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Triplite is a rare mineral. The name triplite comes from the Greek triplos, meaning triple, referring to the mineral's 3 prominent directions of cleavage. Because of its brittleness, good cleavage, and lack of hardness, it is difficult to cut and facet. Therefore, triplite gemstones are very rare, and the few that have been reported are from Pakistan or China. This triplite gemstone is noteworthy for its relatively large size and beautiful intense orange-pink color. Triplite has also been found in France, Germany, Finland, Namibia, and the United States; however, most of the triplite found is not the gemmy orange-pink color, but rather brown and opaque. Triplite is sometimes confused with another pinkish-orange mineral, rhodocrosite. This is the first triplite gem accessioned in to the National Gem Collection.

Image Number: Ken Larsen
Catalog Number: G10544
Weight: 2.60 carats
Gift of Luciana Barbosa , 2008
Locality: Shigar Valley , Pakistan


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