Tiffany Stone, Opalized Fluorite Bertrandite
Considered one of the most scarce, beautiful and unusual stones in the world, this stone comes only from one very small area in the Western deserts of Utah, the Brush Wellman beryllium mine, where beryllium is mined for use in missile nose cones and many other high-tech metallurgical uses. The area is not open to the public for collecting and very little of this material sees anything other than the ore crusher to extract the small percentage of beryllium contained in the opal tuff. It is a soft to hard Opalized stone that forms in very small to 100+ pound "nodules", composed of predominantly Opalized fluorite (blues, purples and whites), often with many other minerals such as Agate, Dolomite, Rhodonite, Manganese oxide, Beryllium and others. It often has a "crackled" appearance and is called "Tiffany Stone", "Bertrandite" "Purple Opal" or "Ice Cream Opalite". Unfortunately for the jewelry world, most of the material is ground up as part of the beryllium extraction process - so, not only is it rare because of the sole location, it is even more rare (and consequently expensive) because so little of the material ever escapes the ore crushers.