Hurlbutite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

“Hurlbutite,” 4 mm crystal pair on matrix, Chandlers Mill, Newport, NH. Photo courtesy of New Hampshire Mineral Species. Used with permission.

Hurlbutite

Hurlbutite is an extremely rare mineral. Minute, colorless faceted stones have been cut from fragments.

Hurlbutite Information

Data Value
Name Hurlbutite
Colors Colorless to greenish white; may be stained yellow.
Crystallography Monoclinic; crystals prismatic, chunky, with etched surfaces and striations.
Refractive Index 1.595-1.604
Luster Vitreous to greasy.
Hardness 6
Fracture Conchoidal
Specific Gravity 2.88.
Birefringence 0.009
Cleavage None
Luminescence None reported.
Luminescence Present No
Transparency Transparent to translucent.
Absorption Spectrum Not diagnostic.
Formula

CaBe2(PO4)2.

Pleochroism

None.

 

Optics

a = 1.595; β = 1.601; γ = 1.604. Biaxial (-).

Optic Sign Biaxial -
Etymology

After Cornelius Hurlbut, well-known professor of mineralogy at Harvard University.

Occurrence

In pegmatite with muscovite, albite, and other minerals.

hurlbutite - crystal on matrix, New Hampshire

“Hurlbutite,” 3 cm crystal in pegmatite matrix, Chandlers Mill Mine, Newport, NH. Photo courtesy of New Hampshire Mineral Species. Used with permission.

Comments

To date, only hurlbutite from the type locality, Chandlers Mill, Newport, New Hampshire, has yielded clean, cuttable gem material. However, finding this seldom seen stone as a faceted gem would be quite unusual.

Strontiohurlbutite (SrBe2(PO4)2) is the strontium (Sr) analogue of the hurlbutite group. Hurlbutites are calcium (Ca) dominant. Both contain the rare element beryllium (Be).

Strontiohurlbutites have a light blue color, while hurlbutites range from white to greenish white.

Synthetics

In laboratories, scientists have created both hurlbutites and strontiohurlbutites for research purposes using a hydrothermal process. However, no jewelry use of these synthetics is known.

Enhancements

None known.

Sources

Gem-quality hurlbutites come from the Smith Mine, Chandlers Mill, Newport, New Hampshire.

Other sources include:

  • United States: Maine, South Dakota.
  • Czech Republic; Finland; Spain; Sweden; Zimbabwe.

Fujian Province, China produces strontiohurlbutite.

Stone Sizes

Faceted gems, transparent and colorless, all fall under one carat in size.

Care

You’re more likely to find hurlbutites, if at all, in comprehensive mineral collections than jewelry collections. With no cleavage and a hardness of 6, just below quartz, the small, transparent and colorless gems would make interesting conversation pieces if worn with care. (These conversations would likely dwell on their rarity). Consult our Gemstone Jewelry Cleaning Guide for more information.

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