Crystals Rocks Minerals to Tempt and Tantalise You

Sodalite Mineral Properties Facts and Photos


the mineral sodalite



1. About the Mineral Sodalite
2. Sodalite Popular with Royalty
3. Healing Properties of Sodalite
4. More Sodalite Facts
5. Article Photos
6. Our Collection of Sodalite
7. More Information




About the Mineral Sodalite

The mineral sodalite is mostly known as a royal blue coloured stone that's often mistaken for lapis lazuli.  Sodalite however is never included with pyrite but is often present in lapis lazuli along with several other minerals.

The first notable reference to sodalite dates back to 1806 when a large quantity was sent during the Napoleonic war from Greenland to Denmark.  At some point during the journey it caught the attention of the British who had the stone examined by Glasgow chemist Thomas Thomson.  It was subsequently named by him after its high sodium content.  Sodalite remained relatively unknown until 1891 when huge deposits were discovered in Bancroft Ontario and in 1893 several pieces went on display at an exposition in Chicago.

Bancroft Ontario, Ice River British Columbia, Litchfield in Maine USA and Brazil are home to the largest commercial deposits of sodalite.  The stone can also be found in smaller quantities in Greenland, Russia, Montana and India.

Sodalite from Greenland has a very different appearance and is mainly grey or yellow but other vibrant colours including blue, white, pink, green and red are also known. Some varieties fluoresce under UV light whilst others are tenebrescent which means they change colour when exposed to sunlight.  Although the exceptional grade of some of this material would make it suitable for polishing this rarely takes place because the stones are far too rare.

The varieties of sodalite which 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 and 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.



two fluorescent varieties of the mineral sodalite
Rare sodalite stones from Greenland under UV light



Sodalite Stone Popular with Royalty

It's widely reported in various articles 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 and subsequently had one hundred and thirty tons of stone shipped to the UK to decorate their home. Although we have found shipping records from Ontario which confirm the shipment took place, we cannot find any other documentation to confirm that sodalite was ever used in Marlborough House. Not long after their visit the quarry where the stone was mined became known as the Princess Sodalite Quarry.

The Princess of Wales subsequently gave her husband an exquisite letter opener with a sodalite handle and gold blade which also featured several other gemstones.  There was also a crown on the top of the handle. A note in her records shows that Queen Mary as she later became, also had a pair of sodalite urns made to order whilst she was still Princess of Wales.



sodalite tumbled stones with inclusions of orange calcite


Sodalite tumbled stones



Healing Properties of Sodalite

When used for its healing properties sodalite is a stone of endurance that can maximise energy even during the most challenging situations.  It can be used to increase confidence and enhance creativity which has a balancing effect on emotions and the mental state.  Sodalite helps to alleviate fear, brings clarity of mind and offers psychic protection.  When used during meditation it deepens the state and enhances the overall 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 also cleanse the surrounding environment. 

For those who work with people in groups sodalite brings harmony and solidarity and 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 are preventing you from reaching your full potential.        



More Sodalite Facts

On Mohs scale of mineral hardness sodalite grades 5½ to 6.  When used as a gemstone it's generally cut as a cabochon and takes on a high polish.  It occurs mostly as a navy blue coloured stone patterned with inclusions of white or orange calcite but is also known to occur in other colours.  Sodalite has no real use in industry and is mainly used as a lapidary material.  Deposits can be found in Brazil, Bolivia, Afghanistan, Canada, Namibia, Greenland, Portugal, Romania, Burma, Russia and the USA.



Article Photos

The sodalite in the photo at the of our article which is courtesy of James St. John comes from Brazil. The sodalite tumbled stones included with orange calcite are from our own collection.  Both photos are clickable and redirect to the original full size image. 



Our Collection of Sodalite


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