Meaning and Properties


Prehnite was officially named in 1788 after a Dutch colonel named Hendrik von (or van) Prehn. Prehn--a naturalist and mineral collector--was given credit for discovering the stone in 1774, at the Cape of Good Hope in modern South Africa.

This stone has been given a number of other names over the years, including adelite, chiltonite, chrysolite of sage, coupholite, Karoo stone, grape jade and more.

Metaphysical Properties

Prehnite is considered a "stone of dreaming"; it is believed to increase the power of the dream state, strengthen lucid dreaming and promote communication with other planes of existence. It is also considered a "stone of prophecy," with long use by indigenous peoples of South Africa.

Although not a birthstone, prehnite is affiliated with the zodiac sign Libra. It is often associated with the third eye chakra.

Geological Properties

Prehnite forms in the veins and cavities of volcanic rock, often basalts, but also occurring in granites. This stone is usually translucent, yet rarely transparent or clear. Cat's eye formations within prehnite are possible, but rare. It is a rather singular gemstone, with no near relatives, although many are visually similar enough to cause confusion. Prehnite has been mistaken for jade, serpentine, chrysoprase and other stones.

Prehnite can be found in South Africa, Australia, Canada, Mali, Morocco, Namibia and a variety of small deposits across Europe and the United States. A distinctive pink variety is found among the basalt deposits in the US state of Michigan, on the Keweenaw Peninsula, containing copper and chlorite inclusions.

Mineral Information Calcium alumosilicate
Chemical Composition Ca2Al2Si3O10(OH)2
Color Usually muted yellow-green; also colorless, gray, yellow, white, pink, orange, blue
Hardness 6 to 6-1/2 (Mohs)
Specific Gravity 2.8 - 2.95
Refractive Index 1.611 - 1.669

Proper Care of Prehnite

Prehnite can lose some of its color over time when exposed to light and air. Therefore, store this stone in a cool, dark place using an opaque container. This stone is also brittle and cleaves easily, so it needs to be stored inside a padded envelope or box.

To learn more about prehnite and other gemstones, order your copy of Walter Schumann's revised and expanded edition of Gemstones of the World.

Designing with Prehnite

The muted apple-green color of prehnite is beautiful with gold, yet really shines in contrast to silver. To really accent the high-contrast color play, use prehnite with pink coral. For a subtler look, pair with browns such as smoky quartz, petrified wood or wooden agate. Fresh, springtime jewelry can be made by stringing prehnite with cultured freshwater pearls or white moonstone, while lush summer styles can draw on mixing prehnite with new "jade," chrysoprase, green aventurine, zoisite and other green stones.

Due to its brittleness and high cleavage, prehnite is best used in earrings, necklaces, pendants and other jewelry forms which are safe from sudden impacts. For strung designs, bead caps or knotting between beads is recommended.

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