Sugilite Gel Rough - Purple, Lavender, Fuschia - 218.55ct / 43.71 grams For Sale
Sugilite Gel Rough - Purple, Lavender, Fuschia - 218.55ct / 43.71 grams:
A nice sized high grade piece of Sugilite rough from old stock material from the 1970s gathered by one of the Americangeologists at the Wessels Mine in South Africa. First picture is taken with a light behind it to show translucency/gel quality.
This stuff continues to get more and more rare as that the company that owns the Wessels mine in Kuruman, South Africa, one of the last known significant deposits of sugilite, had to ban collecting of it due to illegal trespassing, stealing, and other criminal activities fueled by the Chinese market's obsession with the stone and peoples lust and greed. The deposit at Wessels mine is 3500 feet deep and is not mined due to the fact it has little use as a manganese ore so around 5 tons of sugilite was excavated from that deposit in 1979 of which only around 360 KG of suitable grade for use in the gemstone industry. Only 1% of the total deposit showed translucency. Since then, who knows how much has been mined, but, not enough to saturate the market and the availabilityhas always been relatively low, the gel even less common.
Sugilite is also known as lavulite, royal azel, sugilth, cybeline,and wesselite, is a relatively purple to rare cherry blossom pink (sakura) to cyclosilicate mineral which also presents in shades of lavender, fuchsia, lilac, maroon, and red. At the South African locations it is often found with richterite (blue), bustamite (salmon to peach), and friedelite (reddish brown) along with many other manganese and silicate minerals.
Sugilite was first discovered in 1944 by the Japanese petrologist Ken-ichi Sugi at Iwagi Islet, Japan. This location's supply has long been exhausted. It has also been found in small quantities in other locations, where it is often found associated with aegirine like at Iwagi Islet. It was found in a similar environment at Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada (closed locale). In the Wessels mine (closed locale), Hotazel, Northern Cape Province of South Africa, where sugilite is mined from a strata-bound manganese deposit, and N'Chwaning II where it is primarily found as fiberious masses and rarely as gem material. It is also reported from Liguria and Tuscany, Italy; New South Wales, Australia and Madhya Pradesh, India, however there has been little of this material seen on the market. The latest find was in Kenya, and while the Chinese backed ventures strip mined the deposit, it was useless to the gemstone industry and lots of money was lost in that investment.
In short, get it while you can...this stuff isn't falling out of the sky, it is a finite resource.