Baddeleyite has a specific gravity of 5.5 to 6 and a Moh's hardness of 6.5. It is a refractory mineral, with a melting point of 2700 °C. Hafnium is a substituting impurity and may be present in quantities ranging from 0.1 to several percent.
The Burmese material is sometimes mixed in parcels of rutlie, black amphibole, and schorl fragments that can easily be separated by specific gravity as well as the distinctive bladed crystal shape and sub metallic luster.
Baddeleyite was first described in 1892 from Sri Lanka, and Minas Gerais and Jacupiranga, São Paulo, Brazil. It was named after Joseph Baddeley, who described the occurrences in Sri Lanka.
Baddeleyete is often found as detrital grains in gravels. Its primary occurrence is in high temperature veins and in syenite, carbonatite, kimberlite, and lamproite intrusions. Because of their refractory nature and stability under diverse conditions, baddeleyete grains, along with zircon, are used for uranium-lead radiometric age determinations.