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The Gemstones

caymaniteCaymanite

Caymanite earrings and other samples courtesy of Jennifer Levey, GG
 
Consumer Information
 
What color is it?: As you can see here, caymanite can occur in a variety of what is called earth colors. That being various colors of brown, yellow, to white colors.
 
What is the story behind this gemstone?: Caymanite was formed millions of years ago when the volcano that formed the Cayman Islands rained ash down on the rocks below. The ash formed sediments that eventually hardened into a sedimentary rock with the colored layers forming, based on the mineral content of the various layers of ash.
 
Can I wear it everyday?: Yes, caymanite wears very well.
 
Is it expensive?: It can be. The darker colors which are shown above can be rather expensive in jewelry items. But the lighter colors shown in the earrings above are affordable for any budget.
 
Is it a birthstone?: No...but you will never convince the Cayman Islanders of that.
 
What do I need to know before going shopping?: It will be hard to find outside the Cayman Islands. One store there, Kirk Jewellers, has an exclusive agreement on a very fine line of jewelry from KABANA that is made with very fine quality caymanite. Other than traveling to the Cayman Islands to shop, however, it will be difficult to locate this gemstone.

General Information
 
Note layering of sediments that forms caymanite rock.
 
Source: The Cayman Islands exclusively
 
Chemical: Mainly layers of manganese, iron, and other volcanic minerals
 
Formation: In rock as sediments that harden to form sedimentary rocks
 
Crystal System: None
 
Unusual Properties: None other than the very unusual layering of the colors.

Gemological Information
 
Graphic example of different minerals forming different colors of layers
 
RI: Varies with mineral content
 
Birefringence: None
 
Optic Character: None
 
Specific Gravity: Varies with mineral content
 
Hardness: 5
 
Transparency: Opaque
 
Special Identifying Properties and Tests: The colored layering of caymanite it unlike almost anything else on the market.
 
Synthetics: None known
 
Imitations: None known.

 

For the gemological information on this gemstone we invite you to join us in the

International School of Gemology.