Orthoclase gemstone

What is Orthoclase gemstone?

Orthoclase is a mineral that belongs to the family of silicate minerals called feldspar. The deference between the feldspars and the other silicates is that the former contain a mixture of the following chemical elements: Potassium K, Calcium Ca and Sodium Na, in addition to the usual constituents of the quartz based minerals, such as Aluminium, Al, silicon Si and oxygen O. 
The other related crystals from this family are the attractive labradorite, moonstone, sunstone, and amazonite. Orthoclase crystal, as its name already indicates, is a member of the orthoclase feldspars, The most important feature of this class is that they contain K and Na, in contrast to Ca and Na contained in the plagioclase.
A typical orthoclase is a solid solution of KAlSi3O8 and albite NaAlSi3O8. The origin of its name is probably from the Greek name for e or transparent. The golden variation can be found on Madagascar and in Mexico. The other colours are more frequent. If of gemstone quality orthoclase resembles golden or yellow beryl, also known as heliodor
Orthoclase an important mineral for industrial applications. Amongst the other uses, it is a source material for porcelain production. Porcelain (the vitrified ceramic of white colour) is produced from a mixture of orthoclase, quartz and kaolin.

History and Introduction

Orthoclase is a rare gemstone that belongs to the feldspar group, which also includes moonstone, amazonite, spectrolite and labradorite. Therefore, orthoclase is sometimes also called "K-spar". Orthoclase gemstones are typically champagne yellow, golden yellow or greenish, though they can be other colours. The name, "orthoclase" is a Greek word meaning "straight fracture", which refers to the cleavage planes of orthoclase being at right angles to each other. Orthoclase is faceted into attractive gemstones and also has an industrial use as a scouring agent in the making of some glasses and ceramics.

Identifying Orthoclase

Orthoclase is difficult to identify from other gemstones by appearance alone. It can be distinguished from similar gemstones by its hardness, low birefringence colours and perfect cleavage.

Orthoclase: Origin and Gemstone Sources

Orthoclase is found in Madagascar, Burma (Myanmar) and Kenya.

Determining Orthoclase Gemstone Value

Orthoclase Colour

Orthoclase is often colourless or champagne-coloured, but it can also be pink, green, orange or bluish. Gem quality materials are typically champagne, golden yellow or greenish.

Orthoclase Clarity and Lustre

Orthoclase is opaque to transparent and good quality specimens are eye clean. It has a vitreous lustre. Materials that display opalescence are classed as moonstone.

Orthoclase Cut and Shape

Transparent materials are faceted and opaque materials are usually cut en cabochon.

Orthoclase Treatment

Orthoclase is not currently known to be treated or enhanced in any way.

Orthoclase Healing properties

Orthoclase is a highly beneficial crystal for reversing the declining processes in our body. Not only that, it will help you prevent the fear of getting old and make you understand that the Spirit is always staying young no matter in what condition your physical body is. 
This crystal protects the internal organs, strengthens the bones, boosts our energy, and restores our will, therefore effectively buying us some time for a quality and happy old-age life.

Orthoclase metaphysical properties

In the new age community, the pleasant and refined energies of this metaphysical semi precious crystal are associated with hope, new beginnings, better perception, and discernment. It can be useful for revealing emotional tensions. It can be used for chakra balancing and meridian activation. This stone of cooperation and group work, encourages finding novel and unconventional paths toward achieving our goals. 
Besides being useful in joint ventures, this gemstone encourages inner growth and conducting constructive actions and carefully planned agendas. Primarily associated with the solar plexus chakra, it can enhance our will and knowledge as to how to improve our relationship to the Universe and Its powers.

Properties of Orthoclase

Chemical FormulaKAlSi3O8
ColourGreen, Yellow
Hardness6 - 6.5
Crystal SystemMonoclinic
Refractive Index1.52 - 1.53
SG2.56 - 2.59
Double Refraction-.008
Cleavage2,1 - basal ; 2,1 - prismatic ; 3,1 - pinacoidal
Mineral ClassSanidine

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