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Taaffeite Gemstone

An incredibly rare gem, Taaffeite is a stunning mauve  to  purple  gemstone  of  which  only  a handful of pieces have ever been faceted. It is  named after the Irish gemologist Edward Taaffe who identified the gem in 1945. At first, as he sorted through a box of faceted gems that he had bought from Dublin jeweller Robert Dobbie, he  assumed the gem was a Spinel,but on closer inspection he noticed that it was birefringent, a characteristic not seen in Spinels.

If industry gossip is correct and less than 4,000cts have ever been faceted, then that’s only 60cts per  annum.  With annual global production of gem quality Diamonds currently running at over 60 million carats per year, that makes Taaffeite a  million times rarer than Diamonds!

The  gem  was  first  discovered  in  Ratnapura, Ceylon (now known as Sri Lanka) and a handful of gem quality pieces have now been found in  Tanzania, as well as some tiny pieces weighing  less than .005ct being discovered in China.

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