Aptly named for its country of discovery, Brazilianite displays lovely, bright yellow-greens, and hail from the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais (English: General Mines). A beautiful, exotic, rare and unusual gemstone with a striking color, Brazilianite is highly prized by savvy collectors and jewelers. Often regarded as too new to achieve mainstream popularity, this is more accurately due to Brazilianite’s geological scarcity, faceting difficulties, and sporadic, limited production. Given Brazilianite’s rarity and popularity with collectors, any clarity, color or size will find a ready buyer, making it essential for any esteemed jewelry collection.
Refractive Index 1.600 – 1.620
Relative Density 2.99
In gemstones, color is the most important consideration, representing 50 percent of a gems’ value. Understandably, Brazilianite’s bright lemon chiffons with secondary verdant meringues have made it prized by those who covet relatively unknown, yet gorgeous, exotic gemstones.
Brazilianite is challenging for the lapidary due to brittle crystals that chip easily, breaking along the direction of cleavage. Accordingly, careful cutting by dedicated and experienced lapidaries is critical in highlighting the innate beauty of Brazilianite. Our Brazilianite have been faceted in the legendary gem country of Sri Lanka for optimal brilliance, and finished eye-clean, the highest quality clarity grade for colored gemstones as determined by the world’s leading gemological laboratories, with an attractive shape and overall appearance (finish, outline, profile, proportions, and superior luster).
A phosphate mineral, typically found in phosphate-rich pegmatites (an igneous rock composed almost entirely of crystals that are over one centimeter in diameter), Brazilianite was discovered in 1944 in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais located in the country’s southeast. Initially assumed to be Chrysoberyl, Brazilianite has also been confused with Apatite, Beryl and Topaz. In 1945 the American mineralogists Frederick Harvey Pough and Edward Porter Henderson correctly identified the mineral, naming it ‘Brazilianite’ after it’s country of discovery. Translucent to transparent, large faceted Brazilianite are often included, but smaller cut gems make uniquely beautiful jewelry gemstones. In fact, Brazilianite is considered far more valuable than its phosphate cousin, Apatite, a gem that continues to enjoy immense popularity. While large uncut Brazilianite crystals reside in many museums that could yield large gems, being stunning and highly collectable mineral specimens, they are zealously guarded and never faceted.
Gem-quality Brazilianite occurs in Conselheiro Pena and Linópolis, Minas Gerais, with Brazil remaining the principal source. The Palermo Mine in Grafton and the G. H. Smith Mine at Newport, New Hampshire (discovered in 1947), as well as deposits in Yukon, Canada also yield fine, but significantly smaller crystals. Regardless of the locale, Brazilianite is plagued by scant production, and our gems were mined in the late 70s at Conselheiro Pena, arguably the world’s premier deposit.
While Brazilian crystals range in size up to 12×8 centimeters, most faceted Brazilianite are smaller than 5 carats, with the majority under one carat. Brazilianite over 5 carats are extremely scarce, with faceted gems over 15 carats virtually impossible; saying this, some large gems have been faceted, including two Brazilianite’s respectively weighing 19 and 23 carats.
With over 90 percent of gemstones enhanced, Brazilianite is also one of the few gems that are totally natural and untreated, further increasing its rarity.
Durability & Care
A rare, exotic gemstone (Mohs’ Hardness: 5.5), Brazilianite should always be stored carefully to avoid scuffs and scratches. Clean with gentle soap and lukewarm water, scrubbing behind the gem with a very soft toothbrush as necessary. After cleaning, pat dry with a soft towel or chamois cloth.