albite - sri lanka and new mexico
albite - sri lanka and new mexico

Albite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information


Albite, usually colorless but sometimes yellow, pink, gray or reddish. Translucent albite is sometime colored green by chrome jadeite. It is also a component of trachipe emeralds.

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Albite, usually colorless but sometimes yellow, pink, gray or reddish. Translucent albite is sometime colored green by chrome jadeite. It is also a component of trapiche emeralds.

albite - sri lanka and new mexico
FELDSPAR: Albite, Sri Lanka (4.6), New Mexico (3.9). Photo © Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA. Used with permission.

Comments

Translucent albite is sometimes found that is colored a rich green by inclusions of chrome-rich jadeite. Albite is sometimes intergrown with emerald, especially in the strange hexagonal skeletal crystals known as trapiche emeralds. Facetable albite from Madagascar has indices: a = 1.530-1.531; β= 1.532-1.533; γ= 1.539-1.540; birefringence 0.009-0.010; density 2.62. Small faceted gems are fairly rare, almost always from the tips of cleavelandite crystals. Albite gems are colorless in most cases and not exciting to look at. Albite moonstones are known from many localities (discussed below).

Name

Albite comes from the Latin albus, meaning white, because the mineral is usually white.

Occurrence

Albite usually forms at low temperatures; it is common in pegmatites, granite, and other igneous rocks, various metamorphic rocks, also marbles.

  • Essex County New York.
  • Ontario, Canada; Quebec, Canada; Madagascar; Austria.
  • Rutherford Mine, Amelia, Virginia: fine colorless albite, facetable, large; crystals are platy variety known as cleavelandite.
  • Upson County, Georgia: moonstone.
  • South Dakota: cleavelandite.
  • Brazil: cleavelandite.
  • Kenya: colorless crystals, some with blue or yellow tinge.
  • (Indices: 1.535/1.539/1.544; S.G. 2.63). Many other localities worldwide.

Stone Sizes

Clean gems are usually in the 1-3 carat range, from cleavelandite crystals. Catseye gems up to about 50 carats are known.

  • Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto, Ontario, Canada): 12.25 (catseye, Burma).
  • Devonian Group (Calgary, Alberta, Canada): 11.13 (cateye, white).

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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