Neptunite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

By Didier Descouens (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


An overview on Neptunite Jewelry and Gemstones. Covers details and essential information on the physical properties and characteristics of Neptunite gems.

Neptunite Information

Data Value
Name Neptunite
Colors Extremely dark red, appearing microscopically black.
Crystallography Monoclinic; crystals prismatic, usually square in cross section, lustrous and very well formed.
Refractive Index 1.690-1.736
Luster Vitreous.
Hardness 5-6
Fracture Conchoidal
Specific Gravity 3.19-3.23
Birefringence 0.029-0.045
Cleavage Perfect 1 direction
Stone Sizes Neptunite is opaque except in minute fragments, from which tiny faceted stones (under 1 carat) of deep red color have been cut. The color intensity limits the practical size of gemstones; opaque blackish stones in the 20-30 carat range could be cut but would not display the lovely red color neptunite displays in smaller fragments.
Luminescence None.
Luminescence Present No
Transparency Transparent in small fragments, otherwise opaque.
Absorption Spectrum Not diagnostic.

(Na,K)2(Fe+2,Mn)TiSi4O12 (mangan-neptunite has Mn,Fe2).


Yellow/deep red.


= 1.690-1.691; β = 1.693-1.700; γ = 1.719-1.736. Biaxial (+).

Optic Sign Biaxial +

Optics: a= 1.690-1.691; β=1.693-1.700; γ=1.719—1.736.

Biaxial (+)

Occurrence: In alkaline rocks and carbonatites but most especially embedded in natrolite in San Benito County, California, where it occurs in spectacular crystals associated with benitoite and joaquinite.

Narsarsuk, Julianhaab district, Greenland.

Mt. Ste. Hilaire, Quebec, Canada.

Kola Peninsula, USSR: mangan-neptunite.

San Benito County, California.

Name: For Neptune, god of the sea in mythology, because it was found associated with aegirine, named after Aegir, Scandinavian god of the sea.