Lepidolite is a member of the mica group of minerals that is rich in lithium. It is also a source of rare alkali metals such as caesium and rubidium. It comes in unique colors ranging from pink to purple and with a beautiful luster.
In this article, we are going to discuss whether it’s safe to put Lepidolite in water or not. As in the case of all minerals, it’s important to know their composition to know how to take care of them properly. We will also look at the different uses of Lepidolite. Finally, we will talk about the crystals that should not be put into water.
What is Lepidolite?
Lepidolite is a rose-colored or lilac-grey mica with a chemical formula of K(Li, Al)3(Al, Si, Rb)4O10(F, OH)2. It is an affordable and readily available mineral that is great for making jewelry and ornaments.
Lepidolite was first discovered in the 18th century, and back then, it was called “Lilalite” for its lavender color. However, it was later renamed lepidolite, which comes from the Greek term “leipidos”, meaning “scale” because of its scaly appearance.
Lepidolite is usually pink, purple, and red in color but it can also be grey, yellow, or colorless. The pink hues of the mineral are not caused by lithium, as is often believed. Instead, it is the small amounts of manganese that gives the mineral its characteristic colors of pink, purple, and red.
Lepidolite is also believed to possess healing and calming benefits, for which people value the mineral immensely. It is called the “peace stone” or the “grandmother stone” due to its nurturing properties. The stone is therefore often recommended to people who suffer from anxiety or are under stress.
Can Lepidolite Get Wet?
No, Lepidolite should not be put into water because it is a soft mineral. On the Mohs Hardness scale (a measure of a mineral’s relative hardness), it has a value of 2.5 to 4. This is much lower than the threshold value of 5 that is required for a mineral to be safe in the water. If you put Lepidolite in water, it will get damaged.
Because of its softness, Lepidolite also cannot withstand high temperatures and strong household chemicals. Things like bleach and sulfuric acid can tarnish the color and luster of the mineral, possibly damaging the composition of the stone too.
What is Lepidolite Made of and Where is it Found?
Lepidolite is a lithium-rich mica. It is a phyllosilicate material that belongs to a three-part series of polylithionite, lepidolite, and trilithionite. All of these minerals share similar properties and are composed of different proportions of lithium and aluminum.
Lepidolite is a major source of lithium, which is used in rechargeable batteries, domestic appliances such as microwaves and toasters, and airplane parts.
Lepidolite is found in pegmatite bodies with other lithium-bearing minerals such as spodumene. It is also found in high-temperature quartz veins, granite, and greisens. It is found in several parts of the world such as Brazil, Canada (Bernic lake, Tanco mines, etc.), Russia (the Ural mountains), and the United States (California).
What Happens When You Put Lepidolite in Water?
If you put lepidolite in water, it can get damaged. This is because it has a hardness of 2.5-4 on the Mohs Scale, which is lower than the minimum value required for minerals to be water-safe. Immersing Lepidolite in water can make it lose its shine, tarnish its color, and erode its surface.
Its beautiful appearance of pinkish hues will probably get damaged, and in extreme cases, the mineral can also get cracked.
Lepidolite is a very soft mineral like pearl, amber, and jet. Not only is it not safe to put it in water, but there are also other precautionary steps that you need to take.
You should never store lepidolite with other jewelry because they can scratch the soft surface of the mineral. If you still need to keep the mineral with other stones, try wrapping it in a piece of cloth for extra protection.
If you wear lepidolite jewelry, you should always take it off when engaging in vigorous physical activities. Swimming, gardening, and sports are activities that can easily cause the stone to get damaged.
As discussed above, lepidolite should not be put into water. So, what’s the best way of cleaning it? Well, you can use a brush or a damp cloth to clean it. You can then cleanse its energy and charge it by putting it under sunlight (discussed below) or moonlight.
Can Lepidolite Go in Salt?
Yes, you can cleanse lepidolite using salt. But note that lepidolite should not be put under salt water because its hardness is quite low (2.5-4 on the Mohs scale), meaning that it can get damaged underwater.
But you can put the stone into salt. You can also try using brown rice. Simply fill a bowl with rice and let the stone be submerged in it overnight.
Some people also suggest using the earth to cleanse and recharge lepidolite. You simply stick it into the ground, cover it with something, and leave it there for 24 hours.
Remember that because of its softness, the stone can easily get scratched. So make sure that you never put it against hard grains or stones.
What is Lepidolite Used For?
Because of its wide range of colors and beautiful, glossy appearance, lepidolite is extensively used in jewelry and ornamentation. It is also an important source of lithium, which is used in making rechargeable batteries and electrical appliances.
Lepidolite has a glossy or pearly appearance. It usually comes in translucent and opaque varieties but can also be transparent on rare occasions. These qualities make it an excellent choice for jewelry and ornamentation. Pink and purple lepidolites are the most valued ones because they look incredibly beautiful.
As a gemstone, it is usually cut into cabochons and beads. Because of its softness, it’s best to use it only for jewelry that undergoes minimal wear and tear, such as earrings and pendants. Otherwise, it can easily get scratched or damaged.
Lepidolite is a colored gemstone that is rarely faceted. Given its softness, it is difficult to cut the mineral. Moreover, the lepidolite’s cleavage is near perfect, so attempts at faceting can break the stone along the cleavage lines.
Since lepidolite is not faceted, it is not usually used in expensive jewelry such as engagement rings. But, for people looking for something different, say slightly more boho-style, lepidolite is an excellent choice.
For ornamentation, lepidolite can be shaped into picture frames, candleholders, figurines, etc.
Can Lepidolite Go in the Sun?
Yes, lepidolite can go in the sun, but only if it’s for a short amount of time. You can leave it out for a couple of hours and your stone should be charged. But make sure not to overdo it because prolonged exposure to sunlight can tarnish the color of the stone and make it lose its shine.
There are several crystals (Rose quartz, citrine, topaz) that should never put kept out in the sun but lepidolite is not among them. To reduce the harshness of sunlight, you can place your lepidolite stone behind a window. The glass will block the UV rays, ensuring that your crystal is not harmed.
You can also try leaving the crystal out during the early morning hours when sunlight is gentle instead of keeping it in the harsh afternoon light.
What Crystals Should You Not Put in the Water?
It is important to always research for specific crystals to take care of them otherwise you may unintentionally damage them. There are a few general guidelines that you can keep in mind before jumping into specific research:
- Mohs Hardness Scale: Minerals that have a value of over 5.0 on the Mohs Hardness scale can be safely put into water. As we saw, Lepidolite has a value of 2.5 to 4, which means that it should not be put into water.
- Ending with “ites”: An interesting fact is that minerals ending with “ite” are generally not safe to be in the water. These include Calcite, Hematite, Fluorite, etc. As you can guess, Lepidolite also falls under this category.
- Iron Ores: Crystals that contain iron ore can get rusted on contact with water. Similarly, crystals containing copper also get damaged in water.
Here are some crystals that should not be put in the water:
Some of these soft crystals have a hardness of less than 4. These not only get cracks in water but can even lose density or dissolve completely.
In this article, we have looked at whether Lepidolite can go in the water or not. Lepidolite is a soft crystal that should not be put into water, and we need to take proper steps to take proper care of it. We discussed the various uses of Lepidolite, especially in jewelry. Finally, we talked about the crystals that cannot go in the water.