Benitoite

10 Gemstones Much Rarer Than Diamond 

This striking blue stone has only been found, as its name suggests, near the head waters of the San Benito River in San Benito County, California ( some sources say it has also been unearthed in limited quantities in Japan and Arkansas, but that these specimens are not “gemstone quality”), and is also the state’s official gem.

One of the most distinctive features of benitoite is how positively awesome it looks under a UV light, where it fluoresces a brilliant color reminiscent of glowing blue chalk. What’s strange is that, even though it was first described at the turn of the twentieth century, and we’ve known its chemical composition for decades, the origin of its color and its fluorescent propertiesstill aren’t well understood. [Photo Credit: Parent Géry]

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