Gemstone Guide: Sodalite
Over the past few months, we’ve been highlighting a few of our favorite gemstones, including amethyst, larimer, red jasper, amber, and turquoise. Today we’re going to talk about a lesser-known stone, but one that’s just as unique and beautiful: sodalite!
What is Sodalite?
No, it’s not a diet cola, wise guy. Sodalite is an incredibly beautiful mineral that has a really unique deep, rich, blue color. The name comes from its high sodium content, which is also where it gets its blue color! It is sometimes called a “poor man’s lapis” because it has a blue color very similar to lapis, but is generally much less expensive. That doesn’t make sodalite any less beautiful, however and there’s really nothing like it’s amazing blue color!
You’ll also hear it referred to as Princess Blue because of its color as well as because it was Princess Patricia of Connaught’s favorite stone! She even chose to use it to decorate the Marlborough House in England!
Where is Sodalite Found?
Sodalite was discovered in the mountains of Greenland all the way back in 1806, but wasn’t found in significant quantity until the late 1800’s in northern Canada. Today, unlike larimar and other rare gemstones found in only a few specific locations in the entire world, it’s mined in Asia, North America, South America, and Africa!
Hackmanite: Sodalite’s Color-Changing Cousin
Hackmanite is an unusual form of sodalite found in Greenland, Quebec, Afghanistan, and Burma. It has a similar chemical composition but tiny chemical differences cause hackmanite to actually change color when exposed to sunlight. Hackmanite will turn from purple to white or vice versa, depending on its chemical composition! This color-changing property is known as tenebrescence. Think of it like a natural mood ring!
Because of its rarity, hackmanite isn’t commonly used in jewelry.
While most sodalite has an amazing blue color, occasionally you’ll see pieces that have yellow, green, pink, or even white hues– due to slightly different chemical compositions. However, when it comes to jewelry, most pieces will be made from rich blue stones.
Spiritual Properties of Sodalite
The Poet’s Stone
Since it was discovered in the early 1800’s, many people have come to believe that sodalite has spiritual properties and healing powers. It has even become known as the poet’s stone, as legend has it that wearing sodalite jewelry can foster creativity and improved communications skills.
Because of its blue color, it is considered a supplier of water energy in Feng Shui. By placing it in your home, you may help maintain balanced energy and help you reach your goals!
Depending on who you ask, sodalite is sometimes considered the birthstone for Virgo or Sagittarius. Why the conflicting opinions? I’m not sure, but who wouldn’t want such a beautiful stone to be their birthstone?
Uses of Sodalite in Jewelry
The most beautiful, flawless blue pieces of sodalite are often polished and used for beads and cabochons, often for use in necklaces or bracelets. Stones with more veins of white is more frequently used as inlays in rings or other pieces of jewelry because each piece will be uniquely beautiful!
Caring for Sodalite
Like many beautiful minerals, sodalite requires a bit of care to look its best. Take care to avoid scratching or cracking a piece of sodalite because it rates a 5.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, just a bit softer than quartz. And of course, only polish your sodalite using a soft clean rag and rinse in water– no soap or chemicals needed!
We absolutely love sodalite jewelry! That’s why we offer custom sodalite inlays on many of our pieces. If you see something you like, just contact us and let us know that you’d like a sodalite inlay.
To inspire you, here are a few of our favorite pieces that would look amazing with a beautiful blue inlay!
Beautiful Fan Necklace
This incredible fan necklace is just beautiful. It looks great with any stone inlay, but personally I think it’d look best with a beautiful blue sodalite inlay. The contoured panels form a sleek and smooth look that fans out and lays smoothly across the collarbone– an incredibly flattering style for all women. This petite and lightweight necklace has a smooth, seamless, and timeless elegance!
This piece also features .950 sterling silver and a secure tongue and box closure.
I just love our troika necklace! This stunning piece features 3 central panels surrounded by smaller detail work. The .950 silver makes any stone (including sodalite) really pop! What a great piece!
Aubade Beaded Necklace
Our aubade beaded necklace features elaborate, textured discs with a deco floral motif. It’s truly the epitome of Taxco artisan excellence. The silver scrollwork is enhanced by an uneven oxidized finish. While it’s one of our most popular pieces of amber jewelry, I think it would look awesome with a custom inlay, too!
Interested in Sodalite Jewelry?
If you’ve been inspired to add a new piece to your jewelry collection, we’re here to help! Start by browsing our best-selling pieces and get in touch with us if you see something you like. Many of our pieces can be customized to include sodalite inlays that you’ll love!
Photo Credits: Rob Lavinsky at iRocks.com, Kevinzim, Wikipedia, Deidre Woolard, Stephanie Clifford, Kevin Walsh, David Stanley