Humite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information


Humite
Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Humite Value

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Humite Information

DataValue
NameHumite
Crystallography Varies by group member. See "Identifying Characteristics" below.
Refractive Index Varies by group member, 1.563-1.674. See "Identifying Characteristics" below.
Colors Slightly brownish yellow, yellow, deep orange
Luster Vitreous.
Fracture Subconchoidal, uneven
Hardness 6 - 6.5
Specific Gravity 3.15-3.35. See table below.
Birefringence Varies by group member, 0.026-0.041. See "Identifying Characteristics" below.
Cleavage Poor
Stone SizesCut humites are always small, generally in the l-3 carat range. Crystals tend to be dark and filled with inclusions and fractures. Larger cut gems would be extremely rare.
Luminescence Usually inert in SW, sometimes golden yellow; dull orange to brownish orange in LW.
Transparency Translucent to transparent.
Pleochroism See "Identifying Characteristics" below.
Optics Biaxial +. See "Identifying Characteristics" below.

Comments

Faceted chondrodite is almost unknown, a pity since the color is very rich and the material is hard and durable enough for wear. Cutting presents no great difficulty, but rough is virtually unobtainable, and only tiny stones could be produced. The same is true for norbergite and humite. The exception seems to be clinohumite from the Pamir Mountains in the USSR. Crystals occur there in sizes allowing the production of small (1-3 carats), slightly brownish yellow but flawless gems. This material fluoresces slightly orangy yellow in SW. Only a handful of gems have been cut.

Members of the Humite group include Humite, Clinohumite, Norbergite, and Chondrobite.

These minerals are easily confused with each other as they have similar properties. The compositions are related in a very distinctive way:

  • Norbergite:        Mg(OH,F)2 · Mg2(SiO4)
  • Chondrodite:     Mg(OH,F)2 · 2Mg2(SiO4)
  • Humite:                Mg(OH,F)2· 3Mg2(SiO4)
  • Clinohumite:      Mg(OH,F)2· 4Mg2(SiO4)
  • TiO2 present in humite and clinohumite strongly affects their optical properties. All members of this group have poor cleavage and vitreous luster. All are biaxial (+) and generally yellowish brown in color.

Names

Chondrodite from the Greek chondros, a grain, in allusion to the mineral’s granular nature. Humite is named after Sir Abraham Hume, an English collector of gems and minerals of the nineteenth century. Norbergite is named after the locality at Norberg, Sweden, where it is found. Clinohumite is the monoclinic end of the humite-clinohumite series.

Occurrence

In contact zones in limestone or dolomite. Rarely in alkaline rocks of igneous origin. This paragenesis is true for all members of the humite group.

  • Wiberforce, Ontario, Canada.
  • Tilly Foster Mine, Brewster, New York: fine crystals of chondrodite, reddish brown, some rather gemmy, associated with humite and Clinohumite This locality is the source of most gem chondrodite.
  • Kafveltorp, Orebro, Sweden: yellowish material. Pargas, Finland: yellowish material. Loolekop, East Transvaal: in a carbonatite .
  • Norbergite from: Franklin, New Jersey; Orange County, New York; Norberg, Sweden.
  • Clinohumite from California: Ala, Italy: Malaga. Spain: Lake Baikal, USSR.

Norbergite

Chondrodite

Humite

Clinohumite

USSR
Crystollagraphyorthorhombicmonoclinicorthorhombicmonoclinic
Colorsyellowish tanyellow, brown, redyellow, deep orangeyellow, brown, white
Hardness6.56.566
Density3.15-3.183.16-3.263.20-3.323.17-3.35
Optics
α1.563-1.5671.592-1.6151.607-1.6431.629-1.6381.631
β1.567-1.5791.602-1.6271.639-1.6751.662-1.6431.639-1.647
γ1.590-1.5931.621-1.6461.639-1.6751.662-1.6741.668
2V44-50°71-85°65-84°73-76°
Birefringence0.026-0.0270.028-0.0340.029-0.0310.028-0.0410.037
Pleochroism
αpale yellowvery pale yellow/brownish yellowyellowgolden yellow/ deep reddish yellow
βvery pale yellowcolorless/ yellowish greencolorless/ pale yellowpale yellow/orange yellow
γcolorlesscolorless/pale greencolorless/ pale yellowpale yellow/orange yellow