Dragon Minerals - Update March 24, 2019

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21049: Beryllonite 
Gilgit District, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan
Miniature - 3.2 x 1.8 x 1.3 cm (1.3 x 0.7 x 0.5 inches)
12 grams (0.03 pounds)
Specimen status: Sold

A small but sharp, translucent beryllonite crystal, doubly terminated, with strong striations, and complete all around. Beryllonite is an uncommon sodium beryllium phosphate, NaBePO4. Note: Large and inexpensive 'beryllonite' crystals have appeared on eBay. These are, in general, gypsum and not beryllonite. The eBay specimens tend to be grayish (beryllonite is usually white), and can be easily scratched with a fingernail (Mohs hardness for gypsum is 2, and beryllonite is substantially harder at 5.5 to 6 ). Further confirmation is obtained from specific gravity tests, and heating in a closed tube (gypsum produces water; beryllonite does not). The specimen shown here cannot be scratched by a fingernail. A good representative specimen for a species that gets very expensive for larger crystals.





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