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It is named for its type locality of Andalusia, Spain. It is a polymorph with two other minerals: kyanite and sillimanite forms under low pressure and moderate to high temperatures. Andalusite contains dark inclusions of carbon or clay which form a checker-board pattern when shown in cross-section. Faceted andalusite stones give a play of red, green, and yellow colors that resembles a muted form of iridescence, although the colors are actually the result of unusually strong pleochroism.

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