The Story of Petalite Gemstones


Consumer Information

What color is it?: Generally a pastel yellow as shown above, ranging to pink and colorless.

What is the story behind this gemstone?: This is a very unique gemstone that offers some beautiful pastel colors. It is rather difficult to find so if you see one in a store or at a gem show don’t hesitate to buy it. You may not see it again for quite a while. And be prepared to see mainly small stones. It rarely occurs in large crystals. The specimen above weighs 2.26 carats and is considered a rather large petalite.

Can I wear it everyday?: Yes, for a necklace. But it is rather brittle so don’t try to wear it in a ring. It will be very hard to replace if you break it.

Is it expensive?: It can be. About the same as a nice quality pink tourmaline.

Is it a birthstone?: No.

What do I need to know before going shopping?: Call ahead. Few jewelers will normally carry this rare gemstone in their inventories. Best bet may be to visit your local gem show. This may be a stone that only a lapidary or gem dealer will carry. But if at all possible…ask your local independent retail jeweler to find a petalite for you. This will be the only way you will know that you are getting the real thing.

General Information

Source: Australia, Brazil and Sweden and the main suppliers

Chemical: (LiNa)(AlSiO4O10) lithium sodium aluminum silicate

Formation: In igneous rocks, often in conjunction with spodumene (kunzite) due to lithium content in each

Crystal System: Monoclinic

Unusual Properties:¬†None. But it will turn a flame red…if you have nothing else to do but put this rare gemstone in an open fire.

Gemological Information

RI: 1.502 – 1.518

Birefringence: .016

Optic Character: B +

Specific Gravity: 2.40

Hardness: 6.5

Transparency: TP – TL in gem quality faceted stones. May be opaque in massive formations.

Special Identifying Properties and Tests: None

Synthetics: None.

Imitations: May be confused with some feldspars and/or glass.

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