New mineral - Pezzottaite

Denver Gem & Mineral Show News Scoop:

I had lunch today with Tom Cushman - an old friend and probably the
American who is most knowledgeable about gem happenings in
Madagascar. Seems that the intense pink beryl (from Madagascar)
first shown in Tucson last February is in fact a new previously
unknown mineral.

This is a very unusual occurrence to have a new mineral discovered
in this day and age. I cannot remember this ever happening before
during my 24 years in this business.

On September 5th 2003 the International Mineralogical Association
(IMA) made this declaration and named the new gem mineral
“pezzottaite” after the well known mineralogist Federico Pezzotta
who was instrumental in its discovery. Tom says that Federico
Pezzotta is “arguably” the most knowledgeable man in the world on
Malagassay pegmatite minerals.

The largest nearly clean faceted gem known at this point is a 6.30 ct
oval step-cut in Cushman’s possession. The price is near 100 GRAND!

The new gem mineral is a beryllium silicate with 13 % cesium by

It seems that many folks in the gem biz are not fond of the new name

It is very beautiful, hard and aesthetic with a rich fuchsia-pink
color. It will make a welcome addition to the gem world in both it’s
chatoyant cats-eye and transparent faceted varieties. I doubt there
will be very much of it out for sale, but time will tell.

That’s the most exciting gem news in Denver so far, but if there is
more I’ll let you know.


Steve Green - Rough and Ready Gems, Inc.
Fine natural gem briolettes in over 50 materials and precision
ultrasonic drilling.

Dear Steve, Why is it that this beryllium silicate is not recognized
as being a cesium rich morganite ? Here in California there have
historically been numerous occurences of large morganites emanating
from the Pala and Mesa Grande districts. I had occaision about ten
years ago to visit one of the mines on Hiriart Mountain in the Pala
district where there had recently been a strike of giant morganites
( about four to five inches in diameter ! ) These crystals came out
of the pocket colorless, but later changed to pink when the cesium
reacted with light. If, indeed, the chemical constituency of the so
called Pezzottaites varies only in quantity of cesium content then
why would they not just be a variation in a variety ?
Confused…Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, Ca.

Ron and All, It was the International Mineralogical Association (I
think they are in Switzerland) who recently classified pezzottaite
as new mineral.

Since I reported this to Orchid immediately after the Tucson
February 2003 show, I thought a follow-up would be appropriate. If
you think it should not be classified as a new mineral take it up
with the IMA. I am only the messenger in this case.

I will say it was different from any morganite I have ever seen. By
the way this is not just a new mineral, but a very hard beautiful
and durable gem mineral. The stones cut from it will make great
wearable pieces.

Steve Green - Rough and Ready Gems, Inc.
Fine Briolettes & Ultrasonic Drilling

What’s its rating on the mohs scale and if it’s new how do you know
it’s durable?