According to Brazilian lore, riverside Amazonian tribes offered green stones as gifts to visitors in the name of good wishes and positive diplomacy. This legend may have led to the naming of certain green microcline feldspar ‘amazonite’. In turn, it was often thought that the Amazon River was the first source of amazonite stone before geologists discovered that the river had, in fact, never contained amazonite deposits. Others believe that the gemstone was named after the striking green of the Amazon’s waters. Crystal enthusiasts and those interested in healing properties of stones also point to amazonite beads’ alleged power to inspire courage in the heart of its wearer, which conjures images of the legendary matriarchal Amazonian warriors. Occurring in limited quantity, it was actually discovered in Russia’s Ilmen mountain range, and since 1876 has mainly been found in Colorado, Russia and various African countries.
Amazonite is well known for its amazing light green colour, and is usually polished into rounded cabochons or faceted to highlight its natural iridescence. The amazonite stones’ unique surface composition of distinctive sea green hues punctuated with white striations is now well recognized, but has historically caused some mistaken association with jade and turquoise. By most present day accounts, it was probably jade that the Amazonians gave their visitors. Regardless, amazonite is thought to soothe the nervous system, calm the emotions, regulate the body’s calcium levels, and also help to control muscle spasms. It is said that the darker the amazonite, the more powerful its metaphysical properties are. Like jade, it’s breadth of available tones allows for immense versatility in accessory design, and possesses a timeless look that transcends seasonal fashion.