Datolite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

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Light yellow datolite, 5.99 cts, 12.6 x 10.2 x 7.5 mm, oval cut, Dalnegorsk, Russia. © ARK Rare Gems. Used with permission.

Polished and sliced datolite nodules can show off very attractive colors. Datolite is a popular collector’s mineral, but faceted and cabbed datolites are rare.

Datolite Value

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Faceted

.5 to 1 carat
Faceted
/ct
1 carat plus
Faceted
to /ct
View Datolite Profile

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Datolite Information

Data Value
Name Datolite
Crystallography Monoclinic. Crystals prismatic or stubby; massive, granular.
Refractive Index 1.622-1.670
Colors Colorless, white, pale yellow, green, also pink, reddish, and brownish due to impurities; massive varieties can be white to orange-brown or pink.
Luster Vitreous, resinous.
Hardness 5-5.5
Fracture Uneven to conchoidal
Specific Gravity 2.8-3.0
Birefringence 0.044
Cleavage None
Dispersion 0.016
Luminescence Blue in SW UV, attributed to the presence of europium (Eu).
Luminescence Present Yes
Luminescence Type Fluorescent, UV-Short
Transparency Translucent to transparent
Absorption Spectrum Not diagnostic
Formula CaBSiO4(OH)
Pleochroism None
Optics a = 1.622-1.626; β = 1.649-1.658; γ = 1.666-1.670. Biaxial (-), 2V= 75°.
Optic Sign Biaxial -
Etymology From a Greek word meaning “to divide,” because of the granular nature of the massive variety.
Occurrence A secondary mineral in basic igneous rocks and traprocks.
Inclusions Copper, hematite, manganese.
nodule - Michigan

Datolite nodule included by copper, 4.4 x 3.7 x 1.5 cm, Knowlton Lode, Ontonogan County, Michigan, USA. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

What is Datolite?

The mineral datolite serves as a source of boron.

Does Datolite Make a Good Jewelry Stone?

You’re more likely to find datolites in mineral collections than jewelry collections. However, if worn occasionally or in protective settings, these gems can make interesting conversation pieces. They can match popular opals in hardness but without the additional wear and care restrictions.

Most faceted datolite gems show pale yellowish or green colors. Some are colorless. While faceted gems have high brilliance, they have little fire or dispersion.

Massive brown or white material may yield cabochons.

Copper inclusions in material from Michigan can create striking colors.

datolite cabochon - Michigan

A freeform cabochon with peachy pink datolite, some matrix, and an included vein of elemental copper, 17.84 cts, 23.3 x 17.9 x 7 mm, Michigan. © The Gem Trader. Used with permission.

Identifying Datolites

Datolites may fluoresce blue under shortwave ultraviolet light.

Due to their high birefringence, faceted datolites may show doubling of facet images.

datolite - cushion cut, Russia

Colorless datolite, 5.36 cts, 12.8 x 9.5 x 5.2 mm, cushion cut, Dalnegorsk, Russia. © ARK Rare Gems. Used with permission.

Datolite nodules may resemble howlite. Nevertheless, their physical properties differ considerably, notably their hardness (5.5 versus 3.5 or less) and specific gravity.

nodule - Michigan

A datolite nodule, 7.4 x 7.0 x 2.6 cm, Keweenaw Co., Michigan, USA. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

Are There Synthetic Datolites?

Scientists have used hydrothermally grown synthetic material for research into utilizing its luminescence to improve boron prospecting efficiency. However, there is no known use of synthetic datolites in jewelry.

Datolites have no known gem treatments.

Where are Datolites Found?

Primorsky Krai in the Russian Far East produces large, gem-quality datolite crystals.

Notable gem sources in the United States include the following:

  • Massachusetts: Springfield and Lane’s Quarry, Westfield.
  • Michigan: Lake Superior Copper district (nodules of massive datolite).
  • New Jersey: Paterson and other localities.

Other notable gem-quality sources include the following:

  • Tyrol and Habach, Austria.
  • Faraday Mine, Ontario, Canada (colorless material).
  • Mexico; South Africa; Cornwall, United Kingdom.
datolite - South Africa

A cluster of rare pink datolites, 4.2 x 3.8 x 2.2 cm, Wessels Mine, Kalahari Manganese Fields, South Africa. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

Stone Sizes

Brown or white massive material will cut cabochons up to several ounces. However, gem collections seldom hold these cabochons, as it seems most collectors prefer sliced nodules. These can measure up to about 6 inches in diameter.

The best faceting material comes from Massachusetts, with fine pale green material from New Jersey. The largest gems cut from these materials range up to 5 carats.

faceted datolite - New Jersey

Datolite: Paterson, New Jersey (4.0). Photo © Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA. Used with permission.

Larger stones are very rare.

  • Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC): 5.4 and 5.0 (colorless, Massachusetts).
  • Harvard University: 13.21 (flawless triangle, Massachusetts).
  • National Museums of Canada (Ottawa, Ontario): 0.45 (colorless, Canada).

Datolite Care

Store datolites separately from other harder, well-known jewelry stones to avoid contact scratches. Clean datolites with a soft brush, mild detergent, and warm water. See our gemstone jewelry care guide for more recommendations.

yellow datolite - oval cut, Russia

Yellow datolite, 1.20 cts, 8.2 x 6.2 x 3.8 mm, oval cut, Dalnegorsk, Russia. © ARK Rare Gems. Used with permission.

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