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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History


Fancy cushion-cut brown danburite weighing 34.18 ct.
Photo by Ken Larsen. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH G11410-00
Locality Madagascar
Weight 34.18 ct

Gift of Dr. Nile Porter in 2012.

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 34.18ct fancy step cut gem, faceted by Dr. Nile Porter, exhibits a light yellowish-brown color and is the largest danburite from Madagascar in the National Gem Collection.


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