Description of Sodalite
A gorgeous mineral occurring in silica poor igneous rocks which contain other silica poor minerals and no quartz. , Sodalite’s distinctive color ranges from royal blue to light blue and white. It is often confused with lazurite, lazulite and azurite. Less common forms varieties include Hackmanite (found in Afghanistan) which is a tenebrescent violet-pink. Other forms include transparent Sodalite, which is very rare, and grayer and paler samples which sometimes fluorescent. Sodalite-bearing rocks include: nepheline syenite, trachyte, and phonolite and deposits are found in Namibia, Greenland, Russia, Brazil, Italy, and Canada (Ontario and British Columbia). Small colorless crystals are found at Monte Somma, Vesuvius and at Vico Lake, near Viterbo in Italy. Sodalite deposits in the United States are found in Arkansas and Maine.
Origin of the Name Sodalite
The name Sodalite is derived from the sodium content of the mineral and was by a Glasgow chemist, Professor Thomas Thomson. The mineral was first described after being discovered in the Ilimaussaq Alkaline Complex, Narsaq, Greenland. Technically the name refers to a group of minerals with a similar isometric structure and related chemistry, and named after the most common of these minerals, also named sodalite. The Sodalite group is a member of the feldspathoid minerals. Other members of this mineral group include: Nosean, Hayne, and Lazurite.
Other Neat Facts!
Primarily used for decorative purposes particularly as cabochons for jewelry, beads and tumbled stones. Sodalite is one of the few blue rocks used for that purpose that is still reasonably priced.
Crystal sodalite tends to be rare, but large granular masses have been found near Bancroft, Ontario. Nearly 130 tons was of the material was mined from the Bancroft deposit and shipped to the U.K to decorate Marlborough House mansion in London – the headquarters of the Commonwealth of Nations and at one time the residence of the Princess of Wales.
Close Up View of Sodalite
View our collection of beautiful sodalite specimens, perfect as display piece on your table or mantle, for your collection, or for use in spiritual or crystal healing.
Other names for sodalite include alomite, bluestone and canadian lapis.
Top image by Philippe Giabbanelli licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0. Bottom image: By The original uploader was Tillman at English Wikipedia. – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9433359.