Silkstone / Binghamite

Silkstone is a quartz gemstone, a special fibrous variety of Tiger Eye. It has a “grain” like wood, takes a fabulous polish, is easy to work with, and yields incredible cabs. Silkstone is similar to Binghamite and was sometimes found in the same veins. Basically it is fibrous quartz in which the replaced fibers are a red hematite and yellow goethite iron. Colors include yellow, brown, green, blue and red. This material is getting harder and harder to find and good specimens are very expensive.The stone has areas that are highly chatoyant similar to pietersite or tiger’s eye.

This material is found only on the Cuyuna iron range (near Crosby) in Crow Wing County, Minnesota. Mining in the area uncovered deposits of the stone, but since mining operations were discontinued in the area many years ago the stone has become fairly rare and is sought after by lapidarists and gem collectors.

If you like this material you will also like charoite, bronzite, and tiger’s eye.

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