History and General Information of Natural Zultanite Gemstone
One of the newest gemstones to blaze into the jewelry market, the zultanite gemstone has captured the imagination of jewelers and gem connoisseurs alike, because of its tranquil yet sparkling colors. This color changing, radiant stone gets its name from 36 sultans who presided over the glorious Ottoman Empire in the late 13th century. Its association with the opulent Ottoman rulers has automatically bestowed on the stone a rich association and it stands for all that is sumptuous and intriguing. Zultanite gemstone has incredible color changing capacities which include a whole range of colors, covering hues as differing as green to red. A single stone can change from kiwi green in sunlight to reddish-purple hues in candlelight. The color change though does not stop with this, and the same stone will sometimes look sage green, khaki green, cognac pink, canary yellow, depending upon the source of light. The stone made its first appearance in the 1980’s and was so named by Murkat Akgun.
Chemical Properties of Natural Zultanite Gemstone
It belongs to the Diaspore group of minerals, which is a special group. Its formula is ALO (OH).
Physical Properties of Natural Zultanite Gemstone
The zultanite is a hard stone, with a hardness of 6.5 -7 on the Moh’s scale. It belongs to orthorhombic crystal sysytem with a refractive index of 1.70 -1.75, and a birefringence of 0.048 and density of 3.4. These physical features make it well suited for jewelry .
Among the many reasons that zultanite is so rare, is its difficulty in cutting the stone. Even the most experienced cutters find it difficult to orient each crystal, in such a way so that the color changing ability of the stone is revealed. Around 80 to 90% of the crystal is lost in cutting, with only 10 to 20% of the matter being turned into a stone of value. In spite of this, the stone is found in shapes, such as cushion, marquis, pear, round, oval and shield.
The special characteristic of a zultanite gemstone is its color, which changes from khaki green-to pink to champagne, when viewed under different lights. The same stone will look kiwi green, with a hint of canary yellow in the sun, but indoors it will take on champagne pink tones, while in candlelight, the pink will resemble a darker raspberry shade.
It is extremely transparent and inclusions are rare, and it also displays chatoyancy or the cat’s eye effect, which makes it even more treasured. This effect is seen in the band of light on the surface, running across the stone face, and is a rarity in gemstones.
Stones of a large size, even above 5 carats are not easily available. Smaller sizes stones can be bought with comparative ease, but the real color of the zultanite shows itself in stones above 3 carat. Any stone below this has a light color, which does exhibit the same variations in light, as the bigger stones.
Rarest of the rare stones, it is mined only in a remote area at a height of 4000 feet in the Anatolian mountains in Turkey. The mining is done manually, using chisels and pick-axes, which makes the process not only slow but also extremely expensive. Until now, no other deposits of zultanite have been reported from anywhere in the world.
Prices of Natural Zultanite Gemstone
The zultanite is an expensive stone and prices can be anywhere between $ 100 per carat to $ 600 per carat depending upon the quality of the stone. Stones of bigger sizes can fetch prices as high as $ 3000 per carat, as in the case of stones above 10 carats.
Simulants of Natural Zultanite Gemstone
It is one of the few gemstones which is 100% natural and does not depend on any enhancements or treatments. Due to this, there are no known imitators of this stone
Interesting Trivia and Other Important Facts of Natural Zultanite Gemstone
The zultanite is a part of the Diaspore group of minerals. The word Diaspore is derived from the Greek word “Diaspora” which means “to scatter”. The zultanite shows a brilliant scattering of colors and its scintillation is a rare quality of the gem.
Zultanite is regarded as a stone that enhances psychic powers, ambition, intellectual capacities as well as all those emotions that are ruled by the intellect.
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