Andalusite is a striking stone that is known for the changing colors it brings to fine jewelry design. Each stone can exhibit a play of color through shades of yellow, olive green, and reddish brown. Andalusite’s brightness changes when viewed from different angles and lighting conditions too.
“I always describe andalusite as being hazel,” says Bario Neal Sales Director Ariel Yaroslawitz. “Some of the stones can be more green, some more brown. Sometimes they even have hints of pink in them, when they’re more on the brown side. My favorite are the ones where you have more green on the interior and then the stone fades into a dark brown on the edges.”
Andalusite is an under-the-radar gemstone that clients are drawn to for its neutral appearance and color that changes depending on the light. It’s tough enough for everyday wear. The green and brown coloring doesn’t necessarily read as strongly earthy as you might think, Ariel says. Depending on the surrounding gemstones in a cluster design or the metal of the setting, it can be very neutral. Andalusites are always faceted, so you get sparkle too. If you love cluster rings, combine it with champagne diamonds or a raw diamond to underscore an organic feel.
“Each stone is unique and different so when we are working with clients we like to show them several stones so they can see the variations they have to pick from,” Ariel says. “People might gravitate to green or brown, depending on the look they are going for.”
Andalusite is at home with warmer tones, so setting the stone in yellow gold or rose gold works well. Ariel recalls a custom designed cluster ring with a pear shaped andalusite at the center, surrounded by a garnet, smoky quartz, and champagne diamonds, that resulted in a l andscape of fall colors.
The stone was named by Jean-Claude Delamétherie, a French mineralogist, in 1798, who thought what he was looking at came from the Andalusia region of Spain. (He was wrong. It was from the central part of the country.) Bario Neal uses reclaimed andalusites that are repurposed from old stock or other jewelry, which means no industrial processes are required and we avoid further human or environmental impact. New andalusites come from a collective of small-scale artisanal miners in Madagascar, who also cut the stones. The group is working to improve mining practices for the benefit of people and the planet. They set aside a percentage of their profits from sales for community development and bettering environmental st andards around their operations. In addition, Bario Neal’s supplier works with the miners, with an eye to economic security, to ensure they get a fair market value for their gems.
Our reclaimed andalusites are repurposed from old stock or other jewelry, which diminishes human and environmental impact. Though most andalusites currently come from Brazil, where public pressure will hopefully force stronger regulation of harmful large-scale mining practices, we source new stones from a collective of small-scale artisanal miners in Madagascar who mine and cut them.
Color: Shades of yellow, olive green, and reddish-brown.
Treatment: Andalusite is rarely treated.
Mohs hardness scale: 6-1/2 to 7-1/2 (Diamonds are a 10; the International Gem Society rates it “Very Good” for wearability.)
Sizes: We typically don’t have very large andalusites and the smallest andalusites we work with are 3 mm in a round cut. Marquise cut is most plentiful, at a size around 3 mm x 5 mm.
Design notes:According to IGS, oval, marquise, and emerald cuts tend to show one color near the center and a second, usually darker color, at the ends. Square and round cuts usually blend the colors into a mosaic.
Price: Bario Neal collection rings with andalusite start at $863.
5 Andalusite Rings by Bario Neal
• We love big, bold rings, but our small stone rings prove you don’t need a 1-carat gem to make a jewelry statement. Perfect example: Our Nikko Mini Andalusite Marquise Ring (which is a mini version of our Nikko Diamond Marquise Ring) features a horizontally prong set marquise cut andalusite that’s just the right size.
• Though Ariel has worked with clients on many cluster rings with andalusite, she points out that the gemstone is a st andalone st andout too — like in our Lash Andalusite Pear Ring with our super-popular prong and bezel setting design. You can also see the solo glory in our Nikko Andalusite Pear Ring, with a horizontally prong set andalusite. If you’re looking for a white diamond solitaire alternative for an engagement ring but want color that’s more neutral than bright, andalusite will give you a grounded earthy look.
• The marquise cut andalusite in our Lash Cluster Triad Andalusite Marquise Ring adds a richness to the center of a trio of ethically sourced gemstones between a half-moon white sapphire from Sri Lanka and a champagne diamond from Australia. “I love the andalusite being flanked by a champagne diamond and a white sapphire, and the neutralness of that palette,” Ariel says. “The ring is just unique with the different shapes, and having the darker center stone and moving out to lighter stones on either side is really nice.”
• Our Charta Cluster Sapphire with Andalusite Ring features a pear cut andalusite with an emerald cut yellow sapphire and an oval cut white sapphire (both from Sri Lanka). “The andalusite feeds off the colors of the darker yellow sapphire and the white sapphire,” Ariel says.
The many colors of andalusite mean the gemstone has a broad appeal. If you’re intrigued, you might want to start with a pair of our Lash Andalusite Studs! And in addition to our collection rings, we’ve worked with many clients on beautiful custom designed rings using the stone, such as the Custom 7x5mm Pear Cut Andalusite Cluster Ring. That ring shows andalusite surrounded by deeper tones, in a warm rose gold setting. Browse our andalusite collection online and see how the rings pair with other bands and work in stacks. Learn more about andalusite or get started on a custom designed ring by contacting our team today, or making an appointment to visit our Philadelphia or New York City showrooms.