Andalusite is named after Andalusia, the province of Spain where it was first discovered.
Andalusite is a common regional metamorphic mineral (changes in chemical composition) which forms under low pressure with moderate to high temperatures.   It was called Lapis Crucifer in ancient texts.   The minerals Kyanite and Sillimanite are polymorphs (occur in two or more crystal forms possessing different atomic structure) of Andalusite, each occurring under different temperature/pressure regimes and are rarely found in the same rock.   Because of this the three minerals are useful in identifing the pressure/temperature paths of the 'host' rock.
Andalusite is pleochroic (shows different colors when viewed from different directions).   When cutting Andalusite, as opposed to Iolite or Tanzanite, cutters try to orient the gem to get a pleasing mix of color.   When they succeed, Andalusite looks unlike any other gemstone, with patterns of color dancing around the facets.   The best color play is seen in fancy shapes, particularly rectangular cushion shapes.   In round cuts, the colors blend together.    Faceted Andalusite stones give a play of red, green, yellow and gold colors that resemble a muted form of irridescence.
Andalusite is mined primarily in Brazil and Sri Lanka.
In the past Andalusite has been called "poor man's Alexandrite" but it does not actually resemble Alexandrite, which changes from green to red in different light.   In fact, Andalusite is not a color-changing stone.
For those who like earth tones and want durability, Andalusite offers plenty of impact at a relatively low price.
GB Jewelers, Inc.
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Warrenton, OR 97146

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