Benitoite is a mineral with a hardness of 7 out of 10 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness [?]. These Hexagonally structured gems are made of barium titanium silicate, their full chemical compound being Ba TiSi3O9.

Benitoite is a rare gemstone / mineral that fluoresces when lit by black lights. It gets its name from San Benito County, California where it was first found.

This gem is almost always blue (it was originally thought to be a sapphire) but also has variations in purple, pink, and clear.

Gem prices seem to fluctuate but a few hundred dollars per half ct is common. Why so expensive? The quality gems are only found in California, and no where else in the world.

Benitoite is often time confused with blue sapphire and tanzanite.

The specific gravity [?] for Benitoite is 3.67, it's refractive index [?] is 1.76-1.80, and it's double refraction [?] is 0.047.

History

It was first discovered in 1907 by James Couch. It has since become the official state gem for California.

Industrial Usages

Very limited quantities and the rarity of Benitoite make it impractical for industrial usage.

You May Also Like...

Axinite

Axinite: Axinite is a honey brownish to dark brown gem that is named after the axe head like crystal structures that are usually found. It is usually found in and around granite deposits, and is often mistaken (and sometimes sold by mistake) as smokey quartz. The gem is piezoelectric and because of this has been used to remove hair and lint from unwanted objects. A negative side effect of this is that it (read full)

Chalcedony

Chalcedony: Chalcedony is a compact form of silica, composed of microscopic quartz crystals. It is softer than quartz and denser than opal. Its appearance may range from transparent to translucent to opaque. The main types are chalcedony, which is uniformly colored, and agate, which has curved bands or zones of varying color. Varieties include the red to reddish brown, translucent carnelian, the red, opaqu (read full)

Dumortierite

Dumortierite: Dumortierite is a variety of gemstone of basic aluminum borosilicate with an orthorhombic crystal system. It appears usually in columnar or fibrous, radiating aggregates, sometimes reddish brown, dark blue, violet-blue. On the rare occasions that dumortierite forms crystals, they are prismatic. Faceted or prismatic blue or violet samples are rare, due to scarcity of individual crystals. It is (read full)

Hessonite

Hessonite: Hessonite is the brown-orange variety of Grossular, a nesosilicate in the Garnet group, with an isometric crystal system. It appears with dodecahedral or trapezohedral crystals, cinnamon-brown to orange because of its iron content. Its color matches that of the oil of cinnamon. It also appears as golden-yellow, yellow-brown, or reddish-brown. It is very hard, heavy, fragile, has no cleavage. It (read full)

Vesuvianite

Vesuvianite: Vesuvianite is a hydrous calcium magnesium aluminum silicate with a tetragonal crystal system. It is the preferred name used by mineralogists for all transparent varieties of Idocrase, the name used by gemmologists. It is a gem mineral that appears in diverse colors, and thus is prized by collectors. A compact green variety of vesuvianite that looks like jade is known as californite. A greenish-b (read full)

Tags

Terms

Double Refraction or dr is the ability of a mineral to separate a refracted ray of light into 2 rays. If held over an image or text it will display the object 2x its original size.

Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness is the standard used to categorize a mineral's ability to resist scratching. It gets its name from Friedrich Mohs, the German geologist who first created the scale.

RI or Refractive Index defines light's ability to move through the mineral or in a general sense, any material.

SG or Specific Gravity is the ratio of the weight of any substance to that of pure water at temperature of 3.98°C(39.2°F) and standard atmospheric pressure. This is important to note when actively seeking these minerals in the wild. Minerals with a higher SG will settle below material with a lower sg over time.