Purpurite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information


PURPURITE: Usakos, Namibia (specimens ~2 inches across). Photo © Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA. Used with permission.

This material is never transparent and is too soft for wear. However, cabochons are a magnificent purplish rose hues that have essentially no counterpart in the gem world. The material is available from Namibia in abundance and at low cost.

Purpurite Value

The International Gem Society (IGS) has a list of businesses offering gemstone appraisal services.

Purpurite Information

DataValue
NamePurpurite
Crystallography Orthorhombic. Crystals rare, in small masses and cleavages.
Refractive Index 1.85-1.92
Colors Deep rose to reddish purple; alters on outside to brown or black.
Luster Dull, satiny.
Fracture Uneven
Hardness 4-4.5
Specific Gravity 3.69.
Birefringence 0.007
Cleavage Good 1 direction
Dispersion Very strong.
Stone SizesCabochons up to several inches long can be cut from cleavages.
Luminescence None.
Absorption Spectrum Not diagnostic.
Formula(Mn,Fe)PO4.
Pleochroism Strong: gray/rose-red or deep red/purplish red.
Optics a = 1.85; β = 1.86; γ = 1.92. Biaxial (+), 2V moderate.

Series to Heterosite.

Optics: a = 1.85; β=1.86; γ =1.92.

Biaxial (+), 2V moderate.

Occurrence: A secondary mineral, due to the oxidation of phosphates in granite pegmatites.

South Dakota; California; North Carolina.

France; Portugal; Western Australia.

Usakos, Namibia: rich purplish masses.

Comments: This material is never transparent and is too soft for wear. However, cabochons are a magnificent purplish rose hues that have essentially no counterpart in the gem world. The material is available from Namibia in abundance and at low cost.

Name: After the Latin purpura (purple), in allusion to the color.