Zultanite is the most exciting new gemstone of the new millennium for many reasons. First faceted in the late seventies, Zultanite is an extremely rare gemstone that despite its beauty and suitability for jewelry was previously plagued by scant availability. It remained a collector’s item until Zultanite Gems LLC obtained the mining permit in 2006. There is only one mine producing genuine Zultanite, unlike other rare gems that are currently mined by many companies or in many countries. Zultanite is only mined by Zultanite Gems, LLC at a remote location in the Anatolian mountains of Turkey directly from the host rock at an altitude exceeding 1000 meters.
The Turkish deposit remains the world’s only source of Zultanite (color-change, gem quality diaspore). ICA has just added Zultanite to their Gem site and IADC has just announced Zultanite as new gem species during the Tucson show. Genuine Zultanite is recovered using only environmentally safe mining techniques. The miners that work there are all housed and fed by our company. We have had a very positive economic impact on the lives of the miners and the surrounding community. In addition to their color change, Alexandrite and Zultanite’s names both have royal connections, Zultanite being named in honor of The Ottoman Sultans and Alexandrite being named for a Russian Tsar.
Courtesy of ThaiGem
But which is rarer? While comparing rarity is always difficult, in terms of natural occurrence, Zultanite is far rarer. Zultanite is only mined in one country, while Alexandrite is currently mined in seven. Unlike most other new, exciting gemstones, Zultanite is 100% natural with no heat, radiation, fillers or other enhancements. Many of the durability concerns with other gems are due to the treatments received after mining and cutting. Zultanite is very durable for its hardness (6.5-7.0 Mohs scale). The brilliance of Zultanite: Because of the high refractive index 1.7, and consistently excellent cutting, Zultanite is always very brilliant and dispersive. Even in low light, Zultanite will sparkle and in more intense light it will show many rainbow colors from the high dispersion.
The colors of Zultanite: Although smaller gems seem to be less saturated with color, all Zultanite is pleiochroic, meaning different colors are visible by viewing the gemstone from different directions. These colors can vary from green to gold to pink. The phenomenal Zultanite: In addition to the different colors seen through dispersion and pleochroism, Zultanite is a color change gemstone. In daylight, the gem is a beautiful kiwi to lime green. When moving to low inside or candlelight, Zultanite will slowly change from champagne to cinnamon, peach and sometimes a cherry pink. These colors can usually be observed using 6500K fluorescent for the daylight and very low wattage 25W incandescent clear bulbs or decorative tube lighting for candlelight.
Size does matter: It is more difficult to see multiple colors in smaller stones and while this may disappoint people who have seen larger gems, one can still observe the incredible brilliance and dispersion in any light. Actually mounting these smaller gems improves their appearance and all of the beauty of Zultanite is best seen when the gemstone is worn in real life so the gem is moved about subtly changing colors and exploding with light. Zultanite over 3 carats are considered rare.
Proper Care: No gemstone jewelry should be worn for many activities like dishwashing, gardening, house cleaning, working on cars, etc. Even diamonds and sapphires chip and crack when hit on cleavage planes. It is not recommended to clean Zultanite with ultrasonic jewelry cleaners. Soapy water and a soft brush will do the job. Sudden temperature changes should be avoided while wearing Zultanite jewelry. Thermal shock is the greatest enemy of most gemstones. Zultanite is also available in cabochon shapes that are doubly phenomenal, displaying color change and a perfect cat’s eye effect.
If you are interested in purchasing Zultanite or custom designing jewelry with Zultanite, please call us at 1-800-348-4499
By Steve Moriarty