Danburite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

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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.

Danburite Value

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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.

Danburite Information

Data Value
Name Danburite
Crystallography Orthorhombic; Crystals prismatic with wedge-shaped terminations, like topaz.
Crystallographic Forms
Refractive Index 1.627-1.641
Colors Colorless, white, pink, light to dark yellow, yellowish brown, brown, blue.
Luster Vitreous to greasy
Hardness 7
Wearability Excellent
Fracture Subconchoidal to uneven
Specific Gravity 2.97-3.03, usually 3.00.
Birefringence 0.008-0.009
Cleavage Indistinct
Dispersion 0.017
Luminescence Sky blue to bright blue-green in LW. Also, thermoluminescent (red).
Luminescence Present Yes
Luminescence Type Fluorescent, Phosphorescent, UV-Long
Transparency Transparent
Absorption Spectrum Sometimes shows rare earth spectrum, so-called didymium lines.
Phenomena Chatoyancy (rare)
Formula CaB2Si2O8
Pleochroism Weak: pale-yellow/yellow.
Optics a = 1.627-1.633; β = 1.633-1.637; γ = 1.636-1.641. Biaxial (-); 2V= 88° in red to green light; optically (+) at lower wavelengths.
Etymology After the type locality, Danbury, Connecticut.
Occurrence In dolomites; in carbonate veins in granitic rocks.
Inclusions Fingerprints (healed fractures), hollow growth tubes.
Optic Sign Biaxial +, Biaxial -
danburites - gem and crystal - Mexico

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?

With poor 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.

white gold ring

18k white gold ring with danburite and diamonds. Photo courtesy of liveauctioneers.com and Don Presley Auction.

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.

cat's eye danburite - Bolivia

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?

Laboratories have 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 danburites - Russia

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.
Barion emerald-cut danburite - Madagascar

Golden yellow danburite, 32.97 cts, 20.93 x 16.25 mm, custom Barion emerald cut, Madagascar. © Kosnar Gem Co. Used with permission.

  • Mexico: Charcas, San Luis Potosí, colorless, yellow, light pink (gemmy).
  • Myanmar: Mogok, yellow and colorless, sometimes large crystals (rolled pebbles).
  • Russia: colorless, gemmy material.
  • Bolivia; China; Sri Lanka; Tanzania; Vietnam.
danburite - Tanzania

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 danburite - Japan

Round brilliant-cut danburite, 1.18 cts, 6.9 mm, Obira Mine, Oita Prefecture, Japan. © The Gem Trader. Used with permission.

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