Tiffany Stone, Delta, Utah

Tiffany stone is a complex rock composed of opalized fluorite with bands and veins of chalcedony, manganese oxide and bertrandite. The only known source for this rare material is the Brush Wellman beryllium mine, Spor Mountain, near Delta, Utah, where it is mined for its beryllium content. Due to its swirling colors of purple, lavender and cream, Tiffany stone is a popular lapidary material, and is often cut into cabochons and beads. Less known is that it is also brightly fluorescent under UV due to its fluorite and opal content.

Cut surface of a Tiffany stone nodule, showing fluorescent response under full-wave UV (SW+MW+LW).

This example is a half nodule of Tiffany stone having a single cut surface, and it shows a colorful multi-wavelength fluorescent response that is typical for the material. The blue and purple fluorescence is due to the fluorite content; the bright green is uranyl-activated, evidenced by the low level of radioactivity emitted by this specimen (approximately 250 cpm). The size of this piece is 14.0 x 9.4 x 4.8 cm, and it weighs 604 grams.

The following series of photographs show the cut interior surface of the Tiffany stone specimen seen under visible light and various UV wavelengths:

Click on the above images for a larger view and UV wavelength information.

The following scrolling images show the natural exterior surface of the Tiffany stone nodule photographed under visible light and various UV wavelengths:

Mouse over the scrolling images for UV wavelength information.

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