Unakite is a lesser-known gemstone that is a bit of an odd one in that it belongs to no family and is basically a mixture of Epidote, Quartz and Feldspar.  This gives way to its mottled colouring of moss greens, earthy oranges and salmon pinks. Its whimsical combination of colours and solid structure combine to make a great stone for distinctive jewellery. We just love the undeniable uniqueness of Unakite!

Appearance

Unakite is sometimes referred to as “Epidotised Granite” or “Grandodiorite” and is usually made up by a combination of green Epidote, clear Quartz and pink Orthoclase Feldspar. Not all Unakite contains Feldspar and specimens that don’t are called “Episodite”. Whilst dominantly green, the pink/orange mottled pattern running throughout makes this stone a fine example of Mother Nature’s best work.

Found

Since being first discovered in the late 1800s, Unakite has served many purposes. Not only has it become a staple in jewellery-making and crystal healing but has been used as an architectural and decorative stone, e.g., on the main terrace of the National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian Institution) in Washington, D.C. Crushed stone made from Unakite has been used for road base, drainage stone, unpaved road surfacing, fill, and many other uses. A good quality Unakite is considered a semiprecious stone and will take a good polish to be used as beads or cabochons and other lapidary work such as eggs, spheres and animal carvings.

History

Unakite is a relatively newly discovered gemstone and does not have the rich history of many other gemstones.  Unakite was named after the Unaka range of the Great Smoky region in the Blue Ridge province of eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina by M Bradley in 1874, who called it "Unakyte, an epidotic rock". 

Uses

Since being first discovered in the late 1800s, Unakite has served many purposes. Not only has it become a staple in jewellery-making and crystal healing but has been used as an architectural and decorative stonee.g., on the main terrace of the National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian Institution) in Washington, D.C. Crushed stone made from Unakite has been used for road base, drainage stone, unpaved road surfacing, fill, and many other uses. A good quality Unakite is considered a semiprecious stone and will take a good polish to be used as beads or cabochons and other lapidary work such as eggs, spheres and animal carvings. 

Physical

Unakite is a metamorphic rock that forms when granite (an igneous rock) is altered by hydrothermal metamorphism. During metamorphism, plagioclase in the granite is replaced by Epidote. The dominant green Epidote is the metasomatic alteration product of plagioclase Feldspar. Unakite has a rating of 6 to 7 on the MOHs scale.

Metaphysical

Unakite is believed to bring unity and balance to all areas of the owner’s life. It is thought to help release elements in one’s life that inhibit and stunt growth whilst stimulating self-awareness. It is said to help ensure a safe pregnancy and birth, although we recommend seeing a consultant first!