Kyanite

A gorgeous mineral which occurs in long bladed crystals. It is sometimes polished as a decorative piece, but it is not used for jewellery often, as it is relatively brittle. Some gemmy pieces are faceted, though.

Low grade pieces are typically used for industrial purposes, primarily refractory and ceramic products.

Kyanite occurs in a few different colours, most commonly blue and black, but it can also be orange, white, or almost clear.

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Appearance, Uses and History

Kyanite is an Aluminium Silicate mineral, which often occurs as bladed crystals.

It is primarily used in refractory products and ceramics, as well as electronics, insulators, and abrasives.

Kyanite is prized by collectors for its interesting shapes and bright colours, and it has also been used for a gemstone in the past. High-quality gemmy pieces are sometimes faceted, although it is not ideal for this usage due to its perfect cleavage – it can break easily.


Locales

Kyanite is found all around the world, including Antarctica, Argentina, Bulgaria, Canada, Czechia, France, Greece, Italy, Kenya, Norway, Romania, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, and Zimbabwe.

There are some particularly gemmy specimens found in Australia, Brazil, Nepal, Tanzania, and the USA.


Mineralogy

Chemistry
Al2SiO5, an aluminium rich Silicate.
Colours and Variations
Blue, colourless, blue green, blue grey, green, black, orange.
Streak
White
Luster
Vitreous to pearly
Fracture
Splintery
Crystal habit
Often fibrous, bladed.
Mohs hardness
4.5 – 5.0 on one axis
6.5 – 7.0 perpendicular to that axis.
Specific Gravity
3.53 – 3.70
Easiest testing method
Anisotropic – its hardness will vary based on the crystallographic axis.
Common Treatments

Photos of Kyanite

Kyanite-136113
Kyanite, quartz 1
Kyanite, paragonite 1

Harvard Museum of Natural History. Kyanite. St. Gotthard, Uri, Switzerland (DerHexer) 2012-07-20
Kyanite crystals
Dysten (Cyanit) - Ticino (Tessin), Szwajcaria

Disthène1 (=cyanite) (Brésil)
DisthèneNépal
Black kyanite

Hazards and Warnings

Contains Aluminium – however, this is unlikely to be a hazard unless powdered and ingested.

Almost all rocks, minerals (and, frankly, almost all other substances on earth) can produce toxic dust when cutting, which can cause serious respiratory conditions including silicosis.

When cutting or polishing rocks, minerals, shells, etc, all work should be done wet to minimise the dust, and a suitable respirator or extraction system should be used.


Translations

Arabic:

  • الكيانيت

Hindi:

Portuguese:

  • cianita

Bengali:

Indonesian:

Punjabi:

English:

Italian:

  • cianite

Russian:

  • кианит

French:

  • cyanite

Japanese:

  • カイヤナイト

Spanish:

  • cianita

German:

  • Zyanit

Korean:

Thai:

Gujurati:

Mandarin and Traditional Chinese:

  • 蓝晶石

Urdu:


Further Reading / External Links