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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.

Nifontovite Polished
Nifontovite Classification
Common Name Nifontovite
Species Nifontovite
Nifontovite Optical Properties
Transparency Transparent - Translucent
Dispersion Strength: Strong Fire
Refractive Index 1.575-1.584
Birefringence 0.009
Optic Character Biaxial
Optic Sign Positive
Polariscope Reaction Aggregate (AGG), Doubly Refractive (DR)
Fluorescence SWUV: Inert to weak violet
LWUV: Inert to weak violet
Pleochroism Unobservable
Nifontovite Characteristic Physical Properties
Hardness 3.5-5
Specific Gravity 2.350-2.360
Toughness Poor
Luster Vitreous
Fracture Uneven
Cleavage Poor, in one direction
Nifontovite Chemistry & Crystallography
Chemical Name hydrated calcium borate hydroxide
Chemical Formula Ca3B6O6(OH)12.2H2O
Crystal System Monoclinic
Chemistry Classification Borate

Nifontovite Colors

  • Colorless Nifontovite Colorless

Countries of Origin

China; Japan; Russian Federation (the); Mexico


Slowly soluble in acid.

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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.