Yellow, cushion-cut danburite, 6.53 cts, 12.0 x 9.7 x 8.6 mm, Myanmar. ©
ARK Rare Gems. Used with permission.
A very durable gemstone, danburite is an excellent choice for jewelry use. Although the mineral isn’t rare, large facetable pieces are scarce. Still, sufficient material exists for gem enthusiasts and adventurous jewelry lovers to add this lovely and underappreciated stone to their collections.
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Tried and true gem value factors apply to danburite. All other things being equal, larger,
cleaner, better cut and better colored stones have a higher value per carat. However, a truly colorless specimen would surpass a very pale yellow or slightly pink stone in value per carat.
Princess-cut colorless 8.65-ct danburite, 12.26 mm, Russia. © Kosnar Gem Co. Used with permission.
Danburites: Charcas, Mexico (8.5, crystal ~ 2 1⁄2 inches long). Photo ©
Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA. Used with permission. Does Danburite Make a Good Jewelry Stone?
cleavage and a hardness of 7, danburite can withstand the rigors of all jewelry applications, including rings and bracelets. It has good resistance to damage from accidental blows and scratches. In terms of toughness and wearability, it ranks with popular jewelry stones like quartz and topaz.
Danburite’s colors typically range from colorless to light yellow, pale pink, or tan.
Although a modest
dispersion means cut danburites won’t show colorful flashes, properly cut gems can still look very bright. Rare specimens may also display chatoyancy.
This danburite shows an unusual color, dark blue, as well as a rare chatoyant “cat’s eye” effect. Round cabochon, 0.73 cts, 5.1 mm, Alto Chapare District, Cochabamba Dept., Bolivia. ©
The Gem Trader. Used with permission. Do Danburites Fluoresce?
Most danburites show a sky-blue
fluorescence in longwave ultraviolet light and a red phosphorescence when heated. However, some specimens from Sri Lanka and Tanzania show no luminescence at all. Are There Any Synthetic Danburites?
synthesized danburite for research into phosphorescence. However, there’s no known jewelry use for this material.
Typically, danburites receive no
enhancements, but some Russian specimens have undergone a stable radiation treatment for color enhancement.
Irradiated, square radiant-cut danburites, 5.76 ctw, 8.1 mm, Dal’Negorsk, Russia. ©
The Gem Trader. Used with permission. Where is Danburite Found?
First discovered in Danbury, Connecticut, gem-quality danburite has since been found in many locations all over the world. Notable sources include the following:
Japan: Obira, Bungo, Kyushu, colorless crystals, sometimes gemmy.
Madagascar: yellow crystals at Mt. Bity, often gemmy.
, colorless, yellow, light pink (gemmy). Mexico: Charcas, San Luis Potosí
Myanmar: Mogok, yellow and colorless, sometimes large crystals (rolled pebbles).
Russia: colorless, gemmy material.
Bolivia; China; Sri Lanka; Tanzania; Vietnam.
Danburite, Merelani Hills, Arusha Region, Tanzania. © Rob Lavinsky,
www.iRocks.com. Used with permission. Stones Sizes
Danburites, especially colorless material from Mexico, typically range in size between 1 and 5 carats. Yellow gems from Myanmar between 7 and 10 carats are very rare.
British Museum of Natural History (London): Myanmar, wine-yellow, step-cut, flawless, 135.61.
Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC): 18.4 (Myanmar, yellow) 12.4; 10.5 (Mexico, colorless); 7.9 (Japan, colorless).
Los Angeles County Museum (Los Angeles): Madagascar, brownish, emerald cut, 115.
Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto, Canada): Russia, colorless, step-cut, 12.72.
Private Collections: 20 (Myanmar, peach color); 22.76 (Madagascar, yellow); 37 (Russia). How to Care for Danburite Gems
Due to some heat sensitivity, avoid
steam cleaning this gem. Otherwise, danburite requires no special care. Consult our gemstone jewelry cleaning guide for more care recommendations.
Round brilliant-cut danburite, 1.18 cts, 6.9 mm, Obira Mine, Oita Prefecture, Japan. ©
The Gem Trader. Used with permission.