Buy benitoite gemstone online Austin Texas, USA, Queensland, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, South Australia, benitoite gemstone for sale.
Most everyday jewelry lovers will never be able to see the true beauty of benitoite. This sapphire-blue gemstone has only been found in San Benito County, California. It was first discovered in the early 1900s by George D. Louderback. It became the official gemstone of California in 1985. The stone has been misidentified as spinel in the past, but was eventually re-examined and reclassified due to the high level of brilliance of the gemstone.
You’ll have to do some due diligence to find a trustworthy and legitimate source to purchase benitoite. When you do, be prepared to spend. You’ll want to find a stone that has a medium body tone with a cut that maximizes the stone’s fire. Stones that are too dark will not reflect the light well. Stones that are too light will look washed out. Don’t expect to find stones greater than 3 carats. The average price is $3,800 per carat for stones with medium blue tones. Smaller stones that are less than 1 carat can reduce the price per carat significantly.
Benitoite is a rare blue barium titanium cyclosilicate, found in hydrothermally altered serpentinite. It forms in low temperature, high pressure environments typical of subduction zones at convergent plate boundaries. Benitoite fluoresces under short wave ultraviolet light, appearing bright blue to bluish white in color. The more rarely seen clear to white benitoite crystals fluoresce red under long-wave UV light.
It was discovered in 1907 by prospector James M. Couch in the San Benito Mountains roughly halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Couch originally believed the mineral was a corundum mineral known as sapphire due to its resemblance of color. In 1909, a sample was sent to the University of California, Berkeley where mineralogist Dr. George D. Louderback realized it was a previously unknown mineral. Corundum (sapphire) has a defined Mohs hardness of 9, while benitoite is much softer. He named it benitoite for its occurrence near the headwaters of the San Benito River in San Benito County, California.
Benitoite occurs in a number of isolated locations globally, but gemstone quality material has only been found in California at the Benito Gem Mine where it was first discovered. It has been correctly identified in Montana, Arkansas, Japan, and Australia although they formed under slightly different conditions and only grow large enough to be considered an accessory mineral. In 1985 benitoite was named as the official state gem of California.
Benitoite has a rare 5 pointed twinned crystal form, and an even rarer 6 pointed twinned crystal form, “star of David”.