Andesine Meaning and Properties

Andesine History

A fairly new gemstone shrouded in mystery, andesine is believed to have been discovered in the Congo near the Nyaragongo Volcano sometime in 2003. The gemstone's name comes from the Andes of South America. Andesine was originally traded without disclosure of color enhancements. Much of what was originally introduced to the gemstone market as andesine is not truly andesine and is actually enhanced labradorite, a fellow plagioclase feldspar. Andesine has a faint metallic schiller called labradorescence and exhibits a range of color known as pleochroism.

Andesine Metaphysical Properties

Andesine is so similar to labradorite, the gemstone has similar metaphysical capabilities. It's also believed andesine has abilities closely related to sunstone. Andesine is associated with the heart chakra and is used to dispel negativity while providing clarity to one's thoughts. According to metaphysical beliefs, andesine is also a grounding stone that can help ease stress. There are no zodiac signs tied to andesine.

Andesine Geological Properties

A member of the feldspar mineral group, andesine is a plagioclase with a triclinic crystal system. All plagioclase members are a combination of albite (sodium aluminum silicate) and anorthite (calcium aluminum silicate) in varying compositions. Andesine is 50-70% albite with the remaining percentage of anorthite while labradorite is reversed with 50-70% anorthite and the rest alibite. Andesine is believed to have originated from the Congo, but has also been exported from China, Mongolia, Tibet and South India. Many andesine specimens are actually artificially enhanced labradorite gemstones. The red hue is achieved through diffusion with copper.

Mineral Information Plagioclase feldspar
Chemical Composition (Na,Ca)Al1-2Si3-2O8
Color Red, green, yellow, orange, pink, multicolored
Hardness 6 to 6-1/2 (Mohs)
Specific Gravity 2.69 - 2.70
Refractive Index 1.560 - 1.568

Proper Care of Andesine

Avoid exposing andesine to extreme or prolonged heat. For this reason, boiling and cleaning methods are highly recommended against. Pressure can also cause andesine to crack so it's a good idea to remove andesine jewelry before engaging in any contact sport. Andesine jewelry should also be taken off before using harsh household cleaning agents and detergents. The most effective way to clean andesine is to use a soft, clean cloth and mild soapy water. Thoroughly dry andesine and any other settings or beads in the jewelry before storing. Store andesine away from harder materials that could cause damage to the surface of the gemstone.

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

Designing with Andesine

Andesine is a great alternative to more expensive red gemstones or can be incorporated with stones such as garnet and ruby for a monochromatic look. The varied colors of andesine available make it a versatile gemstone to have in your design inventory. Pair the pinkish-hued red stone with green gemstones on the complementary side of the color wheel without looking too Christmas-y. Andesine works well in both men's and women's jewelry designs.

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**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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