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Zultanite Gemstones - Also known as Diaspore gems

Introduction

Shopping for gemstones can be mind-boggling; one has to look through a wide range of gemstones, which have so many tantalizing colors and brilliance, that one’s head literally spins from the large number of choices available. The colors, cuts, and origin of these gemstones will determine which one you will choose. Turkey is said to be a blend between the Western and Eastern cultures, and is therefore said to be a bridge between the two. Turkey is a place that has hosted a number of advanced civilizations in the past, such as the Ottoman and Byzantine Empires. Despite this joining of cultures, Turkey has never been considered as an origin for gemstones, apart from the Chalcedony Quarts, which is found on the ancient port near Istanbul, called Chalcedon.

Zultanite, is a new gemstone that has been found in Turkey and in as much as it is relatively young, it has taken the gemstone world by storm. This is a gemstone that is able to change its colors, and this is one of the major characteristics that are making it to be very popular with gemstone lovers. You will be entranced by the natural beauty of a Zultanite crystal, as it changes color from raspberry, to champagne, and finally to kiwi. This s a rising star in the gemstone world due to its brilliant, yet tranquil colors; it is said to be one of the most beautiful gemstones ever, which is also rare, which makes it exclusive and desirable.

Just like Tanzanite is found in Tanzania, Zultanite only comes from one region in the world, and this is the remote mountainous area in Anatolia, Turkey. The stone is named after the 36 sultans who were the rulers of the Ottoman Empire, which was founded in Anatolia, during the late 13th Century. This stone was named by Murat Akgun, and is truly a delight of Turkish taste.

Zultanite and its many colors

Most gemstones will change color under different light sources. This means that it will have one color when viewed under direct sunlight, and another when it is viewed under artificial light. The effects are amazing but there are none that can match up with those of Zultanite. This is a gemstone that will make you look at it twice due to its exotic color change, which is so beautiful, that it unwittingly draws your attention to it. If you are a person who values fashion a lot, you will be redefined, when you wear Zultanite gemstones.

The main characteristic of this marvelous gemstone is the delicate and soft color saturation, its durability, and the way light plays when it passes through the crystal. However, the true intrigue and beauty of this majestic gemstone is the way the colors seem to change when viewed in different light sources/ The Alexandrite is another gemstone that is fascinating in the way that the colors change under different light sources, but it cannot be compared to the Zultanite. Zultanite can change into a wide variety of color; most others, including the Alexandrite, will only change into certain colors. This means that a Zultanite crystal will show kiwi green color, sage green, cognac pink canary yellow, pink champagne, ginger, rich champagne, among many other color. This means that the stone will probably look very different tomorrow, even when you are viewing it under the same sunlight conditions.

When viewed under the light of a candle lit dinner, you will see the same stone turn to pink and raspberry colors. Although this is a gemstone that truly amazes people with its unpredictable color changes, unlike other gemstones which change color, the Zultanite will show its best color change irrespective of the dark tones of the stone. Antoinette Matlins, one of the world’s leading gemologists, most women love wearing Zultanite because it has subtle, almost pastel, colors, which they say, complement earth tones; the earth tones are chocolate, mocha, gold and green. This is a characteristic that makes the gem more wearable, and it shares a common characteristic with other gems, which change color, in that the larger the stone is, the more apparent the color change is.

That is not all that the Zultanite has in store for you; it can also have the Cat’s Eye effect, or Chatoyancy. Chatoyancy is an effect that is brought about by the reflection of light, making it come out as a single band of light, on the surface of the gemstone, which makes it look like the eye of a cat. The characteristic is caused when light is reflected by parallel inclusions within the crystal.

According to the Gemological Institute of America, Zultanite is classified as a Type II transparent gemstone. These classification is given to gemstones which are found to be clear when viewed through the naked eye; this means that the inclusions, if any, are so small that they can only been seen through magnification at about 10X. Inclusions are those small features that grow within the crystal of the gemstone as it is formed deep within the earth. These inclusions are a mark of authenticity, seeing that no two stones have the same kind of inclusions. When a gemstone is found to have inclusions, then it is said to be authentic since these can only be formed through natural processes; synthetic gemstones do not have any inclusions.

Zultanite registers a value of 7 on the Mohs scale, so it is relatively hard, but still needs to be taken care of. It also has a refractive index of 1.75 and a specific gravity registering at 3.39. For people who are not familiar with these terms, you may not know what they are all about, but in layman’s language, it means that Zultanite is a great gemstone for cutting into jewelry. This is one of the natural gemstones that do not have any methods of enhancing or treating the crystals, so when you buy one, you know that it is the unchanged form, as it was mined from the earth.

This is a gemstone that has not yet had enough time to generate a lot of myths or lore. However, for propel who are interested in the mysterious characteristics of the stone they believe that this gemstone can improve the ability to have psychic ability, ambition, desire, intellect, astral force and emotions; the emotions are based on intellect and touch.

Zultanite vs. Diaspore

The first Zultanite was faceted in 1977, and it was an extremely rare stone, very beautiful and suitable for being faceted for stunning jewelry, this is a stone that has been followed by a lack of availability. The 1994 winter edition of the Gems and Gemology magazine states that there are promising signs that the availability of the gemstone would improve. However, this prediction was not fulfilled until recently. In the past, the gemstone was available to jewelers when it was marketed under the name of Diaspore, and even then, it was still scarce. However, you should not be tempted to think that the two gemstones are one and the same.

Zultanite not diaspora. Zultanite is not diaspore and can only be found in some of the leading jewelry stores in the world, where they are cut by world-renown cutters. The Mineral name Diaspore is derived from the Greek word Diaspora, which means “To Scatter”. Diaspore was first found in the Ural Mountains of Russia by Mramorskoi, Kossoibrod, in 1801, while Zultanite is only mined in Turkey.

Mining Zultanite in Turkey


In the beginning, Zultanite was collected by mineral enthusiasts, and small but independent miners in the 1980s. Since the year 2006, it is now being commercially mined. This is a mineral that is mined using environmentally-friendly practices and this is mainly done using chisels and pick-axes. This is done in the Milas County of Mugla, which is found at 4000 feet up the Anatolian Mountains of Turkey. Seven miles from the village of Selimiye, is the only deposits of Zultanite that exists in the world. The name Anatolia means “Sunrise” in ancient Greek, and the mountains have such beautiful and majestic landscapes, which perfectly compliment such a majestic gemstone, also known as the Sultan of all Gemstones.

The government has stringent rules which mining companies must follow when mining Zultanite; these are put in place given that this is a very rare gemstone, found only in one place, and it has to be protected from bad mining practices.

The principal consideration is that all mining procedures should never put the community at a disadvantage. The worker and the environment must not be harmed in any way too. There are ethical mining practices that embrace safe mining techniques, which have a positive effect on the lives of the community, the workers and the environment.

The mining procedures have to be sustainable, which means protecting against chemical spills, debris, silt, rubbish and other biological pollutants. There must be minimal destruction of the flora and fauna surrounding the site, and the land has to be restored to as close to the original condition as possible.

Each mining company must agree to follow the Turkish Mining & Environmental Laws, and the mines must agree to regular inspections from government officials to ensure that they are following the rules to the word.

The best mining process id underground mining, which does not affect life at the surface. Open mining is not advised.

The trees that have to be felled at the site must be done by the Forestry Department, and the mine has to agree to put up 10 tree seedlings for every tree that is felled.

There should be minimal soil contamination, so all waste water from bathrooms and kitchens must be disposed of in a manner that ensures that there is no leakage to the soil.

Cutting Zultanite gemstone is no easy task

Even the most experienced cutter, or lapidaries, have a hard time cutting this gemstone, because it has a very low yield. Up to 98 percent of the rough stone is lost during cutting, since it has a propensity to cleave and split apart. The cleavage is such that the stone breaks in one direction, such as is seen in Diamonds, and the crystal orientation is very tricky to master. Most of the Zultanite that is cut in the world today will yield a polished stone of 1 to 3 carats. It is very rare to find a cut Zultanite gemstone that has a carat weight above 5. You can get the stone in both the traditional, or classic cuts, as well as some specialty cuts too.

Zultanite: a woman’s choice

Due to the attractive colors exhibited by Zultanite, it is especially loved by women since it can suit several types of skin complexions, fashion styles, and personalities. Women love Zultanite because it is beautiful and has innate flexibility when it comes to what to wear it with.

