Tiffany Stone | Rock not a Mineral
Tiffany Stone | Properties and Facts
Tiffany stone is a rare type of rock that's made up of a number of different minerals hence cannot be classified as a mineral in its own right. To be precise it's a mineralized nodule that can only be found in one location in Western Utah (USA). The nodules were once impregnated by ground water rich in natural minerals including quartz and fluorite and along with manganese oxide they give tiffany stone its striking colour.
This popular lapidary material is often referred to as bertrandite which is not accurate. Bertrandite which is a primary source of beryllium is a mineral in its own right and the very reason why the vast majority of tiffany stone is crushed. Beryllium is a highly sought after chemical element so by crushing tiffany stone the relatively small amount of bertrandite that's present can be extracted.
Being graded 4 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness means that it's a relatively soft stone which must be handled carefully. Tiffany stone is widely used for cabochons because its colour and striking markings make it ideal for use in ladies jewellery.
The Name Tiffany Stone
Despite extensive research we cannot find any factual evidence to explain how the name tiffany stone came about and although many articles online state that it's linked to tiffany glass, there's nothing factual to support that. It's also sometimes called ice cream opal and opalized fluorite, the latter from a geological perspective is a more precise description of what the material actually is.
Tiffany stone is a trade name which probably came about by chance when it was casually given a name soon after having been discovered. As it gained popularity the name is likely to have stuck and once photos and articles started appearing online, it would have been extremely difficult and far too late to re-name it. One thing that's known for certain is that the deposit where it's found is no longer open or being mined so existing stocks are now drying up.
Tiffany Stone Pendants