triangle-cut augelite - California
triangle-cut augelite - California

Augelite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information


Soft and brittle, rare augelites are difficult to cut and unsuitable for wear. Faceted transparent pieces are only found in very complete gem and mineral collections.

1 Minute Read

Soft and brittle, rare augelites are difficult to cut and unsuitable for wear. Faceted transparent pieces are only found in very complete gem and mineral collections.

triangle-cut augelite - California
Colorless, triangle-cut augelite, 0.41-ct, 6.3 x 5.3 mm, Champion Mine, Mono Co., California. © The Gem Trader. Used with permission.
Augelite, faceted and rough - California
Augelite: California (~ 1.5, rough ½ inch across). Photo © Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA. Used with permission.

Comments

Although new gem-quality finds of this phosphate mineral have appeared, augelites remain quite rare. Furthermore, facetable crystals are typically very small and very rarely transparent. With a hardness of 4.5-5, a brittle tenacity, and two planes of perfect and good cleavage, this gem poses some challenges to gem cutters and jewelry enthusiasts alike. Although it can occur in lovely pale greens, yellows, blues, and pinks, as well as colorless, and has a striking vitreous, glass-like luster, augelite has no dispersion or “fire” to catch the eye.

  • augelite rough and cut set - California
  • round brilliant augelite - California
  • Augelite crystal on quartz - California

    This rough and cut set features a colorless, sharp augelite crystal on quartz and a colorless, round brilliant-cut augelite. 2.1 x 1.3 x 0.8 cm (crystal), 0.95-ct (gem), Champion Mine, Mono County, California, USA. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

    Identifying Characteristics

    Gem-quality light green augelites from a new find in Peru in 2006 have shown light yellow fluorescence under shortwave ultraviolet light. Gems from other sources have shown no fluorescence.

    step-cut augelite - Peru
    Yellowish green, rhomboid step-cut augelite, 1.04 cts, 7.2 x 4.3 mm, Ortega Mine, Ancash Dept., Peru. © The Gem Trader. Used with permission.

    Synthetics

    Scientists have used synthetic augelites for research purposes. However, there is no known jewelry use for this lab-created material.

    Enhancements

    No known gem treatments or enhancements.

    Sources

    Long the only source for facetable augelites, crystals from the Champion Mine in Mono County, California could reach about one inch in size. This source is now depleted. New facetable material has come from Peru.

    Yukon Territory, Canada and Bolivia produce fine-quality crystal specimens.

    Other notable sources include the following:

    • United States: Palermo Mine, New Hampshire; Keystone, South Dakota (massive, non-gem).
    • Australia; Sweden; Uganda (massive).
    augelite crystals - Bolivia
    Lustrous augelites in a vug. The largest crystal is 1.3 cm in length. Machacamarca Mine, Machacamarca, Machacamarca District (Colavi District), Cornelio Saavedra Province, Potosi Department, Bolivia. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

    Stone Sizes

    Most existing faceted gems from the California material weigh less than one carat. Some weigh up to three carats. This rare mineral very rarely yields larger stones.

    Care

    Clean augelites only with a soft brush, mild detergent, and warm water. Consult our gemstone jewelry cleaning guide for more 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


    International Gem Society

    Never Stop Learning

    When you join the IGS community, you get trusted diamond & gemstone information when you need it.

    Become a Member

    Get Gemology Insights

    Get started with the International Gem Society’s free guide to gemstone identification. Join our weekly newsletter & get a free copy of the Gem ID Checklist!