papagoite cabochon - Arizona
papagoite cabochon - Arizona

Papagoite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information


Cerulean blue papagoite crystals are too small for faceting. However, massive material mixed with quartz can be cabbed, while quartz crystals with papagoite inclusions make striking specimens for collectors.

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Cerulean blue papagoite crystals are too small for faceting. However, massive material mixed with quartz can be cabbed, while quartz crystals with papagoite inclusions make striking specimens for collectors.

papagoite cabochon - Arizona
Papagoite cabochon, Ajo, Arizona. © 49erMinerals. Used with permission.
microcrystalline papagoite - Arizona
Deep blue microcrystalline papagoite, 5.4 x 3.0 x 1.2 cm, New Cornelia Mine, Ajo, Pima County, Arizona. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

Comments

Papagoite was originally found as tiny crystals associated with blueish green ajoite in Ajo, Pima County, Arizona. This microcrystalline material isn't cuttable. However, massive papagoite found mixed with quartz has greater hardness and wearability. It can also take a high polish, which makes it suitable for cabbing. These opaque to translucent cabs can have a vitreous luster.

In South Africa, papagoites can occur as inclusions within quartz crystals.

papagoite inclusion in quartz - South Africa
Quartz with included papagoite (Transvaal, South Africa). Photo by James St. John. Licensed under CC By 2.0.

Identifying Characteristics

Under magnification, you can see a regular interlocking structure in massive papagoite/quartz. You may also find tiny metallic copper crystal inclusions. This type of papagoite may look like more well-known chrysocolla or turquoise gems. 

Papagoites leave a light blue streak. Please note that streak testing can destroy your specimen. Never perform this test on a finished gem and only do it as a last resort to identify rough.

Synthetics

No known synthetics.

Enhancements

No known treatments.

Sources

Arizona and South Africa are the principal producers of this rare gem material. Other sources include Namibia and Slovakia.

papagoite crystals - Namibia
Papagoite crystals, 5.9 x 3.3 x 2.1 cm, Sindair Mine, South Central Namibia. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

Stone Sizes

Lapidaries can cut cabs up to several inches in length from the massive material.

Care

Clean microcrystalline specimens only with a soft brush, mild detergent, and warm water. Durable cabochons cut from massive material have no special care requirements. For more care recommendations, consult our gemstone jewelry cleaning guide.

papagoite cabs and rough - Arizona
Papagoite cabochons and rough. © 49erMinerals. Used with permission.

Joel E. Arem, Ph.D., FGA

Dr. Joel E. Arem has more than 60 years of experience in the world of gems and minerals. After obtaining his Ph.D. in Mineralogy from Harvard University, he has published numerous books that are still among the most widely used references and guidebooks on crystals, gems and minerals in the world.

Co-founder and President of numerous organizations, Dr. Arem has enjoyed a lifelong career in mineralogy and gemology. He has been a Smithsonian scientist and Curator, a consultant to many well-known companies and institutions, and a prolific author and speaker. Although his main activities have been as a gem cutter and dealer, his focus has always been education. joelarem.com


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