Stibiotantalite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information


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

Cut stibiotantalite strongly resembles sphalerite, but the luster is much less brilliant (sphalerite can be adamantine), and stibiotantalite is usually more heavily included, as well as strongly birefringent. This birefringence gives the cut gems a sleepy look due to doubling of back facets as seen through the table. Cut gems over 2-3 carats are among the rarest of collector items.

Stibiotantalite Value

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Stibiotantalite Information

DataValue
NameStibiotantalite
Crystallography Orthorhombic. Crystals prismatic, striated, often twinned, massive.
Colors Dark brown to light yellowish brown, reddish yellow, yellowish gray, reddish brown, greenish, yellow. Often zoned.
Luster Vitreous to resinous.
Fracture Subconchoidal. Brittle.
Hardness 5-5.5.
Specific Gravity 7.34-7.46.
Birefringence 0.090
Cleavage Distinct 1 direction.
Dispersion 0.146.
Stone SizesThis material is virtually unknown in cut stones over 10 carats. The material is fairly rare, but transparent specimens are extremely rare. Devonian Group (Calgary, Alberta, Canada): 4.65 (Brazil). Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C): 7.3 (yellow. Brazil); 2.5 (brown, Mozambique).
Luminescence None.
Spectral Not diagnostic; may show “didymium” lines.
FormulaSb(Ta,Nb)O4.

Series to Tantalite.

Streak: Yellow-brown.

Optics: a = 2.37; β= 2.40; γ=2.46.

Biaxial (+), 2V=75°.

Occurrence: In granite pegmatites, often in good crystals.

Topsham, Maine, San Diego County, California: gemmy crystals.

Varuträsk, Sweden. Wodgina district Western Australia: as rolled pebbles.

Brazil; Mozambique: gemmy crystals.

Comments: Cut stibiotantalite strongly resembles sphalerite, but the luster is much less brilliant (sphalerite can be adamantine), and stibiotantalite is usually more heavily included, as well as strongly birefringent. This birefringence gives the cut gems a sleepy look due to doubling of back facets as seen through the table. Cut gems over 2-3 carats are among the rarest of collector items.

Name: In allusion to the composition.