Thursday, August 29, 2013

Gemstone Highlights: Unakite

What is it?

The owner of Cliptomania taught me how to remember the gemstone Unakite.  She calls it "Spinach on a Brick" which denotes its colors perfectly.  Named after where it was found, the Unaka mountains of North Carolina in the United States, Unakite is an altered granite with pink orthoclase feldspar, green epidote and colorless quartz.  Also called "epidosis," meaning growing together, Unakite is known as "epodotized granite" The feldspar colors can range from pale peach to salmon to deep coral and the epidote colors can range from spring green to olive to almost emerald-green.  The mix creates a marble effect, primarily green with striations of other colors like white and pink.  Unakite is normally cut into beads or cabochon forms.  On the Mohs scale of hardness, Unakite ranges from 6 to 7 which makes it hard enough for jewelry like necklaces, pendants and earrings.  However, its important to note that using it in rings or bracelets is not recommended because it  scratches, cracks or breaks easily.

Ancient Uses.

Unakite is considered relatively new.  The only 'ancient' uses I found reference its use in carving of ornamental items and paperweights, while the other uses were in the metaphysical and mystic areas on health and well-being.

Where does it come from?

Unakite is generally found in masses in the form of pebbles or cobbles and does not crystallize.  The United States has notable mines in South Africa, Sierra Leone, Brazil and China.

How to care for your jewelry.

Unakite is not overly porous  and avoiding contact with harsh chemicals is important.  It should also not be placed in ultrasonic cleaning equipment as they have been known to damage the gemstone.

Use of a mild soap and water with a soft bristle brush (toothbrush) is an easy way to clean unakite.  Rinse piece and pat dry with soft, lint-free cloth.  You can also clean them with a damp cloth.  If you are unsure about cleaning any of your jewelry, always consult a professional jeweler for instructions.

Product: gem154

The Mystical and Folklore.

As I mentioned above, the gemstone Unakite gets made into ornaments and jewelry, and there is a lot written about the metaphysical properties of the gemstone.  Known as a protective stone with an ability to create an atmosphere of serenity and optimism, self-assertiveness, power, and the ability to assume control.  It is also believed to help one focus on the present and deal with blockages and negativity caused by the past.  It may enhance the working of the nervous and circulatory systems.  Women have used it to treat reproductive problems and stimulate a healthy pregnancy and easier childbirth.  Considered a stone that brings one love for humanity,promoting connection and oneness.  This reunion and unconditional love corresponds to helping the holder with abandonment and separation issues.  In cases where people suffer from weight loss, there is a belief in certain cultures that unakite  can help people weight gain and aid in growth of hair and skin tissue.  In astrology, unakite enhances balance for those who are a Taurus.

At Cliptomania we pride ourselves in offering quality earrings in a variety of styles, sizes and colors.  With an easy ordering process, three shipping options and fuss free exchange and return policies, we strive to make the shopping experience a success.  Not to mention, we have informational pages like the Style Guide, Birthstone, Anniversary and Earring Care that will keep you up-to-date with trends, gifts and caring for and adjusting clip on earrings.  Our Advanced Search option lets you find earrings throughout the website according to your keyword or filter.