🇩🇰I forbindelse med Kvanefjelds projektet er der her en lille solstrålehistorie om hvad lokale grønlændere kan opnå hvis Tugtupite kommer på dagsordenen.
SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION IN WASHINGTON D.C.
ACQUIRES GREENLAND TUGTUPITE FOR MINERAL COLLECTION
The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History https://geogallery.si.edu/gems in Washington D.C. has acquired a spectacular suite of the mineral tugtupite (known locally as “Tuktu”) from Greenland for their world-famous gem and mineral collection.
The new collection of Tuktu represents an important discovery at the historic type locale. It is unusual for exhibiting the highest gem quality of Tuktu ever encountered, and only recently recognized. https://geogallery.si.edu/10026711/tugtupite
The Tuktu was mined, manufactured and marketed by members of a small-miners association in Greenland, beginning with the local prospector Peter Lindberg from the nearby town of Narsaq, along with several local lapidaries in the capitol city of Nuuk. A lapidary is any person who cuts, polishes, engraves or manufactures gemstones. The small miners associations include an alliance of individuals working together as Ice Cold Gems (ICG) and the Sixteen August Union (16AU) among others.
The Smithsonian acquired a suite of Tuktu representing all stages of gemstone manufacture from the mine to market occurring on the island of Greenland, including:
- Hand-specimen of gem-grade Tuktu ore
14 x 4 x 5 cm from Ilannguaq Olsen
- Gem-grade rough Tuktu ore cobbed to clip
Three (3) stones total 41 grams, from ICG
- Gem-grade rough Tuktu ore clipped to cut
Five (5) stones total 5 grams, from ICG
- Gem-Tuktu Jewellery by Mike Møller
Two (2) units “ulu” pendants 1 x 3 cm
- 3.2 carat round brilliant, fine-quality Special
Faceted by Mr. Lars Schou, Nuuk, Greenland
Tugtupite (“Tuktu”) is a beryllium-bearing mineral similar to sodalite, with the chemical formula Na4AlBeSiO4O12Cl. It was first discovered in the Proterozoic-age Ilímaussaq alkaline-intrusive complex known as the Gardar Belt of South Greenland by Professor Henning Sørensen in 1957. Tugtupite belongs to the tetragonal crystal system and has a Mohs hardness of 6½. Tugtupite is a phenomenal stone, exhibiting (1) tenebrescence; (2) fluorescence; and (3) phosphorescence. Tuktu is strongly tenebrescent with colors changing from white or light pink, on to vivid red and even purple-red. The color changes quickly, within minutes, when exposed to natural daylight or to short-wave ultraviolet light. Absence of daylight during the long arctic winter causes tugtupite to naturally lose its color over weeks to months, returning to white or very light pink. This color-change is reversible, as Tuktu will again regain its red color when re-exposed to sun light. Tugtupite is also strongly fluorescent in both shortwave (SWUV) and long-wave (LWUV) ultraviolet light. In SWUV tugtupite glows strongly orange-to orangey-red; whereas in LWUV tugtupite glows salmon-pink. Tugtupite is often referred to in the market as the “King of Fluorescent Minerals” for the uncommon strength of the fluorescence. Tugtupite is also phosphorescent, glowing light-green and fading to darkness over 2 minutes following the extinguishment of a SWUV source. In diaphaneity, tugtupite ranges from opaque to transparent. The opaque to translucent tugtupite historically mined, has often been cut into cabochons or made into beads which are very popular. The semitransparent to transparent Tuktu recently discovered, and now acquired by the Smithsonian Institute, has quickly gained notoriety as high-value, faceted gemstone, and as a high-value gemstone cabochon. Tuktu is a unique, specialty stone produced from a single location on the planet earth, Greenland. Gemologists classify the facet-grade Tuktu as a Type III gemstone, in that it typically finishes to small sizes, is always included, and is extremely rare.
Delivery of this important and historic suite of gem-quality tugtupite Tuktu to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. is an example of the success had by Greenlanders working in harmony to develop the gemstone resources of their island, for local use and for export to the world. The Greenland gemstone artisanne is to be commended for their delivery from mine to market of such fine gemstone product, and to be especially lauded for the high standards of workmanship and skill evident in the finished goods. Notable among the Greenland faceteers is Mr. Lars Schou of Greenlandic Gems, who has exquisitely faceted some of the largest and finest Tuktu, among them the three-carat round acquired by the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History. Other Greenlanders who are also distinguished for faceting Tuktu to the highest international standards of excellence include Mr. Niels Madsen, Mr. Ilannguaq Olsen and Mr. Jens Mikkel Fly.
William R. Rohtert