The sparkly Lepidolite, also called lithia mica, is a lithium-rich pink to purple mica mineral. In very few cases it can be yellow or colorless. The term “lepidolite” comes from the Greek word “lepidos,” meaning “scale.” Lepidolite is a beautiful mineral, yet fragile. While some forms are hard enough to be carved and tumbled, most of it crumbles very easily. Pink tourmaline crystals are sometimes embedded in Lepidolite.
Lepidolite is one of the major sources of the rare metals rubidium and caesium. In fact, Lepidolite led to the discovery on rubidium element in 1861, when Robert Bunsen and Gustav Kirchhoff extracted 150 kg of lepidolite and obtained a few grams of rubidium for examination.
Since Lepidolites contain lithium, it is sometimes wrongly assumed that lithium is responsible for the pink colors that are so distinctive of this mineral. The pink, purple, and red hues are in fact caused by tiny quantities of manganese.
Lepidolite has been historically used as a source of lithium extraction, production of glass and certain types of enamel. Most lepidolites used in jewelry have a quartz base, as lepidolite lacks the hardness to be processed in pure form. It can be found in Canada, Brazil, Madagascar, Japan, Russia, Sweden, US and Western Australia.
Lepidolite can only develop in geochemical settings with high lithium concentrations. Because these geochemical conditions are uncommon, lepidolite is a rare mineral. During the crystallization of a subterranean magma, the lithium ion is generally one of the last ions to form minerals. The residual fluids of magma crystallization grow more enriched with lithium as other ions are depleted. There may eventually be a high enough temperature during the last phases of crystallization to form small lithium minerals, however this process doesn’t occur often.
Symbolism: Relaxation, reconciliation, peace, spirituality, luck, protection, anti-nightmare, and love.
It helps relieve the stress of everyday life by calming the body and mind. Anger, hatred, and other negative emotions are said to be soothed by lepidolite. A pink tourmaline embedded in lepidolite can also promote love and calm any negative emotions that may upset relationships. Lepidolite symbolizes reconciliation.
It is believed that it also attracts good luck. Placing some lepidolite near your headboard will promote peaceful sleep, free of nightmares.
Pagans often use lepidolite for rituals, as its calming properties and sometimes vibrant purple color promote spirituality. Psychic awareness can be enhanced with lepidolite, according to some.