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 Home / Gem Library / Natural Gemstones / Taaffeite April 20, 2024  

Natural Taaffeite
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There are 17 Taaffeite(s) available at

Taaffeite is one of the rarest and most desirable of collector's stones. Only a very few stones have been found, most of them originally misidentified as spinel. Sri Lanka and Tanzania appear to be the only sources for this material this time. However, because of the geological connection between the deposits in Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and East Africa, we expect to find the stones in Madagascar as well.

Known Facts
Color Key: Mauve, reddish violet, brownish-purple, pink, red, blue.
Refractive Index: 1.71-1.72.
Chemical Composition: Mg3BeAl8O16
Hardness: 8 - 8.5
Density: 3.60 - 3.71
Crystal Group: Hexagonal
Ocurrence: Tunduru, Tanzania; Sri Lanka

In 1945, Count Taaffe, a Dublin gemologist found a pale mauve stone in a jewelers junk box that resembled spinel in appearance and properties but showed distinct double refraction. The stone was sent to the British museum for testing where they determined it to be an unknown mineral. Although its refractive index is nearly the same as spinel, it can be differentiated by its double refraction and uniaxial negative character.

Despite diligent search, it was not until 1949 that another stone was found in a parcel of stones from Sri Lanka. A third stone was found in 1957 by Robert Crowningshield of GIA and a fourth stone some 10 years later. Since then, more gemologists have been aware of taafeite and stones continue to be discovered. We discovered some taafeites in our mine run material from Tunduru, Tanzania and have started re-checking all our stones especially the spinels for any evidence of double refraction which with the correct refractive index would confirm their identity as taafeite.

Taaffeite Taaffeite
Check our Top, Largest, Smallest or Latest Taaffeite's.

Taaffeite Stats/
Popularity Index: 1002388hits
Total Items: 17items
Total Weight: CTS 31.48
Cheapest: USD 378.00
Most Expensive: USD 21735.00
Largest: CTS 3.45
Smallest: CTS 0.48
Last Added: 12/27/23 08:58:53

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