Sodalite: Little Worlds, Little Oceans
Sodalite is one of those stones I find myself using often in rosaries, but hardly ever in secular jewelry. I’m not sure why that is except that it’s just so vivid and distinctive. The stone is most often a rich, royal blue as opposed to the brighter blue you find in lapis lazuli. Sodalite’s blue can edge over into purple with beautiful results. It features swirling markings and inclusions of cream, white, gray, and paler blue.
To me, sodalite beads look like the legendary “big blue marble” photograph of our earth, taken from space. You can imagine the swirling clouds and the darker blue seas. It can also call to mind the open sea itself.
I find sodalite available in several shapes. Some of them are more successful for rosaries than others. The round beads are beautiful, with the larger sizes (10mm or so) often exhibiting more of the swirl effect and more contrast. You often find sodalite cut in flat, plump nuggets. While these are very affordable, they’re not very popular in rosaries, and it’s difficult to string them so that you have decades or “weeks” that are the same length. Large nuggets, faceted or not, make beautiful focal beads as shown to your left. My favorite cut, and the one I try to find most often, is the flat, faceted rondelle. The faceted rondelles catch the light just a bit, giving some depth to this beautiful stone.
Sodalite is tough, but it can be a little bit brittle, and you occasionally find a cracked bead. That’s why I like to handle it before buying, and I always try to buy it in person rather than online.