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crystals rocks minerals

Sodalite Properties, Facts and Photos

the mineral sodalite

1. What is Sodalite?
2. Sodalite Geological Properties
3. Sodalite Healing Properties
4. Sodalite Royal Stone
5. Article Pictures
6. Shop Sodalite

What is Sodalite?

Although best known for being a navy blue coloured mineral sodalite also occurs in several other colours.

Stones often feature white or orange inclusions which is likely to be calcite or feldspar.  The orange colour could also come from some type of staining or oxidation.

Sodalite has no real use in industry and is mainly used for decorative purposes and for its healing properties.

Sodalite is often mistaken for lapis lazuli and is sometimes used to imitate it.  It's quite easy to tell one from the other because lapis lazuli is considerably heavier.

Another obvious difference is you'll never see inclusions of pyrite in sodalite.

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.

Whilst in tranist it caught the attention of the British who had it examined by Scottish chemist Thomas Thomson.  He subsequently named the newly discovered mineral sodalite.  The name relates to 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 and Russia.

Although often reported to be a relatively new find, we have seen articles that 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.  This pre-Columbian city sits on Lake Titicaca in Bolivia.  After being analysed the beads were confirmed to be sodalite.

two fluorescent varieties of the mineral sodalite

Sodalite Geological Properties

Sodalite from Greenland can have 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.  Minerals that are tenebrescent change colour when exposed to sunlight.

Although the exceptional grade of this type of sodalite makes it suitable for polishing, it rarely is because the stone is far too rare.

The variety of sodalite that exhibits the reversible optical phenomenon of tenebrescence is known as hackmanite.

A deposit of exceptionally fine grade sodalite has recently been discovered in Quebec in Canada.  A few polished stones from this locality are beginning to appear on the market.

On Mohs scale of mineral hardness sodalite grades 5.5 to 6.  Being opaque, when used as a gemstone it's cut as a cabochon and can be well polished.

sodalite tumbled stones with inclusions of orange calcite

Sodalite Healing Properties

Sodalite is a stone of endurance that 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 which can enhance 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.  

For those who work with people in groups, sodalite brings harmony and solidarity.  It encourages trust and friendship between those who are present.

Although the healing properties of sodalite are powerful, this stone works slowly and gently.

Sodalite enhances self esteem, removes pessimistic thoughts and replaces negative feelings with positive energy.  Over time it can help you to reach your full potential.

Sodalite a Royal Stone

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 of material shipped to the UK. 

The stone is reported to have been used to decorate their home which was Marlborough House.  Although we have found documentation to confirm the shipment took place, we can't find anything to confirm sodalite was ever used in Marlborough House.

Not long after their visit to Canada the deposit where sodalite 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 crystals it also had a crown at the top of the handle.

A note from her records shows that whilst still Princess of Wales, Queen Mary also had a pair of urns made from sodalite.

Article Pictures

The sodalite in the picture at the top of our article which comes from Brazil is courtesy of James St.John. 

The exceptionally rare stones in our second picture are from Greenland.  They're being displayed under UV light.

The sodalite tumbled stones come from our collection.  Pictures 1 and 3 are clickable and redirect to the original photos. 

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