Benitoite Visible Spectra (350 - 1100 nm)

Benitoite is a rare, strongly dichroic, blue mineral used as a gemstone. It is found in significant quantities only near the head waters of the San Benito River, San Benito County, California. In spite of much effort to study benitoite, the origin of color in benitoite has not been definitively established. Because traces of Fe are found in benitoite, ideas proposed include the Fe2+ - Ti4+ or the Fe2+ - Fe3+ intervalance charge transfer. While most benitoite is colorless when viewed down the c-axis, there is a very small number (3) of exceedingly rare stones (now cut into gemstones) which are pink in this direction. 

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