Its name is derived from the Amazon River, although no deposits have been found there. Amazonite should be cleaned in lukewarm soapy water, never with a steamer or ultrasonic cleaner. Abrasives, acids and other chemicals can damage amazonite, as can scratches and sharp blows.
The ancient Egyptians and other Middle Eastern cultures made items from amazonite. It also has been found among artifacts of Pre-Columbian Central and South America. The most sought-after amazonite has historically come from Russia, where deposits are found in granite along the Ilmen Mountains. Europeans familiar with the Russian stone confused it with another green stone they saw in South America's Amazon Basin, which later turned out to be a form of nephrite jade. However, the name "Amazon stone," then "amazonite," had already become attached to the green feldspar. The Pike's Peak district of Colorado, U.S.A., became the most important source of amazonite after 1876. When examples of the stone were unveiled at the Centennial Exhibition, their impressive purity and size eventually put competing Russian mineral vendors out of business. As mines get played out in one part of the world, and colorful new sources are discovered, the favorites continue to shift from region to region!
Amazonite is believed to have many healing characteristics, including improving your skin, marriage, clarity of thought and social interaction. It is also credited with alleviating muscle spasms, stress and exhaustion. The gemstone is found mainly in the U.S.A., Russia, Peru, Madagascar, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Australia.
Our gemstone beads have well drilled holes, so they're easy to use with your favorite stringing and assembly methods for earrings, bracelets and necklaces. Visit our Jewelry Education Station for a variety of tips and techniques for stringing, and for making earrings.
Stringing cable (beading wire) is the most popular stringing material for turning gemstone beads into professional-quality handmade necklaces. It’s easy to use: you don’t need to thread a needle, and crimp beads replace knotting. Clear or colorful stretchy cord is popular for stringing gemstone bracelets, because no clasp is needed.
A more traditional stringing material for necklaces and bracelets, is silk cord (paired with bead tips). Some styles of silk cord even have a needle built right into the end of the cord! With expensive gemstone beads, silk cord is often knotted between each bead, so if the strand breaks after years of loving wear, only a single bead rolls away.
For handmade earrings, add your gemstone beads to head pins or eye pins, and pair with charms or fun links before adding your favorite style of ear wire or other earring finding.