Adamite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information
Although adamite occurs in many localities, it's very rarely cut as a gem. This mineral is much too soft and fragile for jewelry. However, collectors prize its intense fluorescence.
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Although adamite occurs in many localities, it’s very rarely cut as a gem. This mineral is much too soft and fragile for jewelry. However, collectors prize its intense fluorescence.
What is Adamite?
Adamite forms a series, as the zinc (Zn) analogue, with olivenite, the copper (Cu) analogue. This series has a distinct, intermediate member known as zincolivenite. (Don't confuse olivenite with olivine).
Does Adamite Make a Good Jewelry Stone?
Adamites have a low hardness of 3.5 and good cleavage. Thus, they make less than optimal pieces for jewelry use. You'll find these stones more likely in gem collections as crystal specimens than in jewelry collections. Use protective settings for any jewelry use.
What Causes Color in Adamites?
The presence of numerous impurities can create various colors in adamites. For example, iron (Fe) can cause yellow hues. Cuprian (Cu bearing) varieties show green hues. Cobalt (Co) bearing specimens can show rose or purple/violet hues. Manganoan or manganese (Mn) bearing specimens may have purple/violet colors as well as pink and lavender.
Do Adamites Fluoresce?
This crystal specimen shows dozens of "pinwheel" adamites on gossan matrix with intense neon green fluorescence. Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Durango, Mexico, 10.5 x 9.3 x 6.2 cm. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.
Variations in Optical Properties
Due to wide variations in composition, optical properties can vary significantly.
|Mapimi, Mexico (reddish)|
|Mapimi, Mexico (rose)|
|Mapimi, Mexico (violet)|
|Mapimi, Mexico (green)|
|Tsumeb, Namibia (Cu)|
|Tsumeb, Namibia (Co)|
Are There Synthetic Adamites?
There are no known gem enhancements for adamites.
Where is Adamite Found?
The Ojuela Mine in Mapimi, Mexico produces fine sprays of crystals in limonite matrix.
Tsumeb, Namibia also produces fine crystals, sometimes colored purple by cobalt.
Laurium, Greece yields specimens often containing copper, in lovely blue and green shades.
Other notable sources include the following:
- United States: California; Nevada; Utah (various localities).
- France: Cap Garonne.
- Algeria; Chile; Germany; Italy; Turkey.
Violet crystals, noted up to 1 cm long and transparent, would yield stones up to about 1-2 carats. Green material, usually not clean, would provide only small faceted gems (1-3 carats).
- Private Collection: 4.38 (pink, Mexico).
How to Care for Adamites
See our gemstone jewelry cleaning guide for care recommendations.
Joel E. Arem, Ph.D., FGA
Dr. Joel E. Arem has more than 60 years of experience in the world of gems and minerals. After obtaining his Ph.D. in Mineralogy from Harvard University, he has published numerous books that are still among the most widely used references and guidebooks on crystals, gems and minerals in the world.
Co-founder and President of numerous organizations, Dr. Arem has enjoyed a lifelong career in mineralogy and gemology. He has been a Smithsonian scientist and Curator, a consultant to many well-known companies and institutions, and a prolific author and speaker. Although his main activities have been as a gem cutter and dealer, his focus has always been education. joelarem.com
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