Nuummite is a dark-colored rock used as a gemstone. It’s beloved by crystal healers for its mysterious and mystical properties, while collectors seek out the stone for its stunning iridescence.
Is nuummite rare? Yes, nuummite is a rare gem. Most material comes from the original site of its discovery, Greenland. Some say Greenland nuummite is the only “real” nuummite.
Though it was discovered in the last couple of centuries, nuummite holds the title for being the oldest rock (discovered by humans) on Earth. This ancient stone boasts a lifetime of around 3 billion years!
Nuummite is a semi-precious gemstone with a dark, mystifying body color overlapped by shimmering iridescent flakes.
What is another name for nuummite? Some alternate spellings include nuummit, nuumite, and nuummit. Another nickname for nuummite is the philosopher’s stone (or sorcerer’s stone), but we’ll discuss that more in the Meanings section.
Though not a traditional birthstone, nuummite is a lucky zodiac stone for the similarly mysterious and intuitive Scorpio.
You may mix up nuummite with arfvedsonite or astrophyllite. All three stones have similar glistening flakes, but nuummite is the only rock among the three.
Nuummite is a rock, not a mineral. As a refresher, rocks are defined as being composed of more than one mineral. In this case, nuummite is a metamorphic, orthoamphibole rock with the (variable) chemical formula (Mg2)(Mg5)Si8O22(OH)2.
The reason for nuummite’s iridescent flashes is the stone’s internal structure. The main fibrous minerals gedrite and anthophyllite form alternating, thin layers called lamellae. These layers cause light interference, like the rainbows seen on a soap bubble.
How can you tell if nuummite is real? To see if you have a real or fake nuummite, look for iridescent flecks shaped like lightning bolts across a light gray or dark surface. The stone’s flecks should reflect iridescence when turned under the light.
Here are the remaining properties of nuummite:
Mohs hardness: 5.5-6
Color: Black, gray, brownish-black; Patterned with blue, red, green, violet, or golden-yellow iridescent flecks
Crystal structure: Orthorhombic
Luster: Vitreous (glassy) or glossy
Refractive index: 1.633-1.665
Luminescence: Fluorescence present - dark violet
Nuummite only has one (unofficial) variety called jankite. Jenakite was discovered in Mauritania in 2009. This nuummite variety is distinct for containing dense bundles of acicular (needle-like) anthophyllite crystals that are green and blue rather than golden yellow.
Next up, we’ll look at nuummite’s mystical journey over time.
The German mineralogist and polar explorer Karl Ludwig Giesecke first discovered nuummite in 1810. Giesecke made the discovery in Greenland’s capital city of Nuuk.
Sometime between 1905 and 1924, the Danish geologist Ove Balthasar Bøggild (or O. B. Bøggild) made the first scientific definition of nuummite.
Nuummite’s name wouldn’t come until 1982, when Dutch geologist Peter W. Uitterdijk Appel chose it. Though he first considered “nuukite,” he changed it to “nuummite.” The word “nuummite” is Greenlandic for “derived from Nuuk.” Pretty straightforward, right?
Fun fact: Nuummite is the only gemstone ever found in Nuuk, Greenland. The main supplier of nuummite gemstones is a local company called Nuummite Nuuk A/S.
Now, what is the meaning of nuummite?
Nuummite’s symbolic meaning ties to empowerment, emotional intuition, and magic. This luminescent crystal is associated with the water element, bringing in energies of untapped potential, meditation, and cleansing.
Are you a Harry Potter fan? If so, you may have wondered: what type of crystal is the philosopher's stone? Nuummite is usually considered the real-life equivalent to the philosopher’s (or sorcerer’s) stone.
Outside of fiction, the philosopher’s stone was a legendary substance believed by Western alchemists to represent perfection and enlightenment. Other purported powers included changing base metals into precious metals and yielding an “elixir of life” used for living longer (or forever) and rejuvenating the spirit.
Nuummite’s magical properties evoke the dark and mysterious nature of the philosopher’s stone, along with its ancient nature and rarity.
Speaking of, what is the nuummite crystal good for?
