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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Petalite

Square cushion-cut gray brown petalite weighing 25.2 ct.
Photo by Ken Larsen. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH G10674-00
Locality Kat Chat Mine, Myanmar [Burma]
Weight 25.2 ct

Gift of Mr. Dudley Blauwet in 2011.

Petalite, a lithium aluminum silicate mineral, occurs as colorless, grey, yellow, brown, pink, or white tabular crystals and more commonly as columnar masses. The colorless and transparent varieties are sometimes fashioned as gemstones, but due to the cleavage and brittle nature, it is usually a collector’s stone. Petalite was discovered in 1800 in Sweden, and the name is derived from the Greek petalon for leaf. It can also be found in Namibia, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Australia, Burma, and the United States as well as other minor locations. This 25.20ctt gem has a smoky brown color and is the first petalite from Burma in the National Gem Collection.

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