light yellow datolite - Russia
light yellow datolite - Russia

Datolite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information


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.

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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.

light yellow datolite - Russia
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.

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Datolite Value

.5 to 1 carat
Faceted
/ct
1 carat plus
Faceted
to /ct

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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.

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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