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Tiffany Stone Facts and Photos

tiffany stone a natural rock from Western Utah

Tiffany Stone from Western Utah

Tiffany stone is a rare type of rock made up of several different minerals.  For this reason it's not a mineral in its own right.

To be more precise it's a mineralised nodule found in just one location in western Utah (USA).

The nodules were once impregnated by ground water rich in natural minerals including quartz, fluorite and manganese oxides. These impurities give tiffany stone its striking colour.

This popular decorative material is sometimes referred to as bertrandite which is not accurate.  Bertrandite is a mineral in its own right.  It's also a primary source of a highly sought after chemical element called beryllium.  

The vast majority of tiffany stone is crushed up so any beryllium can be extracted.

Being graded 4 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness means tiffany stone is quite soft.  It's widely used for cabochons because its colour and markings make it ideal for jewellery.

The Name Tiffany Stone

Despite extensive research we cannot find any factual information to explain how the name tiffany stone came about.  Although many articles online state it's linked to tiffany glass, there's no evidence to support that.

The material may well have been called tiffany stone soon after being discovered.  As the stone gained popularity and started being photographed and written about, it would have been extremely difficult to then change the name.

Tiffany stone is also sometimes called ice cream opal or opalized fluorite.  The latter from a geological perspective is a more precise description of what the stone is.

The primary deposit in Utah where tiffany stone is found is no longer accessible or being mined.  Existing stocks are therefore depleting rapidly.

The photo at the top of our article is courtesy of James St. John.  It's clickable and redirects to the original non-compressed image.  

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