As a primarily black gemstone, nuummite is a healing stone connected to rebirth and venturing into the unknown. Black gemstones also tie to celestial knowledge and grounding. The typical golden-yellow coloring also imparts good luck.
In terms of how to work with nuummite, crystal healers often recommend meditation to access the stone’s deep grounding effects. Wearing nuummite jewelry or keeping a nuummite tumbled stone with you allows its balancing energies to surround you throughout the day.
Getting more specific, what is nuummite used for in physical, emotional, and chakra healing?
The purported physical benefits of nuummite include higher energy and lower anxiety. For those feeling fatigued or stressed, nuummite is the perfect companion.
This crystal may also help with blood circulation and tissue regeneration.
It’s easy to get stuck in old beliefs, but nuummite is a great tool for opening your mind to new possibilities. By first helping you get out of your comfort zone, nuummite can then enable you to see past limiting beliefs. From there, this crystal is said to help you tap into your true potential.
Chakra stones can open blockages in energy centers (chakras) throughout your body, allowing energy to flow harmoniously. Nuummite is a chakra stone for the third eye and crown chakra.
The third eye and crown chakras are the highest, most spiritual energy centers. Using nuummite to unblock these chakras and bring them into balance with each other allows you to access greater intuition, spiritual connection, and divine wisdom.
Experts determine nuummite’s value based on the categories of color, cut, clarity, and luster.
Atop nuummite’s gray, brown, or black base, it can have iridescent flecks in colors like golden-yellow, green, blue, red, or violet. Red nuummite flecks are rare.
The stone’s flecks can be a few millimeters or centimeters in length. Nuummite with pyrite, chalcopyrite, or pyrrhotite mixed in often has glimmering yellow banding once polished.
The most valuable specimens exhibit multiple colors of iridescence.
Gem cutters have to work with nuummite’s iridescence to orient and cut the stone properly. Usually, the stone is cut as cabochons or tumbled and polished.
More valuable cuts include intricate carvings and faceted shapes. Nuummite may also be sold sliced.
Nuummite is opaque, so inclusions don’t affect its transparency or value much. The best material looks glassy or glossy once polished. Sometimes nuummite can have cracks on its surface due to its location, but these stones are lower in value.
On the topic of location, how and where does nuummite form?
Image credit: Dimitri BECUE | Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license
As we mentioned up top, nuummite is the oldest known rock on Earth, having formed roughly 3 billion years ago.
Nuummite is a metamorphic rock, so it formed when igneous rock underwent a physical and chemical transformation because of heat and pressure.
Much of the reason for nuummite’s rarity is its limited sources. So, where is nuummite found? Besides its original and still-primary locale of Greenland, nuummite is only found in:
Converse County (Wyoming, USA)
Yukon River (Canada)
In the USA, some nuummite is also found in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, though not many specimens from these locales are gem-quality.
Part of the difficulty for finding nuummite gemstones comes from the limited time of year miners can get to it in Greenland. The frigid conditions mean miners can only search and dig for the stone during a few months.
When you’re browsing nuummite for sale, what prices should you expect?
Despite how difficult it can be to obtain nuummite, the prices for this stone are considerably lower than other rare stones.
Faceted nuummite stones sold at wholesale prices range from $5-$15 per carat, or around $35 to $250 each.
Nuummite cabochons range from $7 to $9 per carat at wholesale, or about $75 to $300 each.
Lastly, let’s talk about how to keep your nuummite stone fresh and shiny.
Before you handle nuummite, it’s important to note that the anthophyllite inside is an asbestos amphibole, so inhaling fibers may be dangerous. This is mainly a concern for gemstone cutters handling rough specimens, so stick to polished specimens to be safe.
In terms of gemstone care, nuummite is relatively simple to take care of. You can clean the stone with a soft toothbrush, warm water, and mild soap. Rinse any soap residue off and dry the stone with a dust-free, microfiber cloth.
Store nuummite separately from other gems to avoid scratches.
Though it may not look exactly like the philosopher’s stone from Harry Potter, nuummite’s mysterious depth and mystical wisdom have earned it this title.
Even if you’re not as spiritual, nuummite can benefit you by bringing out your inner light and encouraging you to embrace it as you step into your newfound potential.
Was this article helpful?1 person found this article helpful