saf-ahyuh r

Named after the country, 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.

Afghanite Polished
Afghanite Classification
Common Name Afghanite
Species Afghanite
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
Pleochroism None
Afghanite Characteristic Physical Properties
Hardness 5.5-6
Specific Gravity 2.550-2.650 Typical:2.500
Toughness Poor
Inclusions Stones often include lazurite inclusions.
Luster Vitreous
Cleavage Perfect, in one direction
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
Crystal System Hexagonal
Chemistry Classification Silicate

Afghanite Colors

  • Colorless Afghanite Colorless
  • Blue Afghanite Blue

Countries of Origin

Afghanistan; Pakistan


Afghanite is named for Afghanistan, the country where it was first discovered. It's a head-turner with amazing blue shades ranging in color from light, sea-blue aqua to compelling, fine sapphire-like blue. Afghanite is a recent addition to the list of desirable gemstones since it wasn't found until 1968. Although gem-quality stones are very scarce, afghanite is definitely worth a second look and prized by astute collectors.

More About Afghanite

Afghanite is relatively unknown and has not garnered any folklore. We believe its color tells its story!

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Tim Matthews


Tim Matthews

Tim Matthews is President and Chief Executive Officer of Jewelry Television® (JTV), as well as a member of the company's Board of Directors. He oversees and leads all aspects of the company's powerful omni-digital retail platform that uniquely specializes in fine jewelry and gemstones. His passion for business and gemstones has led him to become a recognized expert in the field of gemology. He is a life member of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) and has earned Gem-A's highest degrees, the Gemmology (FGA) and Diamond (DGA) diplomas. He is also a Graduate Gemologist (GG) of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and has also completed GIA's Graduate Diplomas in Diamonds, Colored Stones and Pearls. Under his leadership, JTV has become the leader in the sourcing and selling of color gemstones and jewelry.

This page was created on June 27, 2014.

This page was last edited on October 24, 2019.