Eosphorite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information
Faceted eosphorites in pale colors are quite attractive and easy to cut. However, these very rare gems are too soft for most jewelry use.
The International Gem Society (IGS) has a list of businesses offering gemstone appraisal services.
|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.|
|Specific Gravity||3.05 (pure Mn end member); 3.08 (Brazil).|
|Birefringence||0.029-0.035. (Note: less than Childrenite)|
|Spectral||Strong line at 4100, moderate at 4900 (in brownish-pink material).|
|Transparency||Translucent to transparent.|
|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°.|
|Etymology||From the Greek eosphoros for “dawn bearing,” alluding to the rosy pink color of the original source material.|
|Occurrence||In granite pegmatites, usually associated with Mn phosphates.|
|Inclusions||Almost always included; multiphase (liquid).|
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.
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.
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.
Always small in size, cut eosphorites typically weigh less than 3-4 carats. Cuttable crystals are usually badly flawed and contain many inclusions.
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.