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Sodalite Gemstones

What is Sodalite?

Sodalite is a dark blue to blue-violet feldspathoid mineral that is often variegated or veined with white and gray. The most desirable specimens are translucent with a bright, uniform blue to blue violet color.

Sodalite Gemstones:

Sodalite is often tumbled, cut into cabochons and sometimes used in carvings. It is considered a semiprecious stone. It is rather soft and is not considered to be an excellent stone for rings or other uses where it might be subject to impact and wear. Sodalite is sometimes confused with or used as a substitute for the much more expensive lapis lazuli, however sodalite usually does not have the gold pyrite inclusions that are characteristic of lapis.

Tumbled Sodalite:

Sodalite has a hardness of between 5.5 and 6.0 and should be tumbled with other stones of similar hardness. If it is tumbled with quartz, jasper or agates it will overcut because it is much softer. Sodalite can be challenging to polish and is recommended as a tumbling material for those who have some experience.

More About Sodalite:

Sodalite is a feldspathoid mineral most often found in igneous rocks. Some of these igneous rocks contain large amounts of sodalite. A few deposits have been quarried and the rock cut into dimension stone for use as a colorful blue facing stone for buildings.

Sodalite rock
Sodalite grains in nepheline syenite, an igneous rock sometimes used as a facing stone. Image © Geology.com.

 Rocks and Minerals Commonly Tumbled
Lapis Lazuli
Petrified Wood
Rose Quartz
Smoky Quartz
Tiger's Eye
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Sodalite Gemstone
A tumble-polished sodalite gemstone with typical white veining. Image © iStockphoto / Arpad Benedek.

Sodalite rough
Rough sodalite with typical blue veining. Image © iStockphoto / Melissa Carroll.

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