The name of this precious stone comes from the Greek word "Kyanos" meaning deep blue and really speaks worlds about the typical blue colour this gem has. In addition to its basic colour Kyanite can be green, yellow, orange, gray, or white and even colourless, although it is the rarest case. It can be said, however, that in its sapphire blue colour this stone is maybe most attractive and pleasant to the eye. Because of its bright and intense colours, Kyanite is often mistakenly considered a sapphire.
There are two very important features that makes Kyanite easily identifiable. One is its dual-hardness: if cut parallel along their line of crystal, its hardness is 4 to 4.5 Moh`s, but if you cut diagonally, it then reaches level 6 or even 7 on Moh`s scale. Another feature of the spots are small streams and lines that are formed on the surface of the stone and are usually white although they may be another colour too.
When Kyanite appears as a translucent stone it is usually faceted. If it is bright and transparent, it is treated en cabochon. But in addition to these two most common forms, Kyanite can occur in oval and pear-shaped form and they are usually heavier stones. Among the rarer but finer and more expensive forms include circular, trillion, baguette and heart shape cut.
This relatively young stone in the jewellery industry is very often used as a great substitute for more expensive sapphire. Unfortunately, the use of Kyanite in jewellery is limited because of its cleavage, as well as dual hardness. Given that its hardness depends on the way of cutting, Kyanite is best used in making earrings and pendants, and looks gorgeous when framed in silver or white gold.
Among the largest sources of Kyanite worldwide include those in Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, and Tanzania where recently it was discovered as a form of orange Kyanite, then in Burma, Kenya, Nepal, India, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland, USA and Zimbabwe. For Nepal Kyanite it is said to be a rival in beauty to blue sapphires from Madagascar and Ceylon.
There is a belief that the sword of St. Archangel Michael was made of Kyanite.
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