Boracite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information


boracite - type locality
“Boracite,” Kalkberg Hill, Luneburg, Lower Saxony, Germany, (type locality). © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

With light blue and green colors, no cleavage, and high hardness, boracite is an uncommon mineral. Unfortunately for jewelry lovers, faceted boracites are very rare.

Boracite Value

The International Gem Society (IGS) has a list of businesses offering gemstone appraisal services.

Boracite Information

DataValue
NameBoracite
Crystallography Orthorhombic. Pseudo-tetragonal. Crystals small and equant.
Colors Colorless, white, gray, yellow, pale to dark green, blueish green.
Luster Vitreous.
Fracture Conchoidal to uneven.
Hardness 7-7.5.
Specific Gravity 2.95
Birefringence 0.011
Cleavage None.
Dispersion 0.024
Luminescence Weak greenish (SW)
Spectral Not diagnostic.
Transparency Translucent to transparent.
FormulaMg3B7O13Cl
Pleochroism None.
Optics α= 1.658-1.662; β = 1.662-1.667; γ = 1.668-1.673. Biaxial (+), 2V =82°.
EtymologyNamed after the boron in its composition.
OccurrenceSecondary deposits formed in evaporite sequences (seawater).
faceted boracite - Germany
Boracite: Hanover, Germany (0.6). Photo © Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA. Used with permission.

Comments

Boracite forms in salt deposits and similar environments as a result of seawater evaporation in enclosed basins. Rare cut boracites can show delicate shades of blue, green, yellow, white, and grey and have moderate dispersion. Some stones are colorless.

Identifying Characteristics

Under physical pressure, boracite generates an electric charge. This is known as known the piezoelectric effect. (Some well-known examples of piezoelectric gems include tourmaline and quartz). This mineral also exhibits the pyroelectric effect. It generates an electric charge when heated.

Boracites decompose slowly in water.

boracite - England
“Boracite,” Boulby Mine, Loftus, North Yorkshire, England, UK. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

Synthetics

No known synthetics or treatments.

Sources

Cuttable crystals occur only in the Stassfurt and Hanover districts of Germany. These sites usually yield small, pale-colored crystals.

Other notable gem sources include:

  • United States: Otis, California; Choctaw Salt Dome, Louisiana.
  • England: North Yorkshire, Aislaby.
  • Bolivia; Canada; China; France; Kazahkstan.
boracite - Bolivia
“Boracite” on matrix, Alto Chapare District, Chapare Province, Cochabamba Department, Bolivia. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

Stone Sizes

Boracite crystals are very small. Usually, they yield gemstones ranging from 1-2 carats. Gems over 2 carats would be considered extreme rarities.

Care

Although boracites react to water very slowly, keep them dry in storage, where they would have time to sit and decompose. Alcohol may be used in lieu of water for cleaning. Otherwise, these stones have high hardness (7-7.5) and no cleavage and require no special care. Consult our gemstone jewelry cleaning guide for more recommendations.

boracite - pink
“Boracite,” rare orange-pink crystal on matrix, Alto Chapare District, Chapare Province, Cochabamba Department, Bolivia. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.