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Blue Tugtupite - an Extreme Rarity from Greenland

8.2.2017

Blue Tugtupite is about as rare as hen's teeth are here in TN, as are human teeth here also (Did you know the toothbrush was invented in Tennessee?  Anywhere else and it would be called a "teethbrush").   But I digress....

 

Tugtupite is only found in three places around the world: Mt. St. Hilaire, Canada, Kola Russia, and the Ilimaussaq Complex in Greenland.  It is really only found in any quantity in Greenland.  Tugtupite is famous for its bright cherry red color under shortwave UV, as well as its beautiful red gem color when used in jewelry.  But few people have seen (or even know of) blue tugtupite.  It's so rare that it is almost an urban legend.  In the past 17 years I've been traveling to Greenland and dealing in the minerals I've only seen a couple of pieces.  This is the best piece I have in my personal collection.  It is from the same area the famous tugtupite mines are located on Kvanefjeld, Ilimaussaq Complex.

 

The pictures below show it under white light, shortwave, and longwave.  Under UV it looks like any other piece of tugtupite - the typical bright cherry red SW and salmon LW.  But the blue color in white light is simply amazing.  There is an unsubstantiated rumor that exposure to UV will cause blue tugtupite to fade.  I have not tested it and have no plans to.  I also have not checked for tenebrescence.

 

A fellow from the NE (Bill M.) saw this entry and had a comment - the 1st to repudiate the rumor that the tugtupite will fade:  "Under the Greenland display category there is a blue Tug that the write-up suggests that blue tugs fade under SW UV.  When my Greenland collection was at the Warren [museum] I had several blue tugs in the display that fluoresced bright red under SW UV.  They were on display for several years so they had plenty of exposure. That was before I knew they were rare and might fade.  I can't say if they faded under SW exposure, but after being returned to me they were kept boxed and in the dark for several years.  They are now blue."

 

The matrix on this piece is analcime.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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