Aragonite

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Aragonite's name is derived from the location of Molina de Aragon, Spain, the province where it was first discovered. Aragonite occurs in Agrigento, Sicily, Italy, in the famous sulfur mines, as well as on Mount Vesuvius, Italy. Aragonite specimens are highly prized by mineral collectors for their wide variety of forms, which include twins and pseudomorphs (uncharacteristic crystal forms). As an added bonus, many specimens are fluorescent as well as phosphorescent, a rare occurrence among minerals.

Aragonite Polished
Aragonite Classification
Common Name Aragonite
Species Aragonite
Aragonite Optical Properties
Transparency Transparent - Opaque
Refractive Index 1.530-1.685
Birefringence 0.155
Optic Character Biaxial
Optic Sign Negative
Polariscope Reaction Aggregate (AGG), Doubly Refractive (DR)
Fluorescence SWUV: Variable
LWUV: Variable
Pleochroism None
Aragonite Characteristic Physical Properties
Hardness 3
Streak White
Specific Gravity 2.930-2.950 Typical:2.940
Toughness Varies
Luster Vitreous, Silky
Fracture Subconchoidal, Splintery
Cleavage Good, in one direction, Poor, in two directions
Aragonite Chemistry & Crystallography
Chemical Name calcium carbonate
Chemical Formula CaCO3
Crystal System Orthorhombic
Chemistry Classification Carbonate

Aragonite Colors

  • Blue Aragonite Blue
  • Pink Aragonite Pink
  • Green Aragonite Green

Countries of Origin

Argentina; United States of America (the); Morocco; Unknown; Czechia; Namibia; Brazil; Italy; Mexico; Peru; French Polynesia; Spain

History

In the Sisk Gemology Reference, Jerry Sisk writes, "Aragonite is a fascinating mineral." In its biogenic form, it is produced by marine mollusks and one of two components within the nacre of pearls. It's also found in coral. Aragonite is a polymorph of calcite, sharing the same chemical formula but with different crystal structures. We like aragonite as a gemstone for collectors, although it is occasionally set in jewelry. Most cuttable, or facetable aragonite is colorless or nearly so. The full color range of aragonite includes white, yellow, brown, green, gray, blue, violet, and red. This versatile stone has a color to please every collector. Although the crystals can be attractively displayed in necklaces, we don't recommend it for rings and bracelets. Aragonite is ideally suited to add variety to a collector's treasure trove.

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More About Aragonite

Aragonite is one of the few stones that is both biogenic and inorganic. Collectors are drawn to Aragonite because of its unusual crystal structure.

Sisk Gemology Reference

Showcasing 200 gemstones in over 1,000 pages and accompanied by more than 2,000 photos, The Sisk Gemology Reference is a must-have in every collector’s library. Each comprehensive, three-volume set features state-of-the-art photography, detailed illustrations, and scientifically precise descriptions to create an entrancing experience for gemstone amateurs and afficionados alike.

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Tim Matthews

Author

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.