Amphibolite Meaning and Properties

Amphibolite History

Amphibolite--sometimes also referred to as hornblende--is a metamorphic rock that contains amphibole minerals (hence its name) and feldspars. This dark and heavy rock comes in both banded and crystal forms and can contain a range of other gemstones and materials.

In antiquity, amphibolite was carved into sculpture. Modernly, this durable material is commonly used in cemetery markers, commemorative tables and public art. Depending on its specific mineralogical makeup, amphibolite can be rough and pitted or appear shiny and be smooth to the touch. Harder than limestone and heavier than granite, amphibolite is quarried, planed and polished for use in exterior building cladding or internal d├ęcor as countertops and flooring.

Amphibolite is heat, pressure and wear resistant. These resistances are why it is frequently crushed and laid down as a base during roadway construction.

Amphibolite Metaphysical Properties

Amphibolite is named after its own ambiguous nature. Even as hornblende, it combines duality: "horn" for its color and "blenden" (German for "deceiver," due to its similarity to metal ores).

Amphibolite's dual nature makes it an ideal stone for those working on balancing their own dual natures: peaceful warriors, two-spirit embodiments, etc. It is also believed to shield and insulate from abrasiveness of human interaction and release the need for judgementalism.

Amphibolite Geological Properties

This common metamorphic rock is found around the world, with variable chemical makeups from deposit to deposit. It originally begins as an igneous rock such as basalt, although all original materials cannot be determined due to the metamorphic process. During this process, the base material is exposed to water-borne minerals, which combine to form the new rock.

Amphibolite (or hornblende) can also be found as inclusions in moss agate, dendritic agate and zoisite. Amphibolite is commonly found in areas where mountains have formed. Deposits have been found on every continent except Antarctica.

Mineral Information May, but not always will, contain amphibole, andalusite, biotite, calcite, epidote, garnet, hornblade, kyanite, magnetite, olivine, plagioclase, pyroxene, staurolite and/or wollastonite
Chemical Composition (Ca,Na)2-3(Mg,Fe+2 to +3,Al)5, Si6(Al,Si)2O22(OH,F)2 (composition can vary)
Color Coarse-grained black with brown, green and grey
Hardness 6 to 7 (Mohs)
Specific Gravity 2.5
Refractive Index 0.019 to 1.701 (indices increase with iron content)

Proper Care of Amphibolite

Amphibolite has no cleaning restrictions. Its hardness and toughness mean it can damage other materials it is strung with, so always store amphibolite in a soft bag.

Designing with Amphibolite

This dark material can be used in every kind of jewelry. Its durability and wear-resistance make it ideal for men's jewelry, and for pieces such as anklets, bracelets and rings (where jewelry can be knocked about). Some amphibolite shows small cavities native to the stone, giving a mixed texture that adds subtle visual interest to jewelry made with it.

Amphibolite's hardness and durability mean it can damage softer materials for decades before facing any wear itself, so be sure to knot or space between this stone and others. Not recommended for stringing with pearls, malachite, turquoise or other soft stones.

View design inspirations featuring amphibolite in the Gallery of Designs

**Please note that all metaphysical or healing properties listed are collected from various sources. This information is offered as a service and not meant to treat medical conditions. Fire Mountain Gems and Beads® does not guarantee the validity of any of these statements.

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