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amazonite

a gemstone variety of green microcline (q.v.), a feldspar mineral. Frequently confused with jade, amazonstone varies in colour from yellow-green to blue-green and may also exhibit fine white streaks; it is usually opaque and therefore is cut en cabochon (with a rounded and convex polished surface). Although its name is derived from the Amazon River, no deposits have been found there. Amazonstone has been mined in Minas Gerais, Brazil; Ontario and Quebec, Canada; Baveno, Italy; and the Ural Mountains of Russia. The Pikes Peak district of Colorado, U.S., became the most important source of amazonstone after 1876; when samples were unveiled at the Centennial Exhibition, their impressive purity and size eventually forced competing Russian mineral dealers out of business.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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