Tiffany Stone - Opal Fluorite Beryllium
2002-08-21 14:07:09 UTC
an Orchid member has just send me a lovely specimen of Tiffany Stone! Thank you Tom. He also included description of the material and its availability. I thought to share it with the group.
Tom Munson writes:
"....a description I wrote for the opalite from the west desert of Utah. It occurs at a Beryllium mine I inspect for the state. I want everyone to realize that if they have a chance to cut Tiffany Stone, named so by Todd Harris of Delta, then they should, as it is no more dangerous than silica, as opal is silica, water and oxygen. If you are interested in seeing some good examples of the stone cut in cabs and its beauty then go to my ebay site and search under my name tom_munson and look at the stones I am selling of Tiffany stone. under the loose gemstone category. This is not a sales pitch but merely to show you good examples. Tiffany stone or opal colored by fluorite,etc. is really dolomitic( dolomite) nodules found in a volcanic ash replaced by opal and colored by fluorite and maganese. It occurs in the ore zone of the Brush Wellman Mine west of Delta, Utah and is a product of a chemically reducing environment gaining silica from the overlying Rhyolite and the water from Hydrothermal activity. As an aside, if any of you have cut Beryl, it is 15 percent Beryllium, don't worry it is silicated as well! The purple or the fluorite comes from Spor Mountain fluorite vents, east of the mine, and the remainder of the elements occur as trace minerals. The radioactivity is merely typical of the whole Western Utah and is not harmful. It actually is a benefit since it makes the stone
beautifully florescent under shortwave lamps. The short wave excites the Uranium ions. It is no worse for you than cutting quartz derived minerals, i.e. silicosis. It is prudent to wear a mask cutting any rock!!!! The allergy, beryllosis (sp?) ,meaning it affects some people more than others, but eventually effects everyone, is caused by cutting the pure beryllium metal and was a product of the WWII effort since the metal was used as a stragetic metal, bombs and planes, etc. The ore, bertrandite, is white and nondescrip and is approximately 1 percent silicated beryllium. It is only found in this form in Utah. All other beryllium comes from beryl xls. Bertrandite has to be turned into an oxide, BeO, by the use of a sulfuric acid floatation process and then and only then can it be processed into its final form of beryllium metal. Every copper switch in your house has an alloy of berylium copper as does your computers and cell phones. It gives the metal strength and temperature benefits. any futher question please email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for the opportunity to explain and enjoy this stone as it is one of nature's wonders. ...."
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