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A rare and beautiful mineral, taaffeite is a lilac to mauve, brown to red, bluish green crystal that may be transparent to translucent in appearance. Interestingly enough, this gem was first discovered as a faceted gemstone that was thought to be spinel. Eventually, the mineral was found in Sri Lanka.

Taaffeite Polished
Taaffeite Classification
Common Name Taaffeite
Species Taaffeite
Taaffeite Optical Properties
Transparency Transparent
Dispersion Strength: Weak Fire Value: 0.019
Refractive Index 1.719-1.723
Birefringence 0.004-0.005
Optic Character Uniaxial
Optic Sign Negative
Polariscope Reaction Doubly Refractive (DR)
Fluorescence SWUV: Inert to weak green
LWUV: Inert to weak green
CCF Reaction None
Pleochroism Unobservable
Taaffeite Characteristic Physical Properties
Hardness 8-8.5
Streak White
Specific Gravity 3.600-3.620 Typical:3.610
Toughness Good
Inclusions Taaffeite might contain feathers, crystal inclusions and natural inclusions
Luster Vitreous
Fracture Conchoidal
Cleavage None
Taaffeite Chemistry & Crystallography
Chemical Name magnesium aluminum beryllium oxide
Chemical Formula Mg3Be8Al4O16
Crystal System Hexagonal
Chemistry Classification Oxide

Taaffeite Colors

  • Red Taaffeite Red
  • White Taaffeite White
  • Purple Taaffeite Purple
  • Pink Taaffeite Pink
  • Blue Taaffeite Blue

Countries of Origin

Tanzania, United Republic Of; Myanmar; Sri Lanka; China


Normal Care and handling

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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.