Thursday, September 4, 2008

Facet grade musgravite from Tunduru, Tanzania

Musgravite is an extremely rare member of the taaffeite family that was discovered in 1967 in the Musgrave Range of South Australia.

Facet grade musgravite like pictured 5.93ct oval from from Tunduru, Tanzania -- was not reported reported until 1993 and as of 2005, there were only eight musgravite specimens, three of which were identified by Murray Burford, a Canadian gemologist. The mineral was has since turned up in Greenland, Madagascar, Antarctica, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania.

Because of its similarity to taaffeite it is probable that some gemstones originally thought by their owners to be taaffeites, are actually musgravites. Indeed, our own investigations of taaffeites from Tunduru, Tanzania, have confirmed a 10 – 15% incidence of stones originally indentified as taaffeites to actually be musgravite. The only known facet quality specimens of musgravite are from Sri Lanka and Tanzania. Musgravite is primarily sought as a collector gemstone.