Clinohumite Gemstone

Clinohumite Gemstone
By Alice Koh
[For educational purposes only].

Clinohumite is a gemstone quality of a magnesium silicate chemical formula with a monoclinic, granular, prismatic crystal structure. Clinohumite colour includes various shades of yellow, red and orange accompanied by secondary tones of light to dark-brown. Golden yellow to orange material is considered most desirable and can be quite vibrant.

Clinohumite has a hardness of 6 on the Mohs scale which makes it hard enough for any type of jewellery. Nonetheless, since it is extremely rare, any clinohumite cut and shape will need to be custom designed and made.

Clinohumite is an elite gem collectors' crystal. It has a refractive index ranging from 1.629 to 1.674 and a density ranging from 3.13 to 3.75. It has a unique basal cleavage. Clinohumite can occur transparent to opaque, but only the transparent and translucent materials have value as gemstones. Visible inclusions are quite common; eye-clean specimens are rare. Impurities in clinohumite include aluminium, manganese and calcium. It also has a dull, glass-like to resinous luster.

Clinohumite is a very rare mineral which is very hard to find as a gemstone; carat gemstones exist but only in private collections.

Clinohumite is part of the humite group of minerals which also includes norbergite, chondrodite, humite and clinohumite. However, only chondrodite and clinohumite are known to produce gemstone quality deposits. This humite group is named after the well-known English mineralogist Sir Abraham Hume (1749-1838).

Clinohumite was first discovered in limestone blocks that had erupted from Mount Vesuvius near Naples, Italy in 1876. Then in 1980 other deposits were found in the Pamir Mountains. Another deposit was found in the Taymyr Peninsula in the Far North of Russia in 2000. In 2005 a most recent deposit was found in the Mahenge Plateau in the Ulanga District of the Morogoro Region of Tanzania, Africa. Other notable sources include Pargas in Finland, Llanos de Juanar in Spain and in the United States. Clinohumite has been found in New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

Clinohumite is a collector's gemstone. However, lower quality translucent clinohumite gemstones are usually cut en cabochon.

Clinohumite is not known to be treated nor enhanced in any way.

Clinohumite is similar chemically to Serpentine. Serpentine is aso a magnesium silicate.

Clinohumite's golden yellow and orange-red colours give a boost of energy to the wearer. It is also considered a happiness crystal that helps to release stress and gives power to the wearer. It is a revitalizing and energizing crystal. Clinohumite is said to be excellent for depression.

These beautiful golden yellow gemstones are said to be pieces of the sun. The people of the Pamir Mountains have used clinohumite as amulets and were given as gifts in weddings and births. They were also placed in cradles and tombs as stones of protection. Many Clinohumite gemstones are passed from one generation to the next.

To cleanse your unique clinohumite gemstone, wipe it with a soft cloth or brush using mild soap and rinse it with warm water. Make sure to remove all soapy residue.

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