Benitoite is one of the rarest gemstones in the world. While the mineral benitoite itself is quite rare, large gem-grade crystals have only been found in one very small region of California, and in commercial quantities only on one small hill in San Benito County. When first discovered in 1907, it was thought to be sapphire, and indeed the color is nearly identical to the finest sapphires–and like sapphire, the color comes from minute traces of the element titanium. The deposit is very small–covering only a few acres on one hillside–and has mostly been mined out at this point. Most of the gems found have been very small–faceted Benitoite over one carat is extremely rare.
This Benitoite is very large at 2.40 carats. It is quite clean as well, with just one minor feather tucked off near the edge. The high refractive index and dispersion make it look like a rich blue diamond in the hand. It is faceted in a custom shield shape and measures 8.65 x 7.77 x 5.47 mm. It comes with a GIA report.