Zoisite is a member of the epidote mineral group (along with tanzanite and thulite) and was first called “saualpite,” after its type locality. It was first described in 1805 by Abraham Gottlob Werner. It is found in pegmatitic and metamorphic rock, and either in massive or crystal form. It may be pink, brown, yellow, green, blue to violet, gray or colorless in coloration, and is striated and strikingly attractive. It has a conchoidal or uneven fracture and a vitreous luster. Zoisite exhibits a prismatic, orthorhombic crystal system, a specific gravity of 3.10 to 3.38, a white or colorless streak and a Mohs scale hardness of 6 to 7. It is known to be brittle. Zoisite is often carved or made into gemstones, depending on its diaphaneity. The transparent individuals lend themselves toward gemstone making and the opaque toward carving. Some sources of this mineral include Kenya, Tanzania, Switzerland, Norway, Pakistan, India, Austria, and the United States (the state of Washington).
In mystical lore, zoisite is regarded as a crystal that fosters trust in the universe and in the overall goodness of life. Wearing zoisite, keeping it near and/or meditating with it on a regular basis is also believed to release fears, dispel laziness, awaken latent psychic abilities while allowing the logical mind to relax, and increase energy and depth of happiness. This stone is said to essentially take negative energy and turn it into positive energy. In its proximity, its keepers may also notice an increase in self love, confidence and acceptance, and consequently develop a willingness to embrace his or her own uniqueness as opposed to simply following the crowd. In addition, zoisite’s influence is claimed to promote creativity, so if you feel like you have lost your “creative spark” and need to rediscover what you enjoy doing in life, this crystal might be the ideal companion for you. Zoisite resonates primarily with the heart chakra, but it is associated with the sacral and root chakras, as well. It is considered to be a “slow acting” stone, so wearing it for extended periods of time will yield the best result.
In the realm of physical healing, zoisite is said to strengthen the heart and immune system, increase vitality, and provide special healing benefits for the adrenal glands. Crystal healers have claimed success in using it to reduce inflammation, detoxify the body, treat respiratory disease, help with reactive depression, increase fertility and address illness of the testicles and ovaries. Additionally, zoisite is often used to aid in recovery after severe illness or trauma has occurred. Clearly, this crystal offers a wonderfully unique set of healing benefits and would make a valuable addition to anyone’s collection. If you are lucky enough to procure a specimen containing ruby (also known as “anyolite”), you may enjoy all of these benefits and more.