Afghanite

Afghanite is a rare mineral that is found in and named after Afghanistan. It is a bright blue mineral sometimes used as a gemstone.

Gem quality specimens are extremely rare.

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Appearance, Uses and History

Afghanite is a bright blue mineral that often occurs alongside Sodalite, Lapis Lazuli, and Lazurite.
It is sometimes used as a gemstone, although this is rare as gem quality specimens are not easy to find. Its primary use is for mineral specimens.

Afghanite is highly fluorescent and is best displayed under UV light, where it glows a bright yellow or orange.

It was originally discovered in the Lapis-Lazuli mine, Sar-e-Sand, Badakhshan province, Afghanistan.


Locales

Originally found in Afghanistan, Afghanite has since been discovered in a few locations including Germany, Italy, Russia and the United States, but Afghanistan is still by far the most productive locale.


Mineralogy

Chemistry
A hydrated sodium calcium potassium aluminium silicate carbonate with the formula (Na,Ca,K)8(Si,Al)12O24(SO4,Cl,CO3)3(H2O).
Colours and Variations
Bright blue, often on a white or grey matrix.
Streak
White.
Luster
Vitreous.
Fracture
Transparency
Conchoidal to uneven.
Crystal habit
Wide prismatic crystals with partial terminations. It is sometimes double terminated. Also occurs as microcrystals, granular, or as a crust.
Mohs hardness
5.5 – 6
Specific Gravity
2.5 – 2.6
Fluorescence
Extremely bright Fluorescence under long-wave UV. Inert under short-wave UV.
Easiest testing method
UV light, locale.
Common Treatments
None.

Photos of Afghanite

Afghanite UVL

Hazards and Warnings

Almost all rocks, minerals (and, frankly, almost all other substances on earth) can produce toxic dust when cutting, which can cause serious respiratory conditions including silicosis.

When cutting or polishing rocks, minerals, shells, etc, all work should be done wet to minimise the dust, and a suitable respirator or extraction system should be used.


Translations

Unfortunately, this doesn’t appear to translate very well. 

Arabic:

Hindi:

Portuguese:

Bengali:

Indonesian:

Punjabi:

English:

Italian:

Russian:

French:

Japanese:

Spanish:

  • Afghanita

German:

  • Afghanit

Korean:

Thai:

Gujurati:

Mandarin and Traditional Chinese:

Urdu:


Further Reading / External Links