A fascinating stone, but rare and little known: the csarite or zultanite. It costs like an emerald and can change color ♦ ︎
It is called zultanite or csarite and it is for gemmologists a variety of diaspore (not to be confused with jasper), ie aluminum hydroxide. The csarite is extracted in a single mine in the world, in Turkey: for this reason it is a rather rare stone. The name, zultanite or csarite, is a brand: it has not been established by gemologists, but by the company that owns the mine, the Milenyum Mining. It was discovered only at the beginning of the nineteenth century and the difficulty of processing has delayed its success: only a small part of the mineral is usable for jewelery and it is difficult to turn it into a stone with facets. Today, however, csarite has been used in jewelry also worn by many Hollywood stars for the Oscar night.
Features. The csarite is a shimmering stone, with shades ranging from yellow to cognac, pink or red. The most intense red hues are caused by high concentrations of manganese. It is also one of the few gems that can change color, along with sapphires, garnets and alexandrite.
Hardness. The csarite has an average hardness, at 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale. Basically, it is a hard stone like the tanzanite or peridot, perfectly able to be used in jewelry.
The name. As we said, Zultanite or csarite are registered trademarks of the Turkish company that extracts the stone. But the name of the mineral from which it derives, the diaspore, comes instead from the Greek word diaspora, which means scattering. And this because the gem seems to disperse the light and the glow.
At the tops. Some time ago, the mining company announced a gem of this 121.65-carat pear-shaped mineral, cut from a rough stone of about 430 grams, worth $ 1 million. It’s a record. Previously, the largest faceted csarite, always pear-shaped, weighed 88.49 carats. The only other csarite stones of similar size were cabochon cut gems, which have the cat-eye effect, with color change. The zultanite on the market has a price similar to that of emeralds.