Andalusite was named by Jean- Claude Delamétherie and Wernerin 1798. It iwas named after its mined area “Andalusia” in Spain. The first person to analyze andalusite was Werner and Delamétherie. The irony in analyzes was said that the specimens was actually mined at El Cardoso and was mistaken to be Andalusia. Andalusite is a metamorphic material formed mainly due to low pressure and temperature variation from high to low. Andalusite was said to be a polymorph of kyanite and silimanite based on the same chemistry but with a different crystal structure. Andalusite was even defined years ago before it was analyzed by Werner and Delamétherie and was termed as chiastolite because of its carbonaceous or clay material arranged in symmetrical shapes which form a cross like formation.
Andalusite is pleochroic, which means it shows different colors in different directions. Andalusite is a challenging stone for gem cutters as it has to be cut in such a way that the different play of colors are shown in every material. In the past andalusite’s where also called as poor man’s alexandrite which was believed that this stone has features of alexandrite color change from green to red but the fact is that it not a really color changing stone.
The basic chemical composition of andalusite is Al2Sio5 with the basic chemicals like aluminium, silicon and oxygen. Andalusite gemstones have a wonderful play of colors like red, green, yellow and rare blue sheen when appeared creates a wonderful play of colors. This play of colors is due to above explained pleochroism. Andalusite is a hard mineral which makes it suitable for jewelry. The Journal of Mineral’s and Materials Characterization and Engineering state that andalusite’s can be used for metallurgical purposes due to the properties of high temperature volume stability, mechanical strength, thermal shock resistance and creep resistance. Andalusite represents earth in feng shui and is used to generate harmony and motivate energy. Andalusite has a hardness of 7 - 7.5 on the Moh’s Scale, with a specific gravity of 3.18 - 0.04. The refractive index is 1.634 - 1.643.
Andalusite is used by healers to enhance intellectual capability, problem solving and to improve mental clarity.