Eosphorite Gemstone: Properties, Meanings, Value & More

Eosphorite is a rare phosphate mineral most often found in brown hues but sought-out by collectors in shades of pink and orange. The stone is closely related to childrenite.

Although eosphorite is rarely found in cuttable crystals with good clarity, the cuttable crystals that are found make gorgeous faceted gemstones with colors evoking the sunrise.

We here at Gem Rock Auctions love sharing our knowledge on lesser-known gemstones, so today, we’ll be breaking down all of eosphorite’s properties, prices, powers, and more!

eosphorite gemstonePictured above: Eosphorite cut from Brazil. Gem cutting by Afonso Marques | Image credit: Eurico Zimbres, CC-BY-SA-3.0

About Eosphorite Stone

Eosphorite is a rare semi-precious gemstone often found pale yellow or brown, but beloved in pink to orange hues.

The crystal is often found attached to rose quartz, and its resemblance to this type of quartz can make it an alternative January birthstone.

You can also substitute rose quartz with eosphorite as a traditional 5th wedding anniversary gem. However, rose quartz might be easier to find than eosphorite.

Astrologically, eosphorite benefits Libra and Taurus signs.

Eosphorite Specifications & Characteristics

As a hydrous manganese phosphate mineral, the eosphorite formula may be written as:

  • MnAl(PO4)(OH)2·H2O,

  • (Mn,Fe)AlPO4(OH)2·H2O, or

  • Mn2+Al(PO4)(OH)2·H2O

The last formula is approved by the International Mineralogical Association (IMA). The second formula accounts for the common impurity iron.

Iron is often present in eosphorite because it forms a series with childrenite — formula Fe2+Al(PO4)(OH)2·H2O. The series ranges from manganese-dominant eosphorite to iron-dominant childrenite.

Many mineralogists thought eosphorite was monoclinic with pseudo-orthorhombic symmetry from twinning. However, modern studies have proven that eosphorite is conclusively orthorhombic.

Speaking of twinning, eosphorite may be twinned on {100} and {001}.

In terms of habits, eosphorite crystals are often prismatic and clustered, forming radiating spheres or sprays, with wedge-like terminations. Eosphorite minerals can also be globular or massive.

Eosphorite properties listed:

  • Mohs hardness: 5

  • Color: Typically shades of brown, including reddish-brown and brownish-pink; Sometimes pink, yellow, rose-red, or orange; Oxidizes to medium brown or black

  • Crystal structure: Orthorhombic

  • Luster: Vitreous, sub-vitreous, or resinous

  • Transparency: Translucent to transparent

  • Refractive index: 1.628-1.679

  • Density: 3.05-3.08; Higher manganese content usually means lower density

  • Cleavage: Poor/indistinct on {100}

  • Fracture: Irregular/uneven or subconchoidal

  • Streak: White

  • Luminescence: None

  • Pleochroism: Present & distinct - yellow to pink to pale pink or colorless

  • Birefringence: 0.029-0.035

  • Dispersion: Strong (when manganese-rich)

translucent coffee brown eosphorite crystal sprayPictured above: Rich carpet of translucent to transparent, coffee-colored eosphorite crystals; From Mauthner collection; Old material from 1960s to 1970s | Image credit: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0

Eosphorite Stone Meaning & History

American mineralogists George Jarvis Brush and Edward Salisbury Dana wrote the first description of eosphorite in 1878 based on specimens from Redding in Connecticut, USA. This is now the mineral’s type locality.

Eosphorite was originally discovered around 1876 by A.N. Fillow, who owned and excavated the locality looking for mica. Fillow shut operations down due to limited mica ore; however, he kept some specimens that Dana and Brush ended up analyzing, along with more specimens he allowed the two to mine.

Brush and Dana named one of these new minerals “eosphorite,” but what does “eosphorite” mean? The name comes from the Greek term έωσφορος (éosforos), meaning “dawn-bearing” to reference the original specimens’ sunrise pink color.

Their article also included descriptions of other minerals found in the Connecticut locality, three of which were previously unknown minerals: triploidite, dickinsonite, and lithiophilite. The last mineral was rhodochrosite, and all five minerals were found in one granite pegmatite vein.

On the metaphysical side, what is eosphorite used for?

Eosphorite Healing Properties

As a popularly pink healing stone, eosphorite has the nurturing and stress-relieving properties ascribed to other pink gemstones. Unsurprisingly, eosphorite is also used to open the heart chakra.

