Where is Amazonite Stone Found?

Amazonite is a green variety of microcline feldspar. It is a popular semiprecious stone used in jewelry and ornamental objects. But where is this striking green mineral originally found?

The name amazonite comes from the Amazon River in Brazil, where some of the first deposits of the stone were discovered in the 1800s. However, most amazonite today does not actually come from South America. The major sources of amazonite are located in Russia, Africa, Madagascar, and the United States.

Russia

For over a century, Russia has been the world’s leading source of amazonite. Deposits are found in many parts of Russia, but the most significant amazonite mines are located in the Ural Mountains and in the Voronezh region in western Russia.

The amazonite from the Ural Mountains is found in granite pegmatites. These are formations where crystals can grow very large. Russian amazonite is prized for its deep blue-green colors. The Voronezh mines contain paler amazonite in smaller crystals, but still very high quality.

Africa and Madagascar

Good quality amazonite is also found in parts of Africa. Deposits have been discovered in South Africa, Namibia, Ethiopia and the Central African Republic.

In Madagascar, amazonite is mined from pegmatites near Manjaka. This amazonite is often a more greenish or turquoise shade. The amazonite found on the African continent and Madagascar is generally smaller in crystal size than the Russian stones.

United States

In the United States, the main source of amazonite is Colorado. Amazonite was first discovered in Colorado in 1873 and mining began shortly thereafter. The most significant amazonite deposits are found in the Pike’s Peak region near Colorado Springs.

Amazonite occurs in the granite pegmatites of the Pikes Peak Batholith and other locations nearby. The Amazonite from Colorado often has white albite feldspar mixed in, giving it a distinctive two-tone appearance. High quality Colorado amazonite is treasured by collectors for its unique color patterns.

Lesser deposits of amazonite have also been found in Connecticut, Virginia, North Carolina and California. But the amazonite mined in the United States comes almost entirely from Colorado.

In summary, while the Amazon River lent its name to this gemstone, the vast majority of amazonite on the market today comes from Russia and Colorado. The unique green feldspar remains popular in jewelry and crafts, just as it was during the Victorian era. Advances in mining technology allow this striking mineral to be obtained from sources around the world.