Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rock Review: Pietersite

Pietersite was discovered by Sid Pieters in 1962 while he was prospecting farmland in Africa. After discovering this gemstone, he registered his find in the mineral records of Britain. There are only two known sources of Pietersite: Africa & China. The China form of pietersite came to market in 1997. This China pietersite exhibits slightly different color variations from Mr. Pieter's original mineral, but both are stunning and are now universally recognized as one-in-the-same.

Chinese pietersite has striking combinations of gold, red and blue color segments, which sometimes also includes a deep golden brown color. Blue is the rarest color, followed by red. The blues range from a baby blue to dark midnight hue. Golds can be light to very deep and rich, sometimes having a reddish hue. All fibrous color variations will have a superb and striking chatoyancy (NERD ALERT: chatoyancy means the bright and subtly changing shimmer of color that moves along the surface of a gemstone as it is viewed from varying angles.)

The fibrous structure in pietersite has been folded, stressed, even fractured and/or broken apart via the Earth's geologic processes. The fibrous materials have then been reformed and naturally recemented together by quartz. Stones and crystals that go through this process are referred to as brecciated, creating a finished product with multiple colors and hues.

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