivia, Afghanistan, Namibia, Portugal, Romania, Burma, Russia and Greenland.
Sodalite from Greenland has a very different appearance and is mainly grey or yellow. Other vibrant colours including blue, white, pink, green and red are also known.
Some varieties fluoresce under UV light whilst others are tenebrescent. This means they change colour when exposed to sunlight. Although the exceptional grade of this sodalite would make it suitable for polishing, it rarely is because the stone is far too rare.
The varieties that exhibit the reversible optical phenomenon of tenebrescence are known as hackmanite. More recently a deposit with exceptionally fine grade material was discovered in Quebec in Canada. A few polished stones from this locality are now beginning to appear on the market.
Although believed to have been a relatively new find, we have seen articles which state sodalite was being used thousands of years ago by ancient civilizations in South America.
In the 1870's a German geologist found blue beads along with quartz and obsidian arrowheads in the ruins of Tiahuanaco, a pre-Columbian city on Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. After being analysed the beads were confirmed to be sodalite.
Sodalite Once Popular with Royalty
It's widely reported that in 1901 during a visit to Canada, the Prince and Princess of Wales who later became King George V and Queen Mary fell in love with sodalite. They subsequently had one hundred and thirty tons shipped to the UK.
It's reported this was used to decorate their home which was Marlborough House. Although we have found shipping records from Ontario which confirm the shipment took place, we cant find any documentation to confirm that sodalite was ever used in Marlborough House.
Not long after their visit to Canada, the quarry where the stone was mined became known as the Princess Sodalite Quarry.
The Princess of Wales subsequently gave the future King George V a letter opener with a sodalite handle and gold blade. As well as featuring other gemstones it had a crown on the top of the handle.
A note in her records shows Queen Mary also had a pair of sodalite urns made to order whilst still Princess of Wales.
Metaphysical Healing Properties
When used for its metaphysical properties sodalite is a stone of endurance. It can be used to maximise energy even during the most challenging situations.
It increases confidence and enhances creativity. Sodalite helps alleviate fear, brings clarity of mind and offers psychic protection. When used during meditation it deepens the state and enhances the experience.
Sodalite drives towards finding the truth. It makes it possible for you to remain true to yourself and to fight for what you believe in. Stones can be placed close to computers to block electro magnetic stress and will cleanse the surrounding environment.
For those who work with people in groups sodalite brings harmony and solidarity. It encourages trust and friendship between those who are present.
Although a powerful healer sodalite works gently and slowly. It enhances self esteem and can remove negative feelings that prevent you from reaching your full potential.
A Few More Facts
On Mohs scale of mineral hardness sodalite grades 5.5 to 6. When used as a gemstone it's generally cut as a cabochon and takes on a high polish.
It's mostly navy blue but is often included with white or orange calcite. It can also be found other colours.
Sodalite has no real use in industry and is mainly used for decorative purposes.
The sodalite in the photo at the top of our article is courtesy of James St. John. It comes from Brazil. The rare stones in our second photo are from Greenland. They're being displayed under UV light.
The tumbled stones included with orange calcite are from our collection. Photos 1 and 3 are clickable and redirect to the original non-compressed photo.