Unakite: Characteristics And Properties
Unakite is a granite that is generally altered with green epidote, pink orthoclase feldspar, and sometimes colorless quartz.
If you would like to know the characteristics and properties of unakite, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will talk about the properties of this granite composite.
What Is Unakite?
You may come across cobbles and pebbles that are in actual fact unakite. You would be most likely to find them on the shores of Lake Superior where they would have gotten from glacial drift. They would be among all the other beach rocks.
Elsewhere in the United States, unakite can also be found as far down south as in the state of Virginia. When that happens, it is because the unakite has been washed down to the river valleys of Virginia all the way from the Blue Ridge Mountains.
But unakite can also be found in other countries outside North America, most notably South African and Sierra Leone in Africa; China in Asia; and Brazil in South America; or, even, Switzerland in Europe.
Although unakite is usually composed of epidote and feldspar, some granite without feldspar gets labeled unakite. But, it should be more accurately be labeled epidosite, instead.
Unakite is named about the Unaka Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee.
Sometimes, unakite is also known as epidote or epidotized granite.
The appearance of this gemstone is usually mottled and it displays shades of pink and green. But no two unakite stones look the same.
What Can Unakite Be Used For?
Because of its good quality, unakite has many different uses as a semiprecious stone. More often than not, unakite is used in jewelry, either as cabochons or as beads. But it is also used in animal carvings, eggs, and spheres.
Many unakite-based jewelry items can be purchased online and at physical stores. Among the most popular jewelry items are unakite earrings, unakite bracelets, unakite pendants, unakite rings, and unakite necklaces. Although unakite unique blending of colors is not to everyone’s taste, there is a global audience for them.
In order to use this stone to create jewelry, it is necessary to give it a good polish first.
What Are the Properties of Unakite?
Here are the scientific properties of the Unakite.
This gemstone has a Mohs hardness of 6.5. It has a monoclinic crystal structure. One of the main properties of Unakite is that it does not crystallize.
It is a peach feldspar and, thus, a sister gemstone to Moonstone.
Although they are mostly found in the form of pebbles, they are also sometimes found in the form of boulders, near Lake Michigan and other of the Great Lakes in North America.
Apart from the names unakite or epidotized granite, sometimes this gemstone is also known as Granodiorite.
Granodiorite is similar to granite but its composition includes more plagioclase feldspar than orthoclase feldspar. Its name is a combination of the words “granite” and “diorite”. The root “gran-“ comes from the Latin word for grain (“granum”).
This gemstone gets on of its names from the Greek work “epidosis”, which translates into English roughly as “growing together”. Because this gemstone is mixed with so many materials, this is the perfect name for it.
I collect crystals and gemstones, and I’ve been collecting them since I was a little girl. They give me positive energy and strength. They make me feel connected to the earth. I cherish them. – Isabel Lucas
The biggest concentrations of this stone are in Plymouth Rock and the Sierra Nevada mountains in the United States of America. An important historical usage of Granodiorite was between the first and the middle of the third centuries AD where quantities of it were quarried and then transported to Rome where it was used in big projects, including Hadrian’s Villa and the Pantheon. Another ancient use of the granodiorite was in the making of the Rosetta Stone.
Apart from containing potassium feldspar, Granodiorite also contains large amounts of calcium (Ca) and sodium (Na), while also being rich in quartz, and rich plagioclase; and some small amounts of muscovite mica.