Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Gemstone of the Week: Trolleite

(Trolleite (in Quartz) image found on thebeautyintherocks.com

Trolleite is a rather rare and largely unheard of gemstone.  It is a phosphate based mineral and was discovered in 1868 by Swedish chemist Hans Gabriel Trolle-Wachmeister after whom the gem is also named. Interestingly, for some reason, there appears to be a disagreement as to the gems hardness. A number of sources list Trolleite's hardness as 5.5-6 while an equal number of sources list it at 8.5.  In either case, it has a hardness that should render it acceptable for jewelry use. Trolleite is a transparent to translucent gemstone with a vitreous luster.  Its may be light blue, bright blue, colourless, or greenish blue.  Trolleite may also be a darker blue if included with Scorzalite or Lazulite. Recently, some specimens of Trolleite included Quartz were introduced at the Tuscon Gem Show. These specimens were tested and confirmed to be Trolleite and Lazulite included Quartz. This gem mixture is found in Brazil and is opaque to translucent with a fairly even light or medium blue colouring. Trolleite may be found in: Australia, Japan, Madagascar, Russia, Rwanda, Sweden, Brazil, and the states of California, Colorado, North Carolina, and Virginia.