Thursday, December 13, 2012

Gemstone of the Week: Triplite

(Triplite image found on realgems.org)


Triplite is considered to be quite rare and is primarily a collectors gem. Which is really too bad as it is a gorgeous gem with a hardness of 5-5.5 which is really a pretty decent t hardness.  Triplite gets its name from the Greek τριπλόος, "triplos" meaning "three-fold."  This is in reference to how Triplite has three prominent cleavages (the planes where a stone tends to split apart).  Triplite was first discovered in 1813, may be subtranslucent to opaque, and may have either a resinous or vitreous luster.  In colour, Triplite may be brown, dark brown, salmon pink, brownish black, black, red-brown, light brownish yellow, or dark reddish brown.  It generally forms as granular massives.  Although being considered rare, Triplite is found in many different locations which include.  It is found in: Namibia, Rwanda, Argentina,  Australia, Russia, China, Spain, Portugal, England, Austria, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden, and many locations across both Canada and the U.S.  So the rarity of this gem is not based on the number of locations where it may be found, but on the colour and quality of most Triplites found.  The vast majority of all Triplites found are black and opaque, and so gem quality Triplites can get quite expensive.