The Enchanting Optical Effects of Rare Euclase
Euclase is a gemstone of exceptional beauty and charm. Its colors range from delicate blue to vivid green and yellow, with a striking translucence that catches the light in a way that’s nothing short of enchanting. It’s a rare and highly sought-after gemstone that stands out from other gems because of its unique characteristics and the way it sparkles and glows in jewelry.
Euclase is a mineral that belongs to the beryl family, which also includes other famous gems such as emerald and aquamarine. But what sets euclase apart is its rarity and its exceptional clarity and brilliance. Euclase is a relatively rare mineral that’s found in only a few places around the world, making it highly valuable and coveted by gem collectors and enthusiasts.
Euclase is formed under high-pressure, low-temperature conditions, typically in granitic pegmatites. It has a chemical composition of beryllium aluminum hydroxide silicate, with a crystalline structure that’s orthorhombic.
The orthorhombic crystal system of euclase has a significant impact on its beauty and optical properties. Euclase’s crystal structure is composed of elongated, prismatic crystals that are usually vertically striated. This crystal structure gives euclase its characteristic elongated shape and makes it highly suitable for faceting and polishing, allowing it to exhibit its exceptional clarity and brilliance.
One of the most remarkable optical features of euclase is its birefringence, which is a result of its orthorhombic crystal system. When light enters euclase, it’s split into two different rays that travel at different speeds through the crystal, resulting in a double image. This gives euclase a distinct, sparkling appearance that sets it apart from other gemstones. Additionally, euclase’s birefringence can cause it to display strong pleochroism, where it appears to change color when viewed from different angles. This pleochroism can range from a blue-green color to a yellow-green color and can add a captivating dimensionality to euclase’s already stunning appearance. Euclase is also relatively hard, with a hardness rating of 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale, making it a durable and long-lasting gemstone.
The discovery of euclase is credited to a French mineralogist named René Just Haüy, who first described it in 1792. Euclase was named after the Greek word “euklas,” which means “well-shaped” or “well-formed,” in reference to its crystal structure. Today, euclase can be found in a few locations around the world, including Brazil, Colombia, Zimbabwe and Namibia.
Euclase has a rich history and meaning in various cultures and folklore. In ancient times, it was believed to have healing powers, especially in treating eye disorders. In modern times, euclase is associated with clarity, intuition and mental clarity, and is believed to help people tap into their inner wisdom and make clear and confident decisions.
There are several famous euclase stones and jewelry, including a 15-carat euclase from Brazil that’s on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. Another famous euclase is a 13-carat stone that was once owned by the famous actress Elizabeth Taylor, and was later sold at auction for a staggering $410,000.
Euclase is typically cut into various shapes, including ovals, emerald cuts and pear shapes, and can range in weight from a few carats to several tens of carats. The price of euclase varies depending on its color, clarity and carat weight, but it can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars per carat.
Today, euclase and euclase jewelry can be found in select gemstone and jewelry stores around the world. With its unique beauty and rarity, euclase is a gemstone that’s sure to capture the heart and imagination of anyone who appreciates fine gemstones and jewelry.
In conclusion, euclase is a gemstone of exceptional beauty and rarity, with a rich history and meaning that spans cultures and generations. Its colors range from delicate blues to vivid greens and yellows, and its exceptional clarity and brilliance make it a highly sought-after gemstone for jewelry. With its unique qualities and enchanting beauty, euclase is a gemstone that’s sure to capture the heart and imagination of anyone who appreciates fine gems and jewelry.
Photo of euclase courtesy of the International Gem Society