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Wurtzite is named after French chemist Charles Adolphe Wurtz. It was first described in 1861 after it was discovered in the San José Mine, Oruro City, Cercado Province, Oruro Department, Bolivia. It can be dark reddish brown, yellow to dark brown, to brownish black with a resinous or submetallic luster.

Wurtzite Polished
Wurtzite Classification
Common Name Wurtzite
Species Wurtzite
Wurtzite Optical Properties
Transparency Translucent-Transparent
Dispersion Strength: None
Refractive Index 2.356-2.378
Optic Character Uniaxial
Optic Sign Positive
Fluorescence LWUV: Inert to Orange Red, Red or Yellow
Pleochroism Unobservable
Wurtzite Characteristic Physical Properties
Hardness 3.5-4
Streak Light Brown
Specific Gravity 4.000-4.090
Toughness Poor
Luster Vitreous, Resinous
Stability Brittle
Fracture Uneven, Brittle
Cleavage Complete
Wurtzite Chemistry & Crystallography
Chemical Name Zinc Iron Sulfide
Chemical Formula (Zn,Fe)S
Crystal System Hexagonal
Chemistry Classification Sulfide

Wurtzite Colors

  • Yellow Wurtzite Yellow
  • Red Wurtzite Red
  • Black Wurtzite Black
  • Brown Wurtzite Brown
  • Orange Wurtzite Orange

Countries of Origin

Papua New Guinea; Kazakhstan; Portugal; Greece; Austria; Mongolia; Morocco; Slovenia; Tonga; Argentina; United States of America (the); Hungary; Japan; Ukraine; Zambia; Taiwan (Province of China); Bolivia (Plurinational State of); India; Canada; Belgium; Namibia; Finland; Italy; South Africa; Peru; Germany; Tanzania, United Republic Of; Afghanistan; Fiji; Viet Nam; Czechia; Costa Rica; Sweden; China; Ireland; Russian Federation (the); Poland; Slovakia; Bulgaria; France; Jordan; Kyrgyzstan; United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the); Romania; Switzerland; Netherlands (the); Spain; Mexico; Australia; Tajikistan


Wurtzite has a low mohs hardness and easy cleavage so please take special care when handling stones or specimens.

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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.