Physical Healing

Physically, eosphorite benefits are said to include treating issues related to:

  • Digestion

  • Fatigue

  • Immune system

  • Migraines

  • Metabolic function

Emotional Healing

Spiritual healers also recommend eosphorite crystals for their purported emotional benefits such as:

  • Attracting healthy relationships

  • Boosting self-esteem

  • Encouraging creative expression

  • Facilitating recovery from grief

  • Promoting self-acceptance

  • Stimulating mental clarity

reddish orange eosphorite crystal clusterPictured above: Brazilian cluster of intergrown reddish-orange eosphorite crystals with striations | Image credit: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0

Eosphorite Gemstone Properties

Besides rarity, eosphorite’s value depends on its color, cut, clarity, and carat weight.

Color

Despite the stone’s pink etymology, eosphorite’s can also be shades of red, yellow, brown, red, orange, and even colorless. Many of these colors are caused by different amounts of iron and manganese.

Oxidized specimens will be brown to black, and these are generally least valuable.

The most valuable eosphorites are brighter shades of pink, yellow, or orange. Orange hues are caused by high manganese content.

Cut

Although eosphorites aren’t difficult to cut, the rarity of facetable crystals makes faceted eosphorite gems less common and more valuable.

Often, cuttable eosphorite crystals are faceted into fancy shapes, but round brilliant cuts bring out a pale orange or pink eosphorite dispersion phenomenally.

Most often, you’ll see eosphorite for sale as rough crystals and specimens. You may also see carvings like spheres or beads made of other minerals mixed with eosphorite, such as andalusite or turquoise.

Clarity

Clarity describes the degree of visible inclusions in a gem, which can lower its transparency and value.

Although eosphorites are translucent to transparent, they’re very rarely found without lots of visible inclusions.

Many eosphorite crystals contain multiphase inclusions, which are cavities containing multiple phases like liquid, vapor, and solid.

Carat Weight & Size

Given the rarity of cuttable crystals, faceted eosphorite gems are almost always under 4 carats. Some exceptions exist, though, weighing 10+ carats.

Rough eosphorite crystals can be found in large sizes, but most are small, and large crystals are usually attached to a matrix.

brown eosphorite crystals on milky rose quartz crystalPictured above: Dramatic, showy milky quartz crystal with two sprays of lustrous, brown eosphorite blades attached to a termination face, smaller eosphorite crystals covering several crystal faces, and rose quartz encrustations | Image credit: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0

Eosphorite Formation & Sources

Eosphorite minerals are often secondary, meaning they form when other (primary) minerals undergo transformation of some kind.

Miners find eosphorite in granite pegmatites containing phosphate and often manganese phosphate minerals.

Commonly associated minerals include:

Geographically, where is eosphorite found?

Mining Locations

Currently, the only known source of facetable eosphorite crystals is Brazil, particularly Itinga in Minas Gerais.

Attractive eosphorite crystals are also found in:

  • Australia

  • Canada

  • Finland

  • Germany

  • Pekistan

  • USA (Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Dakota)

How much do eosphorite gemstones cost? It depends on the cut and quality.

terminated honey orange eosphorite crystalPictured above: Fine, sharply terminated, gemmy, honey-brown eosphorite crystal from Brazil; Carlton Davis Collection | Image credit: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0

Eosphorite Price & Value

Faceted eosphorite gemstones range from about $50 to $600 per carat, or $15 to $1,500 total — remember, some gems are under 1 carat, so their price-per-carat may be higher than their total price.

You can find large eosphorite-andalusite spheres for around $1,750 each.

Rough eosphorite prices vary from $40 up to $6,000.

The priciest specimens are large crystals, usually pink or pale yellow and connected to rose quartz. You can still find attractive eosphorite crystal clusters for under $100, though.

Eosphorite Care and Maintenance

Luckily, this stone is fairly easy to take care of. Eosphorite is NOT radioactive or toxic.

The most important considerations for eosphorite gemstone care are its susceptibility to scratches and acid.

Only get eosphorite jewelry with protective settings, and keep it away from harder gems. It’s also best to wear eosphorite jewelry on fabric rather than directly on your skin.

Don’t expose eosphorite to acids or it will dissolve. You can clean eosphorite with the standard warm water, mild soap, and a soft toothbrush or microfiber cloth.

Engrossed by Eosphorite Yet?

Eosphorite may not be well-known, but this gem is an underdog for sure. From stunning crystal clusters to basically containing a sunset within, what’s not to love?

Bring some light into your collection and find the eosphorite for you!

Buy eosphorite gemstones today!

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