Connect with us

Columns

A Faceted Poudretteite Is So Rare Few Gemologists Will Ever Encounter One, Says GIA

Nearly flawless 9.41-carat poudretteite is the only gem of its kind in the Smithsonian’s National Gem Collection.

mm

Published

on

poudretteite

TODAY STARTS AN occasional series covering the rarest gems you’ve probably never heard of. The remarkable 9.41-carat light-pink oval gem seen here is one of the largest — if not the largest — faceted poudretteite in existence, according to the Smithsonian.

A faceted poudretteite is so rare, says the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), that few professional gemologists will ever encounter one.

Poudretteite gets its name from the Poudrette family, owners and operators of a quarry near Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada, where a few tiny crystals of the curious material was first unearthed in the mid-1960s. It would take until 1986 for poudretteite to finally be recognized and registered as a new mineral.

Advertisement

In 2000, the first documented gem-quality specimen of poudretteite was discovered nearly half-a-world away in Mogok, Burma — an area famous for its pigeon’s blood rubies, as well as lapis lazuli, garnet, moonstone, amethyst, peridot and chrysoberyl. The 3-carat poudretteite was submitted to the Gubelin Gem Lab for examination, and the findings were published in the scholarly journal Gems & Gemology in 2003.

Also sourced in Burma, the much larger, nearly flawless 9.41-carat poudretteite is the only gem of its kind in the Smithsonian’s National Gem Collection. The gem was generously gifted to the Smithsonian in 2007 by Frances Miller Seay.

Poudretteite can range from colorless to purple-pink and owes its color to the presence of manganese in its chemical composition. Specimens with few inclusions and saturated color are said to be worth $6,000 per carat or more.

On the Mohs hardness scale, poudretteite rates a 5, compared to amethyst (7), topaz (8), sapphire (9) and diamond (10). The relative softness of the gem makes it unsuitable to be used in a ring, but it could be used, with care, in earrings, a pendant or pin.

Howard Cohen is the Shoreham, NY-based editor of The Jeweler Blog, a daily blog ghost-written for retail jewelers. Cohen, a long-time industry veteran, is dedicated to making social media tasks simple and affordable for every jeweler. For more information, visit thejewelerblog.com or contact Cohen at 631-821- 8867, [email protected]. Websites: thejewelerblog.com, thejewelerblog.wordpress.com.

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

It’s Going to Set Us Up Very Nicely for Retirement

You’ve worked hard all your life. And if you’re like most jewelers contemplating retirement, you’re hoping that your going-out-of-business sale will add to your nest egg — with minimal complications. That’s exactly what Doug and Jacki Friedrich, fourth-generation owners of Friedrich Jewelers Inc., of Vernon, Conn., experienced when they selected Wilkerson to run their sale. “Jewelers who are contemplating a sale should go with Wilkerson because of their experience,” says Doug. And with financial goals “exceeding expectations,” the couple can now focus on enjoying the next chapter of their lives. “It’s going to set us up very nicely for retirement,” says Jacki. “The money’s coming in and we have no complaints. It’s been wonderful.”

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular