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Andalusite: The Unknown Star

Who ever heard of an andalusite gemstone? This article provides a description of its amazing beauty, diverse and changeable personality and a resource for viewing it and other similar semi-precious gemstones.

Andalusite is a beautiful semi-precious gemstone with a diverse and changeable personality. It is often used in art objects and jewelry. Andalusite was first discovered in Andalucia, Southern Spain from which it gets its name.

There are some good reasons for its artistic popularity. Andalusite is known for its pleochroism. Pleochroic minerals reflect different colors resulting from the absorption of different wavelengths of light traveling through the crystal from different directions. Mother Nature produces andalusite in brown, green, red, yellow, greenish-brown and brownish-green.† Other gemstones that share pleochroic characteristic include carletonite, elbaite, iolite, kunzite, tanzanite and zoisite.†

Asterism is another light effect that occurs in some gemstones. Some andalusites benefit from this phenomenon. The Greek word aster means star. When some crystal gemstones are formed, minute needle-like mineral deposits form a star or cross shape in the gemstone. This variety of andalusite is called chiastolite and contains the dark mineral strips of carbon or clay, which form an X or cross. These andalusite gemstones are sometimes used in the creation of inspirational items and jewelry. Check out to see a magnificent multi-gemstone Rosary featuring andalusite. Star Sapphires, star rubies and star rose quartz are all the result of asterism.

Another gemstone effect that is similar to asterism is called catís eyes. It is caused by the same inclusion of minute mineral crystals imbedded in gemstones and reflecting light. However, with the catís eye affect the imbedded mineral shimmers from top to bottom. Andalusite is one of the most common catís eye stones. The catís eye effect is also known as the chatayancy, which comes from the French word for cat (chat Ė pronouncedFind Article, shot).

Relating cats to gemstones is an ancient trend that we still enjoy today. Tiger eye gemstone has been popular since ancient times and just as andalusite has its particular beauty expressed in terms of cats. You can see the two gemstones elegantly combined at

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Janet K. Nelson has done research and written articles on subjects that range from the cultural to the technical. She is an author noted for integrating information and providing a fresh, clear and whole-picture perspective on her subjects. She has written articles, manuals and perspectives for marketing, cultural, media and distribution organizations. Ms. Nelson has a double BA degree in Music and Speech Communications and a Masters Degree in Business Administration. More information is available via

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