Friday, October 08, 2010

Crazy Cool Idocrase

Idocrase is a very interesting mineral. It also can be a very beautiful gemstone! Idocrase also goes by the name Vesuvianite, since it was first discovered on the volcano, Mount Vesuvius! It isn't very well known outside of rockhound and gem collectors circles but as more high grade material is becoming available, especially from East Africa, it is gaining a wider following. Idocrase is usually an opaque dark green. The opaque material has sometimes been used as a simulant or substitute for jade.

The really exciting stuff though, is the bright, translucent pieces! Somewhat included specimens can be cut into beautiful cabochons and cleaner pieces are facet cut. The shade of green varies from slightly yellowish-green to strongly yellowish-green. The color is reminiscent of the popular gemstone peridot.

If you are looking for a green gemstone that is a little out of the ordinary, consider idocrase. It goes well with amethyst and looks great set in silver.

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