Mineral Class: Feldspathoids
Crystal System: Cubic
Hardness: 5.5 - 6
Luster: Greasy, Waxy
Colors: Blue, White, Gray, Black, Yellow
Source: Brazil, Canada, France, Greenland, Italy, Myanmar, Romania, Russia, and USA
Sodalite is a dark blue Tectosilicate mineral, widely used as a gemstone. Most Sodalite occurs as an opaque dark blue but it also occurs as a transparent to translucent blue. It was discovered in 1806 in Narsaq, Greenland. Sodalite gets its name for the high sodium content in the stone, and is considered a feldspathoid, within mineralogy. It is most known for its blue coloration, but it is also found as grey, yellow, green or even pink in rare occurrences. It is often referred to as the poor man's Lapis, for its resemblance but much lower cost than Lapis Lazuli. High-quality Sodalite is used as a gemstone, a sculptural material, and an architectural stone. The people of the Caral culture traded for sodalite from the Collao altiplano. Sodalite was also traded at Lukurmata. Sodalite gained notoriety in the 1800’s during a royal visit to Bancroft, Canada by Princess Margaret of England. The princess fell in love with the mineral and chose it as interior decoration for the "Marlborough House". For this reason, Sodalite from that Canadian area is sometimes called Princess Blue.