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Andesine was first discovered in Colombia in 1841, close to the famous mountain range from which it takes its name. A member of the calcium and sodium-containing plagioclase series of feldspars, the relative quantities of these two elements within andesine ranges from roughly equal to around two-to-one in favor of sodium.

In 2002, small quantities of an attractive red variety were discovered in Tibet, but suspicions became aroused when this material flooded the marketplace around the time of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It was eventually discovered that most of this “red andesine” was actually yellow material from Inner Mongolia and DPR Congo that had been reddened artificially via an undisclosed diffusion process. The consequences of this controversy were far-reaching, with a $5 million misrepresentation lawsuit eventually being filed against industry giant Jewelry Television (JTV).

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