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Pagodite for sale in Japan

Pagodite or agalmatolite is a variety of pyrophyllite used by Chinese artisans for carvings in pagodas and similar objects.[1] Usually soft and sometimes soapy, it can be a greyish green or greyish yellow colour.[2] It is sometimes also referred to (loosely) as soapstone.[3] Small pagodite pieces are used as traditional writing tools in Japan.


  1. ^ "Agalmatolite". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Vol. 1 (14 ed.). 1930. p. 337.
  2. ^ Mohsen Manutchehr-Danai (9 March 2013). Dictionary of Gems and Gemology. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 351. ISBN 978-3-662-04288-5. Excerpts available at Google Books.
  3. ^ Nicholas Belfield Dennys (2012) [first published 1867]. The Treaty Ports of China and Japan: A Complete Guide to the Open Ports of Those Countries, Together with Peking, Yedo, Hongkong and Macao. Cambridge University Press. p. 278. ISBN 978-1-108-04590-2. Excerpts available at Google Books.