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Appearance, Uses and History
Unakite gains its name from the Unakas mountains of North Carolina, USA.
Unakite is considered a semi precious stone, and is often used for jewellery making, particularly beads and cabochons. However, it is rarely found in commercial high street jewellery.
Lapidary artists may also carve eggs, spheres, and other shapes – a good polish shows off the contrasting colours very nicely. It is abundant, attractive, and relatively cheap as a material.
Unakite is rarely used as an architectural stone. It is used on the front steps of the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC and as floor tiles in another area of the museum.
Unakite is found in Australia, Brazil, China, Sierra Leone, South Africa, and the USA.
Some material without any feldspar is referred to as epidosite.
Photos of Unakite
Hazards and Warnings
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.
Mandarin and Traditional Chinese: