Microcline Gemstone: Properties, Meanings, Value & More

microcline gemstoneMicrocline (pronounced MY-kroh-klyne) is a common, but not so well-known feldspar. It’s often used as a semi-precious gemstone under the names amazonite, perthite, and some of its other variations — all with their own unique appearances!

Is microcline rare or common? It’s actually one of the most common feldspar minerals, occurring in igneous rocks like granite, syenite, and granodiorite. 

A number of feldspar minerals are rich in potassium (K), making them K-feldspars. Is microcline the same as K-feldspar? Yes! Microcline, orthoclase, adularia, and sanidine are all different K-rich minerals within the feldspar family!

What is microcline used for and where can you find it today? Learn all there is to know about the unique and versatile mineral in our Microcline Gemstone Guide! 

microcline gemstoneImage credit: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0

About Microcline Stone

Microcline gets its name from Greek μικρός (mikron) meaning “little” and κλίνειν (klinein) meaning “to incline”. The name references the slight deviation from 90° of microcline’s intersecting cleavages.

Although microcline isn’t technically an official zodiac stone, it’s believed to have a special association to Libras in astrology. The amazonite variety is also an alternate birthstone for December

You might be surprised to learn that you probably have microcline in your home and don’t even know it! Many builders use granite in their interior and exterior designs — especially for countertops. For those that are unfamiliar with granite, it’s a common, coarse-grained, hard igneous rock consisting mainly of quartz, mica, or microcline!

Like other alkali feldspars, microcline is also commonly used in glassmaking and ceramics. 

But what does microcline look like?

Microcline Specifications & Characteristics

Microcline is a potassium aluminum silicate with a chemical formula of K(AlSi3O8).

A form of alkali feldspar, microcline colors vary widely among its variations, which is why you’ll note such a wide range of hues in its mineral properties — but more on the different types of microcline in a bit.

Microcline is mostly found as small crystals within plutonic igneous rocks; however, larger crystals can be found in pegmatites. In fact, microcline is known to form the biggest crystals of any mineral. Additionally, triclinic feldspars like microcline often twin (two crystals intergrown symmetrically), so they’re often sold in pairs. 

Here’s an overview of microcline’s mineral data:

  • Mineral family: Feldspar group

  • Mohs hardness: 6 to 6.5 

  • Color: White, gray, grayish-yellow, yellow, tan, pink, bluish-green, green

  • Crystal structure: Triclinic

  • Luster: Vitreous

  • Transparency: Translucent to opaque

  • Refractive index: 1.52 to 1.53 

  • Density: 2.54 to 2.57

  • Cleavage: Perfect {001}; Good {010}

  • Fracture: Conchoidal to uneven

  • Streak: White

  • Luminescence: Fluorescent - Green in LW-UV, blue to violet-red in MW-UV, and red to bluish-white to violet-red in SW-UV

  • Pleochroism: None

Microcline also shares the same chemical composition as orthoclase. However, in terms of orthoclase vs. microcline, there are a couple of key differences. 

For one, orthoclase is a high-temperature monoclinic polymorph of k-spar with a partially ordered structure. Conversely, microcline is a medium-low temperature triclinic polymorph of k-spar with a highly ordered structure. 

As promised, let’s meet some of microcline’s many varieties! 

microcline gemstonePictured: Amazonite

Types of Microcline

You may not have heard of microcline but probably know some of its siblings. Here are some varieties of microcline gemstones you might recognize:


Amazonite is a beautiful green to bluish microcline variety. It mainly comes from the Pike’s Peak and Crystal Peak areas of Colorado, USA.


Chesterlite is a white to beige minor variety of microcline only found in Pennsylvania, USA. 

Ferruginous Microcline

This rare microcline variety is rich in iron and appears in red, reddish-brown, or pinkish-red. It’s believed to come from Michigan, USA. 


Hyalophane is a transparent, colorless, barium-rich variety. It originally came from Switzerland and has also been found in Australia, Bosnia, Germany, Japan, and the USA.


Perthite isn’t so much a variety of microcline but an intergrowth of albite or oligoclase within microcline (or occasionally within orthoclase). It was originally discovered in Canada.

So is microcline the same as amazonite and its other varieties? Kind of! Each is part of the microcline species but has its own color (usually due to impurities present during its formation). 

Time to peek into microcline’s journey through time! 

Microcline Meaning & History

Microcline was discovered in 1830 by German mineralogist, Johann Friedrich August Breithaupt. He’s credited with naming the mineral after discovering it in Norway’s very first naval base, Fredriksvern. 

Microcline isn’t a mainstream mineral today, but that wasn’t always the case! In Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, it was commonly used for both jewelry and ornamentation. Beaded amazonite was even found in King Tut’s tomb! 

Microcline is no stranger to the small screen either. If you were a fan of The Weather Channel’s mid-2000s show Prospectors, a docuseries that followed different miners in the Colorado Rockies, you may recall episodes featuring the Dorris Family mining for smoky quartz and amazonite! 

Today, microcline is mostly used in the manufacture of porcelain. First, it’s very finely ground and blended with kaolin (a type of clay) and quartz. When heated, the feldspar fuses and acts as a cement binding the materials together. 

Fused feldspar is also the main component in the glaze for ceramics. Sometimes, it’s also used for supplying alumina when manufacturing glass.

How about we shift gears and dive into microcline’s metaphysical properties next? 

microcline healing crystal with spessartite garnet

Microcline Healing Properties

Like most gems, microcline’s appearance and energies allow it to be used as a powerful healing stone aiding your physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness. 

Microcline’s crystal meaning is one of clarity, balance, and restoration. It supports recovery and regeneration in all aspects of the body. 

Curious about how microcline can support your body and soul? Then keep reading!

Physical Healing

Physically, microcline is believed to treat eye disorders and fevers. It’s also purported to help regulate water retention and ease childbirth in women.

Amazonite is also thought to relieve muscle spasms, normalize calcium levels, and relieve stress or exhaustion.

Emotional Healing

Among the common microcline uses for crystal healers, a popular one is stimulating clarity of thought. Microcline can enhance your understanding, helping you make decisions more confidently. It also improves your ability to cooperate with others.

Similarly, amazonite calms emotions and soothes nerves. It can enable you to express yourself more freely. It’s said that the deeper its color, the more intense its powers. 

Chakra Healing

Some crystals are believed to support one or more of your chakras (energy centers along your body). These chakra stones help keep your chakral body in balance. When out of balance, certain physical and emotional symptoms manifest. 

Each variety of microcline crystal is associated with a different chakra. However, energy healers mainly utilize amazonite — which is attuned to the heart and throat chakras. 

By stimulating your heart chakra, amazonite helps you overcome external pressures, allowing you to find acceptance. Meanwhile, amazonite stimulating your throat chakra enables you to strengthen your voice to better express your thoughts and feelings. 

Next, what properties should you keep in mind when shopping for microcline? 

orange microcline amazonite gemstone

Microcline Gemstone Properties

While microcline is industrially popular in manufacturing glass and ceramics, you’re more likely to come across amazonite in the realm of gem collecting as this variety is what’s used for gemstones. 

Amazonite is graded by the common standards of gemstone grading: clarity, color, cut, and carat weight.


Amazonite’s true beauty lies in its vibrant colors, which may result from lead and water existing within the stone. It usually appears in light green, yellow-green, bright green, and vivid blue-green. Its vivid blue-green variety, which makes for beautiful jewelry, is amazonite’s most valuable and sought-after hue. 

Some spheres and cabochons have been known to display noticeable chatoyancy (a distinct reflective effect).  

Amazonite often contains whitish streaks and marble-like veining, which ranges in intensity. Generally, the less white there is, the higher the value. 


Amazonite is typically cut en cabochon, emphasizing its luster and color. However, it can also be faceted to add texture and depth to its appearance. 

In terms of shape, amazonite can generally be faceted into any shape, including round, square, pear, oval, and other popular cuts. Microcline’s hardness and abundance also make it ideal for figurines and carvings.

Rough, or uncut, microcline is more affordable and widely available for purchase. 

Clarity, Transparency & Luster

Technically, amazonite is opaque to translucent. However, it’s very rarely found transparent. When polished, it has a waxy, “wet” luster that captures your eye and draws your fingertips to its surface.

Amazonite has a varying clarity, sometimes forming with white threads and occasional dark spots from inclusions (often of other feldspars) inside.

Carat Weight & Size

Microcline is often found in large deposits — the same goes for amazonite. This makes cutting large gems from rough specimens fairly easy. 

As with most gems, amazonite is priced per carat. The larger the stone, the higher the weight and value.  

Rough microcline is often priced in pounds or ounces. 

With grading squared away, why don’t we explore where microcline comes from?

microcline amazonite raw crystal cluster

Microcline Formation & Sources

Microcline is a low-temperature K–feldspar stable at temperatures lower than 500°C. It often occurs in acidic, alkali-rich plutonic rocks, as well as in pegmatites, granites, syenites, and schists. 

Most of the time, microcline forms as a result of feldspar recrystallizing. Occasionally, it also forms via direct crystallization from magma and other hydrothermal processes.

Geographically, where is microcline found?

Mining Locations

Within the United States, you can find microcline feldspar in:

  • California

  • Colorado (amazonite)

  • Maine

  • New York

  • North Carolina

  • South Dakota (perthite)

  • Virginia (finest amazonite in the USA)

Other microcline localities include:

  • Australia

  • Brazil (most commercial amazonite)

  • Burma (amazonite)

  • Canada (perthite)

  • Germany

  • India (amazonite)

  • Italy

  • Japan

  • Norway (perthite)

  • Russia

  • South Africa

  • Sweden

  • Vietnam (amazonite)

Rather leave the mining to the pros and purchase microcline from a trusted gem retailer (like us)? Then let’s talk price! 

microcline amazonite gemstone earrings

Microcline Price & Value

Cabochons and faceted microcline gems generally cost around $0.26 to $0.40 per carat, the price increasing with quality.

Rough, uncut microcline is widely available and usually more affordable. Prices range from $0.13 to $0.32 per gram. High-quality specimens can retail for over $0.87 per gram. 

Jewelry featuring microcline varieties also varies in price depending on what kind of metal settings and additional gems are used. 

On average, the price of a microcline necklace ranges anywhere between $34 to $150, with more luxury pieces fetching prices as high as $560. 

Rings average between $12 and $65 but can be found for as low as $10 and as high as $1219. 

Beaded microcline bracelets typically cost between $21 and $66. Higher-end microcline bracelets can cost several hundreds of dollars.

Now that you’re ready to splurge on some microcline crystals of your own, it’s time to master caring for your gemstones

Microcline Care and Maintenance

Microcline is fairly durable, but it’s not immune to damage. 

Always store your microcline in a safe place (like a soft velvet pouch) away from harder gems that can cause fractures or scratches.  

Avoid engaging in vigorous, impact-prone activities while wearing microcline, and always ensure your jewelry implements protective settings.

To be safe, avoid:

  • Ultrasonic cleaners

  • Harsh chemicals

  • Detergents

  • Sudden temperature changes

Simplicity works best when cleaning your microcline. Just use mild soap, water, and a soft-bristled brush to safely clean your gems. 

Clear Your Mind with Microcline!

There’s so much more to microcline than meets the eye! 

Each microcline has its own unique look and energy that resonates with your mind, body, and soul. With so many gem varieties of this unsung feldspar, you’re sure to find the perfect one that speaks to exactly who you are. 

Ready to find your perfect microcline?

Buy microcline and other marvelous gemstones today!

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