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Poudretteite is one of the rarest gems known. It was named after the Poudrette family, owners and operators of a quarry near Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada where the mineral was first found. It was discovered as a few tiny crystals during the mid-1960s but not recognized as a new mineral until 1986. In 2000, the first documented gem-quality specimen of poudretteite was discovered in Mogok, Burma. The remarkable 9.41 carat poudretteite gem shown here, from Burma, is considered to be one of the largest, if not the largest, faceted poudretteite in existence. It is astounding that one of the world’s rarest minerals should suddenly appear in the gem markets as an attractive and nearly flawless 9.41 carat gem. This light-pink oval faceted poudretteite is the only poudretteite gem in the National Gem Collection. The gem was generously gifted to the Smithsonian in 2007 by Frances Miller Seay.

Image Number: Ken Larsen
Catalog Number: G10528
Weight: 9.41 carats
Gift of Frances Miller Seay in memory of her mother Onerva Laine Miller , 2007
Locality: Mogok , Burma


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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Mineral Sciences website Credits