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Kornerupine (pronounced “kor-nur-yoo-peen”) is a rare boro-silicate, which is occasionally encountered as a faceted gemstone with highly pleochroic bluish, yellowish, brownish and/or preferred greenish hues. However, the mineral is better-known within the jewelry trade for its green “cat’s eye” variety. This optical phenomenon is only seen in cabochon-cut material that contains very fine, needle-like inclusions of rutile.

The mineral is named in honor of the Danish geologist Andreas Nikolaus Kornerup, having been initially discovered in Denmark’s Greenland colony at the end of the nineteenth century. However, Sri Lanka is now the primary source of gem-quality kornerupine, with facetable crystals also found in Canada, Madagascar and at several localities across the east African mainland. However, as with so many other gem varieties, most cat’s eye material is sourced from Myanmar’s famous Mogok gemstone tract.

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