Tugtupite is a mineral with a hardness of 6 out of 10 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness [?]. These Tetragonally structured gems are made of sodium aluminum beryllium silicate, their full chemical compound being Na4AlBeSi4O12Cl.
Tugtupite is a mineral closely related to sodalite and hackmanite, all cyclosilicates whose structural silicate tetrahedrons are arranged in rings. It is also called beryllosodalite and reindeer stone, and crystallizes in the tetragonal system.
It is found in fine-grained aggregates of crystals with its own distinctive cyclamen colour. Crystals are very small, tetragonal, almost cubic, or as short prisms with pyramid-shaped ends, or as wedge-shaped sphenoids.
Tugtupite is transparent to translucent, with vitreous to greasy luster, and seen possessing the colors light cyclamen, pale pink, rose red, white, greenish, bluish. On its host rock it may appear like a coating of fresh watermelon or strawberry crush. It is tenebrescent, so its color may fade in the dark but recover its intensity when brought out into the sunshine. Stones may also show a reaction when kept warm, so much that Greenland Inuit say that they turn into a deeper red according to the intensity of emotions of the persons wearing it.
It shows an attractive fluorescence in orange and apricot under LWUV and red-pink under SWUV, and is often referred to as the "king of fluorescent minerals." It glows with strong pleochroism in orange-red and bluish-red.
Tugtupite occurs in alkali intrusive igneous rocks as vitreous, translucent (sometimes even transparent) masses up to 10 cm across but usually only in small grains. Deposits are usually found in south Greenland, in called the Ilimaussaq alkaline complex, a layered intrusion which is home to over 250 different rare earth elements and minerals, many of which are yet unidentified.
Aside from Greenland, other sources of glowing pink tugtupite are that mineral rich, nuclear-intensive Kola Peninsula in Russia, and Mont St. Hilaire in Canada, which also hosts large deposits of tugtupite's closest neighbor sodalite. But it is only from Greenland that the market can obtain sufficient quantities of worthy, sometimes deeply red and highly-demanded tugtupite.
Geologists discovered tugtupite in Greenland in 1957. Tugtup means reindeer. The local Greenlandic Inuit had been familiar with the mineral for ages. Their name for it was "tuttu" which means "reindeer blood."
Tugtupite is a rare gem mineral used as an ornament and cut cabochon.