Nifontovite is a very rare member of the borate family of minerals. Named for Russian geologist Roman V. Nifontov who discovered it in 1961, nifontovite is found in few locations worldwide, including Russia, Mexico and Japan. Mexico is producing the cleanest and largest specimens at this time. Typically, nifontovite is transparent and typically colorless or gray with a vitreous luster. A nifontivite gem, donated in 2009, resides in the Smithsonian's National Gem Collection.