Musgravite Gemstone: Properties, Meanings, Value & More

musgravite gemstoneMusgravite is a taaffeite gemstone variety discovered in Australia that’s known for being one of the rarest gemstones in the world. We’ve even included it in our top ten gemstones of all time

Unfortunately for country pop fans, musgravite is not connected to Kacey Musgraves. But get your hands on a rare specimen displaying iridescence and there will always be a rainbow hanging over your head!

Interested in finding some musgravite jewelry of your own? Just curious to know more about this “rarity among the rare,” as many call it? Stay tuned to learn all about musgravite’s prices, properties, benefits, and history!

musgravite gemstone

About Musgravite Stone

Musgravite is a transparent, captivating gemstone sought after by rare gem enthusiasts. But just how rare is musgravite? 

Firstly, musgravite is even rarer than its parent stone taaffeite, another one of the world’s rarest gemstones. From its debut in 1967 to 2006, there were only 20 faceted musgravite gems identified. Since 2005, there’s only been 8 (known) gem-quality musgravite specimens mined worldwide. 

Given musgravite’s rarity and price points, you may wonder: is musgravite a diamond? No, musgravite is a completely different stone. That said, musgravite’s rarity as a semi-precious gemstone actually exceeds that of the precious gemstone diamond.

Though “musgravite” is the common trade name most use, the official name is actually “magnesiotaaffeite-6N’3S,” sometimes simplified to “magnesiotaaffeite.” 

What about musgravite as a mineral? What are its properties? 

Musgravite Specifications & Characteristics

Musgravite is a beryllium aluminum oxide mineral in the taaffeite, or magnesiotaaffeite, mineral group. Taaffeite and musgravite are tricky to tell apart — even their formulas are quite similar, with BeMg3Al8O16 for taaffeite and Be(Mg,Fe,Zn)2Al6O12 for musgravite.

The musgravite formula can also be written as Mg2BeAl6O12. Though it’s rich in magnesium, it also contains beryllium, aluminum, and oxygen. High amounts of iron and zinc are common, and small amounts of calcium, manganese, and gallium may be present. 

The clearest difference between taaffeite and musgravite is their crystal systems, as taaffeite is hexagonal while musgravite is trigonal. 

As with other minerals containing beryllium, like emerald and aquamarine, musgravite is a hard mineral. It even slightly outranks those beryl stones, sitting at 8 to 8.5 on the Mohs mineral hardness scale (compared to the 7.5 to 8 ranking of beryl varieties). 

What color is musgravite? Musgravite is usually grayish-green to olive, though it can also be found in shades of purple, greenish-blue, or near-colorless. Taaffeite’s color range includes pink, colorless, reddish, and purple. 

The remaining musgravite mineral data is below:

  • Mohs hardness: 8-8.5

  • Color: Usually gray-green, olive green, or grayish-purple; Dark green-blue, shades of violet, gray, colorless

  • Crystal structure: Trigonal

  • Luster: Vitreous (glassy)

  • Transparency: Translucent to transparent

  • Refractive index: 1.719-1.726

  • Density: 3.61–3.68

  • Cleavage: Perfect (or a parting) on [0001], imperfect on [1011]

  • Fracture: Conchoidal

  • Streak: White

  • Luminescence: Usually none, sometimes fluorescence - weak orange in LW-UV, weak red in SW-UV

  • Pleochroism: None

  • Birefringence: 0.007

Moving on from mineralogy, let’s shift gears to look at the metaphysical and historical side of musgravite. 

musgravite gemstones facetedImage credit: DonGuennie (G-Empire The World Of Gems) | Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license

Musgravite Meaning & History

Looking at musgravite symbolism, this crystal represents joy of all kinds. Its predominant green color also represents new beginnings, balance, and personal growth. 

The name “musgravite” comes from the location of its discovery in 1967: the Musgrave Ranges of South Australia. The IMA renamed this Australian gemstone to magnesiotaaffeite-6N’3S because of its magnesium and connection to taaffeite. 

At first, mineralogists believed the stone found in the Musgrave Ranges (specifically at Ernabella Mission) was some sort of taaffeite. After rigorous testing, musgravite was officially described as a new mineral.

As news spread about this new variety, collectors and gemologists started testing stones they’d labeled as taaffeite. However, only two were definitively identified as musgravite between 1993 and 2000. 

Even gemologists at the renowned Gemological Institute of America (GIA), famous for establishing the 4 Cs of diamond grading, hadn’t seen a faceted musgravite until 1997. 

Musgravite in the 21st Century

By 2006, roughly 20 faceted musgravite gems had been confirmed. Canadian gemologist Murray Burford had identified 3 of them. That may seem like a small number, but mathematically, Burford can take credit for identifying 15 percent of the world’s musgravite gems!

After 2005, new discoveries of musgravite (albeit in small amounts) occurred in Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Tanzania, Greenland, and even Antarctica. 

In 2007, huge (pun intended) news hit the gem world when the Gübelin Gem Lab of Switzerland announced the discovery of the largest known musgravite. The grayish-purple stone was a heart-shaped, faceted gem weighing 16.05 carats. It sold for $800,000 in 2021. 

Since 2007, even larger musgravite stones have been found. The current largest known musgravite, called the Ophir Grand Musgravite, is a whopping 214 carats!

Beyond setting world records, what is musgravite used for? 

musgravite healing stoneImage credit: DonGuennie (G-Empire The World Of Gems) | Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license

Musgravite Healing Properties

All gems and crystals, including musgravite, can be used as healing stones. Though musgravite isn’t abundant enough for widespread crystal healing use, it still has healing powers — some of which come from its coloring. 