Zultanite can be worn during the day and even the night, and the subtle earthly colors will ensure that you do not feel like you are overdressed. The fact that it changes colors in unpredictable ways, the high sparkle, the exotic locale and rarity are all factors that make it an exclusive jewel that will sure make a mark on all who set their eyes upon it; the wearer included. Since Zultanite is always natural, it offers the buyer a lot of peace of mind. The fact that it is rare ensures that there is no guess work when it comes to selecting one, and it is mined using environmentally safe techniques; this makes the buyer feel good about owning a piece of Zultanite jewelry.

It comes as no surprise that once a woman sets her eyes on Zultanite, and wears the gemstone, she immediately falls in love with it; the rare and beautiful gemstone never fails to entice a lady’s eyes.

Caring for Zultanite gemstones

Zultanite is suitable for wearing every day, and has the color changes that will suit almost anything that is worn. However, a lot of care must be exercised to ensure that the stone is not hit hard against any metallic or stone surfaces. It must be stored in a lined case so that it is not scuffed or scratched. It must not be exposed to high temperatures, and chemicals. Clean the stone using gentle soap and lukewarm water, and scrub the behind using a soft toothbrush. It should then be dried using chamois or soft towel. It should never be cleaned using ultrasonic baths or steam.

The comparative rarity of Zultanite

It is said that all gemstones are rare, but there are those that are rarer than others. It is true, that for a stone to be termed as a gemstone, it must be rare, as well as striking. Any stone that can be said to be formed organically, or through mineralization, which is used for personal adornment, must be beautiful and rare to be classified as a gem. However, this rarity is relative. When you consider the Alexandrite, you will know that it is also said to be rare, and was discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia, in 1834. Bothe Alexandrite and Zultanite can be said to have royal connections given the Alexandrite was name after the Tsar of Russia, and Zultanite was named after the 36 Sultans who ruled the Ottoman Empire. However, when you compare the two gemstones, in terms of rarity, then the Zultanite is much rarer, given that it is only mined in one locale, in the whole world, while Alexandrite is mined in seven countries. Zultanite I a brilliant and mesmerizing gemstone that is a true rarity and is a definite star in any jewelry collection, well deserving of its position of pride.

Chemical analysis of Zultanite

Zultanite is a mineral with the chemical formula common to diaspore, AlO(OH), and has a specific gravity of between 3.30 and 3.39. It has a hardness value of between 6.5 and 7 on the Mohs scale. It has a perfect cleavage which makes it very hard to cut, since it tends to cleave and split in one direction. It is classified as having a cochoidal and brittle fracture. It has a vitreous luster with a refractive index of between 1.702 and 1.750.

Zultanite facts at a glance

Here is a glance at some of the most important features of Zultanite:

  • The beauty and intrigue of Zultanite lies in the fact that it is able to change colors, and do so across a wide spectrum and not two or three colors, like other gemstones that exhibit pleochroism. The colors that this gemstone exhibits range from kiwi green to raspberry pinkish-purple, all depending on the source of light. Apart from these common Zultanite colors, the gemstone can also exhibit khaki green, sage green, pink champagne, ginger and cognac pink. It is possible to see canary flashes in the kiwi green during the day. Incandescent lighting will bring out the rich champagne, pink or raspberry colors. When a Zultanite has a higher content of manganese, the colors change to deep raspberry.
  • The only source of Zultanite is the one found in Turkey. The name Diaspore comes from the Greek word Diaspore which can be translated as “To Scatter”. The mineral Diaspore was first discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in 1801, by a mineral aficionado named Mramorskoi, Kossoibrod.
  • 96.20 carats is the astonishing weight of the largest Zultanite crystal in the world. This was cut out of a rough stone that weighed in at 72.53 grams. It took the cutter about 30 hours to create this masterpiece.
  • Only about 50 percent of all the Zultanite mined worldwide can be cut into jewelry stones, and when it is cut, 98 percent of the rough stone is lost in the process.
  • This is a very young gemstone, and it has surprisingly made inroads to being one of the most sought-after gemstones in the world, given its uncharacteristic rarity and beauty.
  • This is a gemstone that has been marketed as a stone suitable for women, due to the soft, earthy, pastel colors that it exhibits.
In summary, this is a gemstone that has come into the world for a very short period, but it has become an important part of the jewelry world. Given its unique characteristics, this is a gemstone that will continue making ripples in the gemstone markets for decades to come. The search for new deposits is still ongoing, and there is the hope that more will be found, to make the stone more available to people in the market. It is definitely a stone to be watched.



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