, , , , , , , , , , ,

phosphosiderite1Chilean phosphosiderite beads.  Items for sale at http://www.stonesnsilver.com

Today’s stone has caught my attention off and on for a while now, and it is for the person who wants something a little different.  When I first saw phosphosiderite, I thought it wasn’t real because of its strange orchid color.  The long name describes its composition (Fe3+PO4·2H2O), due to phosphorous and iron (sidero- is Greek for iron).

The classic specimen is pale lavender with yellow veins, but it can also be in reds, pinks, and clear.  At 3.5 to 4 Mohs, it should be treated with care, but can be worn as cabochons in jewelry just like its cousin turquoise.  Since its discovery in 1890, phosphosiderite has been found in Germany, the US, Portugal, Peru, Chile and Argentina.

phosphosiderite2Rough phosphosiderite from Chile.  Image by http://www.chileangems.com/

Known as “The stone of healing and hope,” phosphosiderite is supposed to give happiness and a sense of peace to its wearer.  I think of phosphosiderite as one of those interesting “Gee Whiz” minerals, and have been trying to come up with a neat design to feature the pale purple pebbles.