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Earth Treasures: Mtorolite Gemstone

By Chisom Ibemere

Mtorolite is a rare and unique gemstone which is a type of microcrystalline quartz. It is a metamorphic rock and was first discovered in the Mtorolite Mountains of Tanzania, East Africa.

The name is derived from the Mtorolite Mountains where it was discovered. These hills are popular for their deposits of this distinctive green gemstone. The word “mtoro” means “green stone” in the local Swahili language, thus reflecting the gem’s characteristic color

Mtorolite formation occurs through the process of serpentinization, where the mineral olivine in peridotite is transformed into serpentine minerals. One of the significant sources of Mtorolite occurs basically in the Mtorolite Mountains of Tanzanian.

However, access to the deposits remain challenging due to the remote nature of the sources.

Mtorolite is primarily used in the creation of jewelry, such as cabochon-cut gemstones for rings, pendants, and earrings. It is also used for producing decorative objects such as figurines, vases and other ornamental items.

Mtorolite exhibits a range of vibrant green hues, from light to deep, resulting from the presence of chromium and nickel in the peridotite.

It is translucent to opaque, with a waxy or vitreous luster and has a Mohs hardness of 5-6, making it relatively soft and susceptible to scratches and damage.

Mtorolite is highly valued for its striking green color, unique formation, and extreme rarity. It is a precious and sought-after gemstone, particularly among collectors and jewelry enthusiasts and the difficulty in accessing the Mtorolite deposits and the small quantities available contribute to its high global value and exclusivity.


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