What is K2 Granite?
I came across a K2 Jasper (more accurately K2 Granite) cabochon recently on Hampton’s Rock Shop’s Facebook page. I immediately knew I was going to purchase these interesting cabs! Originally, I thought it was dalmatian stone that had been dyed with blue specs, but after further research I found that it is actually granite with orbs of blue azurite. Sometimes you may even find green specs of Malachite mixed in. Even better! Below is the information I found regarding K2 Granite/Jasper on Geology.com:
What is K2 Granite?
“K2 Granite,” also known as “K2 Jasper,” is an extremely interesting rock and lapidary material from Pakistan that is like an eye magnet for anyone who sees it for the first time. It is a bright white granite that contains sharply contrasting orbs of bright blue azurite. The azurite orbs range from a few millimeters up to about two centimeters in diameter. On a broken surface or on the surface of a slab, the blue orbs look like drops of bright blue ink that splashed onto the rock. Upon closer examination, however, you will see that they are actually spherical in shape.
Where Is K2 Found?
K2 granite is named after a mountain in the Karakoram Range near the border between Pakistan and China. K2, also known as “Mount Godwin Austen,” is the second highest mountain in the world. The azurite granite is found in colluvium near the base of the mountain. It is in a very remote area visited by very few people.
K2 granite cuts, tumbles, and polishes beautifully. Due to its high feldspar content, it can be easily cut with a lapidary saw and shapes quickly on a diamond wheel. Although azurite has a Mohs hardness of 3.5 to 4, the blue dots have the same cutting and polishing properties as the surrounding white granite. This is because the azurite exists as a stain rather than as discrete mineral grains.
K2 shapes and polishes well in a rock tumbler to produce tumbled stones. It also cuts attractive spheres. Cut beads are not seen in the marketplace. This is likely because if you cut ten pounds of K2 into 1-centimeter beads, very few of them will display the blue azurite color.
K2 is relatively durable in jewelry. The feldspar minerals in K2 have a hardness of about 6 on the Mohs scale and will be scratched or show signs of wear over time if subjected to abrasion or impact. K2 is therefore not a good stone for mounting in a ring or bracelet.
K2 attracts a lot of attention at gem and mineral shows. The rare combination of azurite in granite starts a lot of discussions, and even the occasional argument. Thus far, K2 is not extremely expensive. Great material can be purchased for about $30 to $40 per pound. This price is similar to what is paid for nice specimens of many popular agates and jaspers. The best material has numerous, randomly spaced azurite stains on a bright white granite background.
I have two cabs ordered and on the way!