Sugilite, a captivating gemstone known for its vivid purple color and metaphysical properties, has been gaining significant attention in the gemstone market. This rare mineral was first discovered in Japan in 1944 and has since been found in various parts of the world, including Zambia. This article provides a comprehensive overview of sugilite, its value, and its significance in Zambia.
Understanding Sugilite: A Gemstone of Many Facets
Sugilite is a cyclosilicate mineral that usually exhibits colors ranging from violet to magenta. Its chemical formula is KNa_2(Fe,Mn,Al)_2Li_3Si_12O_30, and its purple color is attributed to the presence of manganese within its crystal structure. The gemstone can range from deep, intense royal purple to lighter shades of lavender or lilac, and it can exhibit a range of transparency, from translucent to opaque.
Sugilite can range from R1500 to R20000 per kilogram. However, it’s important to note that the price is grade-dependent, and the Zambian material is different from the Wessels mine material.
In terms of the price per gram, it can range from $5.00 to $65.00. Specifically, 1-3 gram sized stones are priced between $5.00 to $15.00 per gram, and larger stones are priced at $35.00 to $75.00 per gram. The prices for rare red Sugilite stone range from $5.35 to $8.35 per gram.
The Value of Sugilite
The value of sugilite is primarily determined by its color. The deepest color receives the highest grade, and a mottled appearance under close inspection doesn’t affect the overall value, provided the overall color remains deep. However, lighter areas mixed with dark purple will lower the value.
The highest-valued sugilite crystals for sale are translucent with bright purple, solid coloring. These specimens, known as sugilite gel, range from $15 per carat for low-grade stones to higher prices for top-grade specimens. On the other hand, the majority of commercial sugilite is opaque with varying purple coloring. Low-grade stones in this category are typically $3 per carat, and richer shades of purple command higher prices.
The Metaphysical Properties of Sugilite
Sugilite is highly valued in spiritual and healing practices due to its metaphysical properties. It is often used in meditation, energy work, and crystal therapy. Many individuals find solace and spiritual connection when working with Sugilite, using it to enhance their intuition, promote self-discovery, and support overall well-being.
Sugilite is also known as the Shield of Light because it keeps its owner/wearer safe from all types of negative energy and emotional stresses. It enables one to let go of sorrow, counters negative energy, and removes negative attachments, karmic influences, and other parasitic entities that might have latched on to one’s aura after doing major spirit work.
Sugilite in Zambia: A Controversial Gemstone
In Zambia, sugilite has been discovered in the Luapula Province, attracting the attention of Asian investors interested in mining this precious gemstone. However, the mining of sugilite in Zambia is controversial due to the environmental and social impacts it can have.
Sugilite mining can have a significant impact on the environment. The mining process can pollute water supplies, damage vegetation, and contribute to soil erosion. In addition, the transportation of sugilite can also pollute the air.
Sugilite mining can also have a negative impact on local communities. The mining operations can displace people from their homes, pollute their water supplies, and contribute to crime and violence. In addition, the mining companies often do not provide adequate compensation or benefits to the local communities affected by the mining activities.
The government of Zambia is currently on the verge of making a crucial decision regarding the potential mining of sugilite at the Muombe mine located in the Luapula Province. The decision awaits the completion of final examinations conducted by geologists from the Ministry of Mines, emphasizing the government’s commitment to a thorough and legal evaluation process.
Sugilite, with its captivating purple hues and metaphysical properties, is a gemstone that holds significant value and potential. However, its extraction, particularly in Zambia, is fraught with environmental and social challenges that need to be addressed. As the world continues to appreciate the beauty and benefits of this gemstone, it is crucial to ensure that its mining and trade are conducted responsibly and sustainably.