The commonly green musgravite, like other green gemstones, offers emotional balance, connection to nature, and prosperity. Additionally, these gems are great chakra stones for opening the heart chakra, inviting self-love and acceptance. 

Purple hues in musgravite evoke the benefits of purple gemstones, bringing spiritual wisdom and enlightenment.

Gray undertones can even bring out new powers, such as the emotionally stabilizing and concentration-improving inherent to gray gemstones

Other purported healing uses for musgravite include:

  • Stress relief

  • Increasing optimism & positivity

  • Promoting success in all areas (e.g. work, relationships, health)

  • Bringing inner peace

Speaking of inner peace, you may be worried about getting swindled while shopping for a rare (and thus pricey) stone like musgravite. To help you feel at peace while making your decision, we’ll go over the factors of musgravite to keep an eye out for next. 

light pink musgarvite gemstone faceted

Musgravite Gemstone Properties

In addition to its general rarity, the value of an individual musgravite gem also comes down to its color, cut, clarity, and carat weight. 


Musgravite’s color isn’t the most important factor in its value, but it’s still significant. The stone can be shades of green, violet, or purple, sometimes with gray undertones.

The cause of green hues in musgravite is likely iron in the stone. 

Colorless and red specimens are quite rare, but the most valuable musgravite color is purple. 


Since musgravite is so rare, almost all stones are faceted to fetch the highest value. Common faceted cuts seen in the few musgravite gems that have been identified are cushion, oval, and pear shapes. 


Clarity describes the amount of visible inclusions in a gemstone, which can affect its transparency and sparkle. Transparent, eye-clean (lacking visible inclusions to the naked eye) musgravite stones are the most valuable. 

Some inclusions found in musgravite stones include:

  • Large, rounded apatite crystals

  • Small, colorless needles

  • Opaque, black, hexagonal platelets of graphite

One exceedingly rare musgravite studied by GIA in 2015 displayed thin-film iridescence due to etch tubes aligned with the stone’s crystallography. Though only weighing 0.85 carats, this little gem is the only known musgravite to display any sort of optical phenomenon

Carat Weight

Though much of the musgravite for sale is under 5 carats, there are larger examples. Among the four largest musgravite stones, the American company Ophir Collection LLC owns three. Besides the 16.05-carat stone discussed in the History section, the other three largest musgravite stones currently known are:

  • Ophir Red Musgravite: Largest red musgravite at 21.07 carats

  • Ophir Musgravite: Formerly largest cut musgravite at 22.64 carats

  • Ophir Grand Musgravite: Currently largest cut musgravite at 214 carats

Sizing aside, how does musgravite form in the first place? 

Musgravite Formation & Sources

As a taaffeite variety, musgravite is likely found in similar environments: alluvial deposits, sediments, and sedimentary rocks. What rock is musgravite found in, specifically? 

Since many musgravites are identified from faceted gems, their past is somewhat mysterious. The first discovered musgravite was found near sapphire, spinel, and phlogopite. 

The most recently discovered new deposit (in Greenland) was in a calcite marble within a basement (rocks below a large portion of sedimentary rocks) of gneiss. 

Mining Locations

From its 1967 discovery to 2005, musgravite had only been found in Australia. At present, small quantities of musgravite have also been found in:

  • Antarctica

  • Greenland

  • Madagascar

  • Myanmar

  • Sri Lanka

  • Tanzania

The sources listed above have not produced more than 5-10 musgravite gems annually. 

Given all the factors regarding its rarity discussed thus far, what is musgravite worth? 

musgravite gemstone rough crystalImage credit: David Hospital | Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license

Musgravite Price & Value

As you might predict, the musgravite price per carat is steep, often steeper than many precious gemstones like diamond. 

Though some are around $6,000 per carat, most faceted musgravite gemstones cost $30,000 to $35,000 per carat. 

However, larger-sized stones could sell for more. For example, the 16.05-carat musgravite gem from Sri Lanka sold for $800,000, making it just over $49,800 per carat.

To put that in perspective, a 1-carat white diamond is generally $1,300 to $16,500, with most falling at $4,400 to $7,600. (Since it’s 1 carat, the price-per-carat is the same as the total price for the stone.) Even tanzanite, known for being among the most expensive gemstones, is only $1,200 per carat on average. 

Before we wrap up, let’s talk about proper gemstone care

Musgravite Care and Maintenance

Though musgravite has good scratch resistance, its perfect cleavage leaves it vulnerable to breaking from hard blows. To prevent that from happening, we recommend protective settings for any jewelry, especially more vulnerable pieces like a musgravite ring. 

Luckily, cleaning musgravite is pretty simple. Being careful not to drop it, you can clean musgravite by gently scrubbing it with a soft toothbrush dipped into a mixture of lukewarm water and mild soap. Once it’s clean, rinse away any soap residue and dry your musgravite with a soft, microfiber cloth. 

We recommend storing your musgravite gemstones separately from other gems to avoid scratches to any stones in your collection. 

Mesmerized by Musgravite? 

Musgravite is a worthy stone to be sought after by rare gem enthusiasts and crystal lovers alike. Though not many gems have been found, this could change in the future. 

As recently as July of 2022, miners found a new deposit in Greenland. Who knows where musgravite may pop up in the future? Only time will tell. For now, we can appreciate this jewel for its beauty and rarity. 

Looking to add the rarest of the rare to your collection? Buy musgravite gemstones today!

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