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What is Pezzottaite?

Diamond famously utilizes carbon atoms in its crystal lattice, but Emeralds are formed on a molecular foundation of beryllium.

In November 2002, a second location for gem-quality Red Emerald was thought to be discovered in Madagascar. Upon closer inspection, scientists determined the pegmatite deposit where the crystals were found lacked sufficient beryllium to form. To make up for this deficiency, crystals were able to utilize cesium atoms in place of beryllium. This alteration made the material a cesium-analogue of beryl, a closely-related but entirely new mineral species belonging to the beryl group, which was subsequently named Pezzottaite after its Italian discoverer, Dr. Frederico Pezzotta.

This exceptionally large 130 carat specimen was discovered during

Dr. Pezzotta's original 2002-3 expedition.

Cesium appears to modify the natural hexagonal crystal shape of beryl, occasionally displaying extreme beveling at the terminations and a preference to form six-sided tabular crystals with three long sides and three short sides. While a closer relative to the Red Emerald, Pezzottaite is sometimes more similar in appearance to the crystal forms of Benitoite!

There are four times as many Pezzottaite gemstones on the market than the quantity of Red Emeralds which exist above ground. However, the entire deposit in Madagascar has been depleted, and Pezzottaite is actually more rare in terms of total supply available on Earth.

Local miners exhausted the world's only Pezzottaite mineral deposit shortly after discovery, but less than one hundred pounds of gem-quality rough was ever produced. Since Pezzottaite was only ever found in one location, this represents the total supply in the entire world. The largest stones which exist today are likely to be the largest stones which will ever exist.

The 63.36 ct Heart of Fire is one of the largest Pezzottaite gems ever faceted.

Although Pezzottaite lacks the deep crimson saturation observed in the finest Red Emeralds, the dichroism in Pezzottaite is very strong. Like Sapphire, two color hues (pinkish-orange and pinkish-purple) can be seen in a single Pezzottaite gem as it turns in the light.

As two members of the beryl group, the close family relationship between Red Emeralds and Pezzottaite allows for phenomenally beautiful color matching. Their complimentary tones can be witnessed in our selection of Red Emerald and Pezzottaite jewelry, which is unmatched in the industry.


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