Andalusite: Cognac Cocktail
Andalusite is named after Andalusia, the province of Spain where it
was first discovered.
Andalusite is pleochroic, different colors in different directions.
When cutting most pleochroic gemstones, such as iolite and tanzanite,
the trick is to minimize the pleochroism and maximize the single
best color. Andalusite is the opposite: cutters try to orient the
gem to get a pleasing mix of colors: orangey brown and a yellowish
green or gold.
When they succeed, andalusite looks unlike any other gemstones, with
patterns of color dancing around the facets. The best color play is
seen in fancy shapes, particularly rectangular cushion shapes: in
round cuts, the colors blend together.
Andalusite is mined in Brazil and Sri Lanka.
In the past andalusite was sometimes called "poor man's alexandrite"
because it offers color play at a low price. But andalusite really
doesn't look much like alexandrite, which changes from green to red
in different light. It is not really a color change s tone at all
because the colors are there at the same time.
That should not diminish its appeal, especially for those who like
earth tones. Andalusite offers a lot of impact for a relatively low
price. Because of its color and its durability, it is especially
appropriate for men's jewelry.