Eosphorite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information


eosphorite - shield cut
“Peach Eosphorite, 13.14-ct,” 20.2 x 15.5 x 8.5 mm, fancy shield cut, Brazil. © ARK Rare Gems. Used with permission.

Faceted eosphorites in pale colors are quite attractive and easy to cut. However, these very rare gems are too soft for most jewelry use.

Eosphorite Value

The International Gem Society (IGS) has a list of businesses offering gemstone appraisal services.

Eosphorite Information

DataValue
NameEosphorite
Crystallography Orthorhombic. (Previously classified as monoclinic with pseudo-orthorhombic symmetry. See “Comments” below).
Colors Colorless, pale pink, pale yellow, light to dark brown, reddish brown, orange, black.
Luster Vitreous to resinous.
Fracture Uneven to subconchoidal. Brittle.
Hardness 5
Specific Gravity 3.05 (pure Mn end member); 3.08 (Brazil).
Birefringence 0.029-0.035. (Note: less than Childrenite)
Cleavage Poor.
Luminescence None observed.
Spectral Strong line at 4100, moderate at 4900 (in brownish-pink material).
Transparency Translucent to transparent.
Formula(Mn,Fe)AlPO4(OH)2·H2O.
Pleochroism Distinct: yellow/pink/pale pink to colorless.
Optics a = 1.638-1.639; β = 1.660-1.664; γ = 1.667-1.671. Biaxial (-), 2V= 50°.
EtymologyFrom the Greek eosphoros for “dawn bearing,” alluding to the rosy pink color of the original source material.
OccurrenceIn granite pegmatites, usually associated with Mn phosphates.
Inclusions Almost always included; multiphase (liquid).
cut eosphorite gems
“Cut Eosphorite,” Brazil. Gem cutting by Afonso Marques. Photo by Eurico Zimbres. Licensed under CC By-SA 3.0.

Comments

The minerals eosphorite and childrenite form a series. Eosphorites are the manganese (Mn)-dominant members, childrenites the iron (Fe)-dominant. Varying combinations of Fe and Mn amounts in crystals give eosphorites a wide range of colors. Those eosphorites with high levels of Mn may show an orange color. However, most eosphorites are usually brown and turn brown to black when oxidized.

The pink colors that inspired eosphorite’s name look especially beautiful when cut as round brilliants.

Originally, scientists grouped eosphorites in the monoclinic crystal system. Their apparent pseudo-orthorhombic symmetry was believed to be due to twinning. However, subsequent studies determined eosphorites definitively belong to the orthorhombic crystal system.

eosphorite crystal - Minas Gerais, Brazil
“Eosphorite,” Taquaral, Itinga, Jequitinhonha valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil, 2.4 x 2.6 cm, by Modris Baum. Public Domain.

Identifying Characteristics

Although both are very rare, cut eosphorites are more commonly encountered than childrenites. Childrenites tend to have more yellow color, but can also show brownish colors like eosphorites. These fellow series members differ somewhat in specific gravity, birefringence, and optical properties.

Apatite colors and hardness may match those of eosphorite. These stones also appear frequently as faceted collector’s pieces. However, apatites differ optically considerably from much scarcer eosphorites.

eosphorite and rose quartz
“Eosphorite and Rose Quartz,” Ilha claim, Taquaral, Itinga, Jequitinhonha Valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Photo by Géry Parent. Licensed under CC By-ND 2.0.

Synthetics

No known synthetics or gem treatments.

Sources

To date, only Brazilian localities have yielded cuttable crystals. Itinga, Minas Gerais produces excellent, flat, pink crystals up to 4 x 1 cm.

Other notable crystal sources include

  • United States: Branchville, Connecticut (type locality); Maine; North Groton, New Hampshire; Keystone, South Dakota.
  • Canada; Hagendorf, Germany; Pakistan.
eosphorite - Pakistan
Closeup of a bright orange euhedral eosphorite crystal on a white albite (cleavelandite) matrix. This specimen also features smoky colored topaz and pinkish purple lepidolite. Chamachhu, Haramosh Mts., Skardu District, Baltistan, Northern Areas, Pakistan. 7.3 x 4.7 x 2.8 cm. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

Stone Sizes

Always small in size, cut eosphorites typically weigh less than 3-4 carats. Cuttable crystals are usually badly flawed and contain many inclusions.

Care

You’re more likely to find faceted eosphorites, if at all, in gem collections than jewelry collections. Since these gems are soluble in acid, don’t expose them to any cleaning solutions that contain acids or wear them against your skin. For jewelry wear, use protective settings. With a hardness of 5, these gems have greater susceptibility to scratching than many more commonly encountered jewelry stones. Store eosphorites separately from other gems to avoid contact scratches as well. Clean them with a soft brush, mild detergent, and warm water. Don’t soak these gems in water. See our Gemstone Jewelry Cleaning Guide for more recommendations.

eosphorite - pear cut
Although this pear-cut eosphorite has eye-visible inclusions, it has a beautiful peachy orange color. Taquaral, Minas Gerais, Brazil, 9.26 mm x 6.40 mm, 1.51 cts. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission. (Images combined to show details).