Afghanite | Gemopedia

Named after Afghanistan where it was first discovered in a lapis lazuli mine in 1968, this rare and complex aluminosilicate forms blue crystals ranging from light aquamarine shades to saturated sapphire blue hues. The scarcity of gem-quality afghanite makes it a true collector's stone.
Colors
Blue, Colorless

Afghanite Classification

Common Name

Afghanite

Species

Afghanite

Variety

Colors

Blue, Colorless

Alternate Names

Gemstone Groups

Cancrinite

Key Separations

Comments

Afghanite is found in the lapis lazuli mines in Afghanistan. Stones should be cleaned with distilled water.

Afghanite Optical Properties

Transparency

Transparent

Refractive Index

1.523-1.529

Birefringence

0.006

Optic Character

Uniaxial

Optic Sign

Positive

Polariscope Reaction

Doubly Refractive (DR)

Fluorescence

SWUV: Inert
LWUV: Inert

CCF Reaction

Pleochroism

None

Dispersion

Comments

Afghanite Chemistry & Crystallography

Chemical Name

hydrated sodium calcium potassium aluminum silicate carbonate

Chemical Formula

(Na, Ca, K)12-(Si, Al)16O34(Cl, SO4, CO3)4.H2O

Synthesis

Crystal System

Hexagonal

Classification

Silicate

Nature

Natural

Crystallinity

Crystalline

Comments

Afghanite Characteristic Physical Properties

Hardness

5.5-6

Streak

Specific Gravity

2.55-2.65 Typical:2.5

Toughness

Poor

Inclusions

Stones often include lazurite inclusions.

Luster

Vitreous

Stability

Fracture

Cleavage

Perfect, in one direction

Comments

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