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Bixbite or Pezzottaite Gemstone

These two gemstones are often confused.

Also known as Red Emerald and Scarlet Emerald, Bixbite is regarded by many as the rarest member of the Beryl family. The gem is named in honour of the legendary mineralogist Maynard Bixby (1853 – 1935) of Utah, America, who was believed to have first discovered the gem in 1904.

Many gems marketed as Bixbite are in fact a different gem known as Pezzottaite. The confusion arises as both their chemical construction and appearance are almost identical. Bixbite, however, is currently only mined in two locations on the planet: the Wah Wah Mountains in Utah, America, and in the Catron and Sierra Counties, New Mexico. Pezzottaite, on the other hand, was first discovered in Madagascar in 2002. Although the mines are now said to be depleted, luckily there has been a recent discovery in Afghanistan.

Manganese causes the gem’s stunning red appearance, and although the gem is often heavily included and at best translucent, many collectors regard the gem as a greater acquisition than Ruby. The most covetable colour is a deep pink. Unfortunately over the past few years, we have not been able to source the gem in any reasonable quantity.

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