Pezzottaite from Ambatovita, Madagascar:
A New Gem Mineral

By Brendan M. Laurs, William B. (Skip) Simmons, George R. Rossman, Elizabeth P. Quinn, Shane F. McClure, Aldof Peretti, Thomas Armbruster, Frank C. Hawthorne,Alexander U. Falster, Detlef Günther, Mark A. Cooper, and Bernard Grobéty


Pezzottaite, ideally Cs(Be2Li)Al2Si6O18, is a new gem mineral that is the Cs,Li-rich member of the beryl group. It was discovered in November 2002 in a granitic pegmatite near Ambatovita in central Madagascar. Only a few dozen kilograms of gem rough were produced, and the deposit appears nearly exhausted. The limited amount of transparent faceted stones and cat's-eye cabochons that have been cut usualy show a deep purplish pink color. Pezzottaite is distinguished from beryl by its higher refractive indices (no=1.615-1.619 and ne=1.607-1.610) and specific gravity values (typically 3.09-3.11). In addition, the new mineral's infrared and Raman spectra, as well as its X-ray diffraction pattern are distinctive, while the visible spectrum recorded with the spectrophotometer is similar to that of morganite. The color is probably caused by radiation-induced color centers involving Mn3+.