baguette-cut crocoite - Tasmania
baguette-cut crocoite - Tasmania

Crocoite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information


Lovely saffron-colored crocoite is quite a rare mineral. Although too soft and brittle for jewelry wear, a few crystals have been faceted for collectors.

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Lovely saffron-colored crocoite is quite a rare mineral. Although too soft and brittle for jewelry wear, a few crystals have been faceted for collectors.

baguette-cut crocoite - Tasmania
Baguette-cut crocoite, 1.65 cts, 6.3 x 5.3 x 2.7 mm, orange-red, Tasmania. Steve Burger, personal collection. © ARK Rare Gems. Used with permission.

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Crocoite Value

5 to 10 carats
Faceted
to /ct

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crocoite crystal - Tasmania
Crocoite, Red Lead Mine, Dundas, Tasmania, Australia. Photo by Jamain. Licensed under CC By-SA 3.0.

Comments

This mineral was previously named crocoise and later crocoisite and is also known as red lead ore.

Tasmania, Australia declared crocoite its official state mineral in 2000.

  • crocoite - rough and faceted set
  • crocoite - rectangle cut

    This rough and cut set features a specimen of lustrous, red-orange crocoite crystals on matrix and a rectangle-cut crocoite gem. 4.5 x 3.3 x 2.1 cm (specimen); 0.58 cts, 4.36 x 3.70 mm (gem); Dundas, Zeehan District, Tasmania, Australia. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

    Identifying Characteristics

    Crocoite's intense red-orange to yellow-orange color completely masks its high dispersion.

    Crocoite has an orange-yellow streak. Please note: don't conduct streak testing on finished gems. Test material in inconspicuous spots as a last resort only.

    This mineral shows a distinct absorption band at 5550 but only in thin fragment specimens. It transmits light mainly in the yellow-red region of the spectrum.

    crocoite display - GeoFair
    Crocoite on display at GeoFair 2015. Photo by Kyle Hartshorn. Licensed under CC By 2.0.

    Synthetics

    Synthetic lead(II) chromate, or "chrome yellow," has the same chemical formula as crocoite but is only used as a pigment. There's no known jewelry use for this material.

    Treatments

    No known treatments or enhancements.

    Sources

    Dundas, Tasmania produces the world's best crystals (some gemmy) in large clusters.

    The Berezovsk District in Russia, the type locality, produces red crystals.

    Other notable sources for gem-quality material include the following:

    • United States: Tiger, Arizona (very tiny crystals); California.
    • Brazil: Minas Gerais.
    • Germany.
    crocoite crystals - Russia
    Crocoites on matrix, 8.6 x 5.7 x 3.5 cm (specimen), Berezovsk Mines, Berezovskii Zavod, Sverdlovsk, Sverdlovskaya Oblast', Middle Urals, Urals Region, Russia. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

    Stone Sizes

    Gems can weigh up to about 10 carats. However, these are usually not transparent. Tasmania can produce clean, deep red-orange stones up to 1-2 carats.

    • Devonian Group (Calgary, Alberta, Canada): 14.5 (orange, Tasmania).
    • Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC): 5.7 (orange-red, Tasmania).

    Care

    With a hardness range of 2.5 to 3, crocoites could be cut by coins and knives. Therefore, jewelry use isn't recommended. For storage suggestions and other information, consult our gemstone collection guide.

    Although this mineral contains hexavalent chromium and lead, both toxic, handling crystals or finished gems should pose no problems. However, when cutting this material, avoid ingesting or inhaling particles, wash your hands, and don't pour solutions with this material down the drain. For more information, consult our articles on toxic and radioactive gem materials and health hazards and safety tips for gem cutters.

    faceted crocoite - Dundas, Tasmania
    Crocoite: Dundas, Tasmania (3.4). Photo © Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA. Used with permission.

    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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