Colour: Light brownish-yellow, purple, violet, reddish violet, pale pink, colorless
Crystal System: Hexagonal
Transparency: transparent to translucent
Lustre: Vitreous: This luster resembles broken glass, offering a bright and glassy shine. It's common in transparent and translucent minerals like quartz or calcite.

General Information

Sugilite is a relatively rare pink to purple cyclosilicate mineral. The mineral is also referred to as lavulite, luvulite, and royal azel by gem and mineral collectors. Zambia has many rich sugilite deposits and unfortunately it is often illegally mined. Two types of sugilite occur in the country, Massive sugilite and Gel sugilite. Massive Sugilite is the most common type found in Zambia and is characterized by its dense, opaque appearance. It typically ranges in color from deep purple to violet. This variety is not considered gem-quality due to its lack of transparency but is highly sought after by mineral collectors due to its rarity and distinct characteristics.

Gel Sugilite is a much rarer and more valuable form found in limited locations. It has a translucent to transparent appearance with a vibrant purple to lavender color and a gel-like consistency. This variety is highly prized for its gem-quality and used in exquisite jewelry pieces due to its exceptional beauty and rarity. However, recent years have seen a significant decline in specimen-grade gel sugilite, making it even more valuable to collectors.

Value

Massive sugilite can range from K1500 to K20000 per kilogram, while high-grade gel sugilite can command significantly higher prices depending on its quality and size.

It's important to note that not all sugilite found in Zambia is of equal quality or value. The type, color, clarity, and presence of inclusions significantly impact its worth and suitability for different purposes.

Application

The gel variation is primarily used in jewelry.

Location

Zambia is said to be rich in sugilite deposits, especially in the copperbelt and luapula provinces. Illegal mines have notoriously made the news in a number of locations around the country.

Processing

Sugilite forms in association with manganese deposits under specific geological conditions involving hydrothermal activity and interaction with surrounding rocks.

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