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Tiffany Stone Properties, Facts and Photos

tiffany stone a natural rock from Western Utah
Contents

1. What is Tiffany Stone?
2. The Name Tiffany Stone
3. Where is Tiffany Stone Found?
4. Article Picture
5. Shop for Tiffany Stone

What is Tiffany Stone?

Tiffany Stone is a rare material composed of several different minerals.  It's classed as a rock, not a mineral.

To be more precise, Tiffany Stone is a mineralised nodule found in just one location in the U.S.A., the Sevier Desert in Western Utah.

The nodules were once impregnated by groundwater rich in natural minerals.  These impurities are the reason for the stone's striking colour.

The minerals that make up Tiffany Stone include quartz, fluorite, dolomite, rhodonite, beryllium and manganese oxides.  The black colour comes from impurities of manganese oxides while white, yellow and pink come mainly from beryllium. Blue and purple come from fluorite.  

Tiffany Stone is sometimes referred to as bertrandite, which is not correct.  Bertrandite is a mineral in its own right but is present in Tiffany Stone.  It's a primary source of a highly sought-after chemical element called beryllium.  

Most Tiffany stone is crushed to extract even the smallest amount of this sought-after metal.

Tiffany Stone grades 4 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness which means it's quite soft.  It's widely used for cabochons because its colour and markings make it perfect for jewellery.

The Name Tiffany Stone

Despite extensive research, I cannot find any factual information explaining how the name Tiffany Stone came about.

Many articles link it to Tiffany Glass, not only because of the name but also because it often features similar colours.  Other articles I read claimed Tiffany Stone was named after the daughter of the person who discovered it. 

Whatever the reason for the name, as Tiffany Stone gained popularity and started being widely photographed and written about, the name would have become too difficult to change.

Tiffany Stone is known by several names, including ice cream opal and opalised fluorite.  From a scientific perspective, opalised fluorite is a more accurate description of what it is.

 

Where is Tiffany Stone Found?

The primary deposit in Utah where Tiffany Stone is found is in the Topaz-Spor mountains.  The area is no longer accessible to the public and hasn't been mined for many years.

The 'Spor Mountain mining district', as the area is known, is the world’s premier producer of beryllium.  Spor Mountain is also known for its abundance of minerals which include the incredibly rare red beryl, hematite, opal and topaz.     

With most Tiffany Stone now being crushed, very little collectable material becomes available.  After searching extensively for some time, we recently found a small quantity of what appeared to be very nice polished stones.  Sadly, we returned them because they had been varnished on one side.

A rock or mineral should never be varnished.  The purpose for doing this is likely to be to improve the lustre of a low grade stone.  

Opalised fluorite from Turkey and China is often missold as Tiffany Stone.  Although they can have a similar appearance, it's not the same material.

Tiffany Stone is now a rare and highly sought-after material.  Unless it comes from the Topaz-Spor mountains in Utah, it's not Tiffany Stone. 

It's worth remembering the location where Tiffany Stone is found has been closed for several years.      

Article Picture

The Tiffany Stone at the top of our article is courtesy of James St.John.  It's clickable and redirects to the original photo.

The fluorite in the pop-up photo is a piece from our collection. 

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