Thursday, March 21, 2013

The very Rare Gem. Bixbite


There seems to be an on-going dispute over Red Beryl/Bixbite and it's rarity.

In the very early 1900's, a man named Maynard Bixby discovered a new type of crystal in the Violet Topaz Mine, located in the Wah Wah area of the Thomas mountain range in Utah.  Bixby wasn't certain of what he found, so sent a crystal specimen to a geochemist, who reported back that the specimen was, in fact, red Beryl. Mining began for this new gem stone, but the mine yielded only a small amount of rough before it was agreed that it was too costly to continue mining, and the Violet mine closed down permanantly.

Red beryl was first found in the Thomas Range in Juab County Utah, USA in the year 1905. The small crystals were found in a rhyolite host rock and were translucent but rarely gemmy. It wasn't until later in the 1950's that larger, higher quality crystals were discovered in the Wah Wah Mountains of Beaver County. These are the only bixbite crystals suitable for faceting. Currently this is the only area in the world where gem quality red beryl is mined. So, what should you look for in Bixbite?  The most desireable gems are those with a deep pink color, and as clear as possible. Bixbite is a beryl, like emerald, and inclusions are commonplace. A gem over a carat or more is also desirable, but it is unlikely you will find many that big. Bixbite crystals were usually under two carats, which left very small gems after faceting.
The first disput came about when trying to decide what to call this new gem stone. Bixbite, after the discoverer, became the common name. Red Beryl was also used. Red Emerald started being circulated. They were all true, and all reffered to the same gem.

Today, you will find it under all of these names. There never has been an agreement on an 'official' name, so they are all considered correct.

Early on in 2006, the Jewelers Association named Bixbite as the rarest gemstone on earth. This replaced Benitoite as the rarest gem, a standing that Benitoite has held for many years.  Bixbite prices soared, and the amount of gem available became scarce.  News of a new source of Bixbite in Madagascar proved to be wrong. There was a gem being mined there, but it's chemical composition was slightly different. This new gem contained Lithium, which Bixbite doesn't have. Also, the new gem's crystals grew in a different formation. This was NOT a new source for Bixbite, but something altogether new. The new gem became known as Pezzottaite. It is very similar to Bixbite in appearance, but a trained gemologist can tell the difference. The refractive index is different, as is the density and specific gravity of the stone.

Although Pezzottaite is a rare gem, it is nowhere near as rare as Bixbite. There has been a new mine found in Afghanistan for Pezzottaite, and the amount of rough mined to date far exceeds the amount of Bixbite ever mined. The crystals of Pezzottaite are much larger, and in many cases much clearer, yielding a bigger and better quality of gem. When buying a gem stone, be sure that you are indeed buying Bixbit, or red Beryl. Those gems listed as "New Red Beryl" are, in fact, Pezzottaite.

Be careful who you buy Bixbite from. Buy from only reputable dealers, preferably one you know. Because the price and value of this gem has skyrocketed, some sellers may try to sell you a 'fake' Bixbite, or mislead you into believing you are buying Bixbite. If buying a gem that has inclusions that have broken the surface of the stone, make sure that the dealer is very reputable.  There have been stones found that were altered by having glass and dye injected into these surface inclusions to make the gem appear darker or clearer than it truly was

Mohs Hardness of 7.5 with a hexagonal crystal structure.

Bixbite (or red beryl) is the red color variety of the beryl family of minerals. This gemstone gets its rich red coloring form the traces of manganese added to the basic beryl mineral formula. Bixbite is generally quite rare and is usually very small in size due it's scarcity and small stature of the crystals. It is generally heavily included, perfectly clean gems are extremely rare.

Beryl develops in pegmatites and certain metamorphic rocks. It occurs with quartz, microcline, and muscovite in pegmatites, and with quartz, muscovite, and almandine in schist of regional metamorphic rocks.

Bixbite or red beryl as it is commonly known, is a stone of soothing and healing. It is used by intuitives and mystics to bring harmony to relationships and to enhance compatibility. It is also said to assist in healing grief and depression. As well it is often used to enhance creative energy.
Intuitive sources state that physically bixbite is good for healing problems associated with the physical heart, liver, lungs, mouth, throat, stomach, physical energy level, and digestive system.

All shades of red beryl from pale violet, pink to red are helpful in an effort to break down prejudices and intolerance.

Energy: Receptive
Element: Water
Powers: Psychic

Beryl has been worn to prevent fascination, or what would today be called deliberate psychic manipulation, such as practiced by evangelists, some salespersons and politicians. This is also called being tagged or corded, when an individual attaches an astral line to your astral body, generally through the solar plexus (3rd) chakra. Through this cord they may be able to drain your energy and even manipulate your actions if they posses enough strength.

If this happens, tape a small piece of tumbled beryl over your navel and leave in place for as long as it takes to break the cording, generally a full 24 hours.

I hope you enjoyed this Rare Beryl tomorrow’s beryl  will be Goshenite

Handcrafted gemstone jewelry


  1. Can you give me some details of Jewellery Association? I cannot identify this organization. thank you.