Bustamite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information


Bustamite is very similar in appearance and properties to rhodonite. The Japanese crystals are very rich in Mn. The color, when fresh, is paler than rhodonite. Bustamite may also be fibrous, and then yields fine catseye gems, but these are extremely rare. Faceted Bustamite are very attractive, especially in the pinkish shades, but stones over 1-2 carats are very rare collector items. The cleavage makes cutting difficult and wear ill advised.

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Bustamite is very similar in appearance and properties to rhodonite. The Japanese crystals are very rich in Mn. The color, when fresh, is paler than rhodonite. Bustamite may also be fibrous, and then yields fine catseye gems, but these are extremely rare. Faceted Bustamite are very attractive, especially in the pinkish shades, but stones over 1-2 carats are very rare collector items. The cleavage makes cutting difficult and wear ill advised.

BUSTAMITE: Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia (2.6). Photo © Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA. Used with permission.

OPTICS: a = 1.662-1.692; β = 1.674-1.705; γ = 1.676 -1.707

Biaxial (-), 2V = 30-44°.

OCCURRENCE: Manganese ore bodies, usually of metasomatic origin.

Cornwall, England; Långban, Sweden.

Franklin and Sterling Hill, New Jersey: in fine crystals.

Iwate and Yamagata prefectures, Japan: gemmy crystals.

Broken Hill, N.S.W., Australia: this material has high Mn content, in crystals up to 2 x 10 cm; S.G.= 3.41, 2V = 39°, a= 1.688, β = 1.699, γ = 1.703, Birefringence 0.015.

COMMENTS: Bustamite is very similar in appearance and properties to rhodonite. The Japanese crystals are very rich in Mn. The color, when fresh, is paler than rhodonite. Bustamite may also be fibrous, and then yields fine catseye gems, but these are extremely rare. Faceted Bustamite are very attractive, especially in the pinkish shades, but stones over 1-2 carats are very rare collector items. The cleavage makes cutting difficult and wear ill advised.

NAME:  After the discovery of the mineral. M. Bustamente.

 


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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