Facet-nating Stones

Local beauties that really rock.Who knew that New Hampshire held such treasure? These vivid green fluorite stones are mined by Bob Borofsky, owner of the William Wise mine in Westmoreland.

The mine had been active in the early 1890s to 1919 when about 7,500 tons were extracted for use as flux. It’s the only mine in the Ammonoosuc Volcanics to produce deep-green and often flawless crystals. Borofsky not only uses a jack hammer to extract the raw crystals, but facets them as well. The more facets a gem has the more it sparkles. He often uses cushion, trillion and pear shapes to showcase the stones. His round stones with concave facets have double the number of faces to reflect and refract light.

Elizabeth Poirier of Elizabeth’s On Elm ironically met Borofsky in NYC at a gem show several years ago. Now, she showcases the fluorites and his wire wrapping at her Manchester shop and also creates custom gold settings for the loose stones.

A loose stone costs about $100 and stones in silver settings start around $300. It’s a pretty affordable piece of the state to hang around your neck.

Fluorite has a hardness factor of 4, similar to tanzanite, so it is not appropriate for rings or bracelets where the surface may get scratched. Colors vary from light greenish-blue to a deep emerald blue. Interestingly, the term fluorescence comes from this stone that actually glows bright blue under a black light.

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