Bustamite

Bustamite is named after General Anastasio Bustamente of Mexico, the discoverer of the mineral.

Bustamite is usually found as massive, transparent pink material. It produces attractive pink cabochons and can be carved into objects d'art.

Pink prismatic crystals up to 1 cm in size have been found at Franklin Furnace, New Jersey, USA. Gem-quality bustamite is also found at Daghazeta, Tanzania. Transparent crystals to several cm come from Broken Hill, Australia, translucent material from Kalahari Mn-field, South Africa.
General Information
Chemical Formula
(Ca,Mn
2+
 
)Si
 
3
O
 
9
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
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Photos of natural/un-cut material from mindat.org
Physical Properties of Bustamite
Mohs Hardness5.5 to 6
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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Specific Gravity3.32 to 3.43
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
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Cleavage QualityPerfect
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
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FractureConchoidal
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Optical Properties of Bustamite
Refractive Index1.662 to 1.707
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
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Optical CharacterBiaxial/-
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
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Birefringence0.014 to 0.015
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
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DispersionStrong
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Colour
Colour (General)Reddish, reddish-violet, pink, yellow
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
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TransparencyTransparent,Translucent,Opaque
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
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LustreVitreous
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Fluorescence & other light emissions
Fluorescence (Long-Wave UV)Bright pink material fluoresces moderate to dull red.
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
PhosphorescenceOrange
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Crystallography of Bustamite
Crystal SystemTriclinic
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
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HabitMassive
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
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Geological Environment
Where found:Occurs in the zones of metamorphism of manganese-rich sediments.
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Further Information
Mineral information:Bustamite information at mindat.org
Significant Gem Localities
Australia
 
  • New South Wales
    • Yancowinna Co.
      • Broken Hill district
South Africa
 
  • Northern Cape
    • Kalahari manganese field
      • Kuruman
        • N'Chwaning Mines
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