Earth Treasures: Atlantisite
By Chisom Ibemere
Atlantisite also commonly referred to as Tasmanite is a relatively new mineral that was discovered in the early 1990s by a gemologist named Archie Campbell. It’s name was given after the mythological city of Atlantis due to its unique and vibrant colors.
It is found exclusively in Tasmania, Australia and formed as a result of the alteration of serpentinite, a rock composed primarily of serpentine minerals.
Atlantisite is primarily valued as a gemstone due to its beautiful green and purple colors. It is used in jewelry, such as pendants, earrings, and rings.
Some people also believe that it possesses metaphysical properties, promoting relaxation, harmony, and emotional healing.
Atlantisite is a combination of two unique minerals, serpentine and stichtite. Serpentine gives its green color, while stichtite adds the purple coloration.
It has a vitreous to greasy luster and can exhibit interesting patterns and swirls. Atlantisite is relatively soft with a Mohs hardness of 2.5-4, making it suitable for carving and lapidary work.
Due to its limited occurrence in Tasmania, Atlantisite is considered relatively rare and valuable in the gemstone market. The demand for Atlantisite is primarily driven by collectors and individuals interested in unique and exotic gemstones.
Its global value can fluctuate depending on market trends, but its scarcity and captivating colors often contribute to its desirability and price.