Saturday, June 5, 2010

Bluebird (Azurite-Cuprite)

Gemstone :
Bluebird

Birthstone Month :
Bluebird is not associated with any particular birthstone month.

Zodiac :
Bluebird is not associated with any particular zodiac sign.

Chemical Symbol :
Azurite - Cu3(Co3)2(OH)2
Cuprite - CuO2

Chemical Make-up :
Bluebird is made of a combination of Azurite and Cuprite. Both gemstones are made up of basic copper carbonate minerals

History & Lore :
There is not 100% agreement regarding the exact origins of the name Azurite, but the two most widely accepted opinions are that the word Azurite is derived from either the Arabic word azul, or the Persian word lazhward, both of which translate to the color blue.

The name Cuprite is derived from the Latin word 'cuprum', meaning copper. It has also previously been known as “Ruby copper” by miners.

Azurite helps to relieve pain caused by rheumatism and skin issues. In addition to this, Azurite promotes wisdom, increases psychic awareness / ability by unblocking mental blocks, and dissipating negativity. Azurite alleviates anger and soothes and calms the nerves, as well as being believed to help eyesight. Azurite is associated with the Third Eye and Throat Chakras and considered an aid to meditation.

Cuprite stimulates the first Chakra providing increased vitality and energy, and at the same time creating a balancing effect through the entire energetic system. Cuprite is also believed to have positive effects on willpower, security, sexuality, mortality, confidence, and masculine energy. In addition to this, Cuprite is also believed to reduce worries
that one has no control, over and can make the wearer more aware of his / her surroundings.

Physically Bluebird (Azurite-Cuprite) is believed to be an aid to healing problems of the heart, blood imbalances, kidneys, bladder, skeletal system, and muscle tissue. It has also been used in the treatment of water retention as well as to treat addictions such as alcoholism.

Availability :
Bluebird gemstones are somewhat rare and are highly sought-after, particularly amongst mineral collectors. Azurite crystal demand will soon likely outstrip supply. Price point is currently low to moderate.

Sources :
There are known deposits of Bluebird in Australia, China, France, Greece, Mexico, Namibia, Russia (Ural Mountains), Sardinia, and the United States.

Evaluation :
Bluebird is rated at 3.5 – 4 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness, meaning that this gemstone is best suited to brooches, earrings and pendants, although it is often set in rings. Special care should be taken when wearing Bluebird because it scratches relatively easily.

Bluebird exhibits the blue tones of Azurite with the deep red tones of Cuprite, creating a wonderful mix of colors. There are occasionally traces of green Malachite and white Calcite also found in Bluebird. Azurite is generally predominantly dark blue with lighter blue streaks, whereas Cuprite is a deep red, often with shades of brown or carmine. This contrast in coloration creates truly memorable jewelry pieces.

Common Cuts :
Bluebird is most commonly fashioned into cabochons, beads, and decorative ornaments.

Routine Enhancements :
Bluebird is sometimes coated with clear, colorless wax in order to improve the overall durability and appearance of the gemstone.

Care & Cleaning :
Being a soft gemstone, the best method of cleaning Bluebird is with a dry cloth, followed by a rinsing in warm water (no detergent & definitely no acids). Avoid both ultrasonic and steam cleaning devices.

When storing Bluebird jewelry, pay particular care to keep it away from other harder jewelry / gemstones that may cause scratches on the softer Bluebird gemstone.

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