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By Reviewed By Andreas Zabczyk Jan 22, 2014 Updated Jan 17, 2019

Hambergite Gemstone Information

Hambergite Gemstones from GemSelect - Large Image

About Hambergite - History and Introduction

Hambergite is an especially rare and unusual collector's stone. It is a lesser-known gemstone, owing to the rarity of gem-quality occurrences. Hambergite was first discovered and described in 1890 in Vestfold, Norway, by Norwegian geologist and mineralogist W. C. Brogger (1851-1940), and was later named after Swedish explorer, mineralogist and professor of geography, Axel Hamberg (1863-1933).

Hambergite has a beryllium hydroxyborate composition and exhibits several distinct gemological features. Deposits typically form white or colorless with excellent transparency, but clarity is normally too included to be faceted into gemstones. Hambergite has excellent hardness and low density combined with a high index of refraction. The combination is very rare in the gemstone world. It also has an extremely pronounced level of birefringence, even higher than that of zircon. When looking down through the table of a stone, the back facets will appear fuzzy and doubled as a result of its strong double refraction.

White Hambergite

Identifying Hambergite

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Identifying hambergite is relatively easy, owing to its very distinctive gemological properties. Hambergite has strong doubly refractive crystals and strong birefringence, which can be easily seen when looking down through the table of a cut stone. Hambergite also has the lowest known density of any gemstone exhibiting such high birefringence. The combination is unusual, as most stones with a high refractive index are very dense, such as corundum, zircon and garnet. It has a hardness of 7.5 on the Mohs scale and its vitreous glass-like luster is similar to quartz.

Hambergite Origin and Sources

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Hambergite occurs in granite pegmatites and is found in alluvial deposits. Only a few locations around the world are known to produce gem-quality hambergite. Anjanabanoana, Madagascar is considered to be the leading source of most of the fine hambergite available today, but hambergite from Afghanistan is the most desirable to collectors. Other notable sources include Myanmar (Burma), Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kashmir, India and California, USA.

Buying Hambergite

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Hambergite Color

Hambergite ranges in color from colorless to gray-white and yellow-white. Some near-colorless stones may exhibit slight tints of pink or purple.

Hambergite Clarity and Luster

Hambergite occurs transparent to translucent. Transparent gemstone-quality stones are exceptionally rare. Hambergite gemstones are typically quite small, often weighing less than a carat. Eye-clean stones are very rare, especially in larger sizes; most will exhibit some visible inclusions. When polished, hambergite has a glass-like (vitreous) luster.

Hambergite Cut and Shape

Hambergite is typically faceted for collectors and display only. It is not often cut for jewelry. The most common shapes are those that preserve the most carat weight, such as traditional ovals and cushion shapes. Some rare materials may exhibit chatoyancy (cat's eye effect); these are cut en cabochon in order to maximize the chatoyancy effects.

Hambergite Treatment

Hambergite is not known to be treated or artificially enhanced in any way.

Hambergite Gemological Properties:

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Chemical Formula: Be2Bo3(OH) - Beryllium borate
Crystal Structure: Orthorhombic; short prisms
Color: Colorless, gray-white, yellow-white
Hardness: 7.5 on the Mohs scale
Refractive Index: 1.553 to 1.628
Density: 2.35
Cleavage: Perfect
Transparency: Transparent to translucent
Double Refraction 1.553 to 1.628
Luster: Vitreous
Fluorescence: Sometimes orange; usually none

Please refer to our Gemstone Glossary for details of gemology-related terms.

Hambergite: Related or Similar Gemstones:

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White Zircon Gemstones
White Zircon

Hambergite has the same mineral classification as nitrate, carbonate and borate, but there are no other closely-related gemstone varieties available. There are, however, several mineral associations which occur in the same type of localities and geological conditions. Some of the most common mineral associations include beryl, zircon, quartz, danburite, spodumene, apatite, feldspar and fluorite.

Hambergite can be confused with a variety of gemstones, including quartz, euclase, danburite, zircon, topaz, goshenite and leuco garnet.

Hambergite - Metaphysical and Crystal Healing Properties

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Hambergite is very valuable in the world of metaphysical and crystal healing. It is considered to be a very powerful vibration gemstone and is believed to provide feelings of euphoria. It is used to help stimulate health awareness, by encouraging the wearer to take better care of their health. Physically, hambergite can alleviate chills and ease pain from heart conditions. It is sometimes used for eating disorders as it believed it can help stabilize body weight. For those with low metabolisms, hambergite can encourage faster metabolization.

Disclaimer: Metaphysical and Alternative Crystal Healing Powers and Properties are not to be taken as confirmed advice. Traditional, Ceremonial and Mythological Gemstone Lore is collected from various resources and is not the sole opinion of SETT Co., Ltd. This information is not to replace the advice of your doctor. Should you have any medical conditions, please see a licensed medical practitioner. GemSelect does not guarantee any claims or statements of healing or astrological birthstone powers and cannot be held liable under any circumstances.

Hambergite Jewelry Ideas

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Hambergite is not a gemstone that you'll find in any mainstream jewelry designs. It is relatively hard, but it has a brittle tenacity and exhibits perfect cleavage, which makes it quite fragile. Its fragility combined with its rarity is the reason why it is primarily for collectors only. However, some cleaner and well-cut stones may be used for jewelry if worn with care. Rare cat's eye stones are sometimes worn as rings or pendants. Hambergite is often cut into slices for the making of pendants and used as holistic and metaphysical healing jewelry.

Note: Buy colored gemstones by size and not by carat weight. Colored stones vary in size-to-weight ratio. Some stones are larger and others are smaller than diamond by weight in comparison.

Hambergite Gemstone and Jewelry Care and Cleaning

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How to clean your gemstonesAlthough considered to be fairly hard, hambergite is quite fragile because of perfect cleavage and a brittle, conchoidal fracture. Extra care should be taken to prevent hard knocks or blows. Avoid ultrasonic cleaners; vibrations alone can cause stones to fracture. Steamers should also be avoided. Avoid bleach, harsh chemicals or cleaning fluid when cleaning.

Stones can be cleaned with warm water and a mild soap or detergent. Wipe down stones with a soft cloth and rinse well to remove soapy residue. Always remove gems or jewelry before playing sports, exercising or engaging in any household chores. Always store hambergite gemstones separately from other gems and jewelry. It is best to wrap them in a soft cloth and place them in a fabric-lined jewelry box.

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