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[Source] Bentonite


#1

Hello, does anyone know of a source for bentonite beads and stones? I
just got a customer who is very interested in bentonite jewelry and a
bentonite bead rosary.

I know bentonite is a clay that forms from volcanic ash but someone
told me it can crystallize into beautiful crystals.

Patric Sheffield


#2

Are you sure this is not to be Benitoite? found in San Benito county
Calif. and in SW Texas. Is colorless, blue or blue gray. hardness 6.5
and is brittle. It is a crystal and May be considered a precious
stone. It consists of a crystal of barium oxide ,silicon dioxide and
titanium oxide. Bentonite is the name given to a specific physical
form of clay in very small flat flakes which i believe is either a
calcium aluminum silicate or a sodium aluminum silicate depending on
where it is found.

Jesse


#3
Hello, does anyone know of a source for bentonite beads and stones?
I know bentonite is a clay that forms from volcanic ash but someone
told me it can crystallize into beautiful crystals. 

Patrick, I have never heard of bentonite (which doesn’t mean it
doesn’t exist) but if your customer really means benitoite, then
you’re not going to find beads at all. Benitoite, the state gem of
California, is a transparent, sapphire blue stone that is far too rare
to be made into beads. Also, the crystals tend to be too small for
this purpose. Faceted stones are available and expensive. If that
turns out to be what your customer wants, I’m sure someone on this
forum will have a source to share.

Beth


#4

Jesse, can you tell us where in SW Texas Benitoite is found? I have
some from California and would like to collect some from Texas.
Thanks Roy- Kingsland, TX


#5

I have experience making glazes for pottery and bentonite is a
powdered chemical us as a base ingred. for the glaze. I don’ think
it is from crystals. I believe it is found in beds in the ground.
The author form Calf. could be right.


#6

Bentonite does exist. It is an important clay mineral, but the
crystals exist only in sub-microscopic form and are not what most
folks would think of as “crystals”. I’m sure, as Beth suggeats, the
person is referring to benitoite…yes, expensive, to be sure.

Wayne Emery


#7

I just received 8 2.5mm benitoites from Steve Perry at
www.steveperrygems.com.

He’s a pretty good source for small quantities of benitoites. They’re
all cut.

Of the 8 sent, six are excellent and two good. The color is
reminiscent of purplish tanzanite on these, with more dispersion.
They’re very attractive stones.

  • darcy

#8

G’day; One of our Orchidians wrote:-

 ...  I have never heard of bentonite ..... 

Pardon me for jumping in here but: As a matter of interest, bentonite
is also known as taylorite and is a clay formed only from the
decomposition of volcanic ash. It contains montmorrillonite and
biedellite. The colour ranges from white to pale green, to pale cream,
and after considerable exposure, to yellow and even red and brown.
Ir. absorbs large amounts of water, so that in dry seasons a large
pattern of cracks appears in the ground. cheers, –

John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua Nelson NZ


#9

Hello Patric, One source of Benitoite is Mine Design. Lance Kanaby
owns this company which not only sells stones, but also does custom
cutting. A number of the stones he sells were cut in his own
lapidary. He is also a member of the American Gem Trade Association.

I just saw Lance this weekend at a show in Dayton, Ohio. I remember
seeing a blue Benitoite marquise pair that I would estimate to be
around one carat total weight. I believe he was asking $800.00 a
carat. I didn’t inquire about them, but with the recent thread on
Orchid, they stood out as I was looking over his stock.

Mine Design can be found at: http://www.gemdata.com

Charles
Cincinnati, Ohio