Väyrynenite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Oval mixed-cut väyrynenite, 0.77 cts, 6.8 x 5.2 mm, Skardu, Pakistan. © The Gem Trader. Used with permission.

Väyrynenite

Väyrynenite is a very rare mineral. Crystals as well as faceted gemstones in reddish, pinkish, and orange colors are prized collector’s items.

Väyrynenite Information

Data Value
Name Väyrynenite
Colors Rose red, pale pink, salmon pink, pinkish orange, red-orange, pale gray, brown.
Crystallography Monoclinic; rare crystals prismatic or in druses, typically in fine-grained aggregates.
Refractive Index 1.638-1.667
Luster Vitreous
Hardness 5
Fracture Irregular, uneven
Specific Gravity 3.183-3.215 (Pakistan = 3.23)
Birefringence 0.026
Cleavage Distinct 1 direction
Luminescence None
Luminescence Present No
Transparency Transparent to translucent
Formula

BeMnPO4(OH,F)

Pleochroism

Pakistani material: yellow-pink/light pink/dark pink; pinkish orange/pink/yellowish orange; orangey pink/orange/pink.

Afghan material: orangey pink/orange/pink.

Optics

= 1.638-1.669; β = 1.658-1.661; γ = 1.664-1.667. Biaxial (-), 2= 54°. (Pakistan material RI = 1.639-1.667).

Optic Sign Biaxial -
Etymology

Named after Heikki Allan Väyrynen, a Finnish geologist.

Occurrence

In lithium pegmatites.

Inclusions

Fractures, fingerprints, growth tubes, single (fluid) and two-phase (fluid and gas).

väyrynenite crystal - Afghanistan

Gemmy väyrynenite crystal, 1.7 x 1.4 x 0.6 cm, Paprok, Nuristan, Kunar Province, Afghanistan. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

Comments

First described as a unique mineral in 1954, väyrynenite (pronounced vuh-REN-i-nite or var-e-YEN-i-nite) occurs in very few locations. For a time, only Pakistan was known to produce gem-quality material. However, in 2006, reports emerged of gem-quality väyrynenites from Afghanistan.

Even with this recent discovery, väyrynenites remain exceedingly rare. Faceted gemstones are tiny, usually under 0.5 carats, and very seldom seen.

cushion-cut väyrynenite - Pakistan

An unusually large väyrynenite, 2.96 cts, 8.3 x 6.9 mm, cushion cut, Pakistan. © The Gem Trader. Used with permission.

Identifying Characteristics

Väyrynenites can show various shades of red, pink, and orange. Consumers may find some faceted väyrynenites for sale described as having padparadscha color, a Sinhalese word meaning “lotus colored.” More often associated with padparadscha sapphires, the term is difficult to define. It may refer to colors ranging from a light to medium orange-pink hue to a more saturated orangey pink. See the IGS survey on ruby and sapphire colors for more information.

Of course, this term refers to color only. Väyrynenites and sapphires are distinct gem species with very different properties. (Perhaps some vendors use the term padparadscha to describe väyrynenites in hopes of transferring the allure of a color associated with sapphires to a very rare and little-known gem).

pear-cut väyrynenite - Afghanistan

A pear-cut, 0.25-ct väyrynenite from Afghanistan with color described as “orange pink padparadscha.” Photo courtesy of liveauctioneers.com and Jasper52.

Synthetics and Enhancements

No known lab-created material or gemstone treatments.

Sources

Afghanistan and the Skardu and Chitral districts in Pakistan have produced gem-quality crystals.

Viitaniemi, Finland is the type locality for this mineral.

Other sources of crystals include the following locations:

  • Kazakhstan; Portugal; Spain; Sweden.

Care

You’re more likely to find väyrynenites, if at all, in mineral collections than jewelry collections. With a hardness of 5 and distinct cleavage, any väyrynenite jewelry would require protective settings for protection from scratches and blows. Reserve this rare gem for occasional wear or for earrings, brooches, or other pieces less subject to impacts.

Faceted väyrynenites may contain inclusions, such as single and two-phase inclusions filled with liquids, gases, or both. Therefore, don’t use ultrasonic or other mechanical cleaning systems. Instead, clean them only with a soft brush, mild detergent, and warm water.

Consult our gemstone jewelry cleaning guide for more care recommendations.

brilliant pear-cut väyrynenite - Pakistan

Brilliant pear-cut väyrynenite, 0.66 cts, 8.1 x 4.2 mm, Pakistan. © The Gem Trader. Used with permission.