Thomsonite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information


Thomsonite cabochons take a high polish but are somewhat brittle. These are especially lovely when a pinkish gray eyelike pattern is present, but such material is rare, Lintonite, from Michigan, is translucent and green and is sometimes mistaken for jade. A faceted thomsonite must be considered a great rarity.

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Thomsonite cabochons take a high polish but are somewhat brittle. These are especially lovely when a pinkish gray eyelike pattern is present, but such material is rare, Lintonite, from Michigan, is translucent and green and is sometimes mistaken for jade. A faceted thomsonite must be considered a great rarity.

THOMSONITE: New Mexico (cabochon 23 ~47 mm), Isle Royale, Lake Superior, Michigan (~½ inch each, rough stones). Photo © Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA. Used with permission.

Optics:a= 1.497—1.530: β=1.513—1.533; γ=1.518-1.544.

Biaxial(+), 2V= 42—75°.

Shadow edge at 1.52-1.54.

Occurrence: Thomsonite is a secondary mineral in lavas and basic igneous rocks.

Oregon; California; Colorado; New Jersey.

Nova Scotia, Canada; Greenland; Ireland; Scotland; Italy; India: Czechoslovakia; Germany.

Isle Royale, Michigan: patterned pebbles.

Stockly Bay, Michigan: lintonite; also at Grand Marais, Cook County, Minnesota (Thomsonite Beach).

Comments: Thomsonite cabochons take a high polish but are somewhat brittle. These are especially lovely when a pinkish gray eyelike pattern is present, but such material is rare, Lintonite, from Michigan, is translucent and green and is sometimes mistaken for jade. A faceted thomsonite must be considered a great rarity.

Thomsonite is pyroelectric.

Name: Thomsonite for Thomas Thomson, the Scottish chemist who first analyzed the material. Lintonite is after a Miss Linton.


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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