Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Gemstone of the Week: Binghamite

(Image found on samsilverhawk.com)

Binghamite is a beautiful and rather unusual looking stone. It's named after the lapidary artist Bill Bingham who discovered it in 1936. Binghamite is a variety of Chalcedony and consists of chatoyant Chalcedony mixed with fibers of Goethite and/or Hematite. Its is yellowish to red and is often streaked with both colours.  Being a Chalcedony, which belongs to the Quartz group, it has a hardness of 6.5-7.  It may be resinous or waxy in luster and tends to be either translucent or opaque. Binghamite forms as fibrous masses or grained aggregates. Binghamite is only known to be found in the state of Minnesota.