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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History


Danburite (NMNH G10666-00) from the National Gem Collection.
Photo by Ken Larsen. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH G10666-00
Locality Myanmar [Burma]
Weight 32 ct

Gift of Dr. Robert Lavinsky in 2011.

Danburite is a transparent to translucent gem and ranges from colorless, to light yellow, or pale pink to light brown in color. It has a hardness of 7-7.5 on the Mohs scale with a fairly high refractive index, surpassing quartz and rivaling topaz in brilliance. Danburite was first discovered in 1839 in Danbury, Connecticut by Charles Upham Shepherd, a renowned American mineralogist. The original deposit is now buried under the city of Danbury. However, it is also found in Russell, NY; Charcas, San Luis Potosi, Mexico; Kyushu Island, Japan; Mogok, Burma; Uri, Switzerland, and Madagascar. Most of the danburite in today’s commercial market is from Mexico. This 32ct fancy oval cut gem exhibits a very pale brown color, almost colorless. It is the largest danburite from Burma in the National Gem Collection.


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