Andalusite is a rock-forming mineral that is mined for use in high-temperature refractories. Gem-quality specimens are cut into faceted gems and cabochons. Andalusite forms during the regional metamorphism of shale. It is found in schist and gneiss at some present and ancient convergent plate boundaries where the rocks have been exposed to the temperatures and pressures needed for its formation. In these rocks, andalusite is often associated with kyanite and sillimanite.
The Minerals kyanite and sillimanite are polymorphs of andalusite, each occurring under different temperature-pressure regimes and are therefore rarely found together in the same rock Andalusite also forms during the contact metamorphism of shale. In this situation, it can form within the metamorphosed rock or in veins and cavities of the igneous rock causing the metamorphism. It can be associated with cordierite in hornfels, granite, and granitic pegmatite.