Taaffeite is a beryllium magnesium aluminum oxide, which is very rare and resembles spinel in color. Because of this resemblance, it was actually cut as a spinel gemstone before it was identified as a new mineral. This is a very rare and unique occurrence in the world of gemology.
Taaffeite was first discovered by accident in 1946 by Count Taaffe of Dublin, Ireland. The Count actually picked up the stone from the waste in a colleague’s work space, and recognized that the gem was doubly refractive. While the gem looked like spinel, this double refractive quality was a hint to the Count, that he had stumbled upon something special, as spinel is only singly refractive. Because Count Taaffe did not have the chance to investigate the stone himself, he sent the sample to the London Gemstone Testing Laboratory and then to the Natural History Museum for analysis. At the Natural History Museum, a small slice was taken off the stone for x-ray analysis. It was at this time that the stone was recognized as a new, unclassified mineral, and was named after its discoverer.
Design Your Own Family Keepsake
Combine Fire Opal with any gemstone to create your own unique family keepsake with the birthstones of your loved ones, or your favorite combination of colors.
Combine Fire Opal with: