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Pietersite- Originally posted by Adrian with pic from Jon Vargas

November 1 2006 at 8:00 AM

michael.ting  (Login mkt32)

Response to Dial Materials- What are they?

Pietersite was discovered by Sid Pieters in 1962 while he was prospecting some farm land in Namibia, Africa. After his discovery, he registered the find in the mineral records of Britain. His discovery was published in 1964,and the material was named Pietersite. Currently there are only two known sources of Pietersite; China and Africa. These two forms of Pietersite,are similar, but still somewhat different from each other. The Chinese Pietersites' fibrous mineral is a magnesium-rich alkalic amphibole. The African (Namibian) variety is mainly crocidolite.

The China form of Pietersite was discovered in 1993, but did not come to market until 1997. This China Pietersite exhibits slightly different color variations from Mr. Pieter's original mineral, but both are beautiful and are now universally recognized as Pietersite.

The material found in China was formed from a very similar but different [not Crocidolite], mineral named Torendrikite. Chinese Pietersite has mostly striking gold, gold/red and gold/red/blue color segments (sometimes also including a deep golden brown color). While including some blues, these are mostly not the midnight/deep blue segments found more predominately in African Pietersite.

Regardless of the source, Pietersite will always have brecciated, fibrous bands of blue and/or gold and/or red Tiger Eye type fibers in quartz. 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, (Note: stones and crystals that go through this process are referred to as brecciated) creating a finished product with multiple colors, hues and superb chatoyancy.

While Pietersite has the lovely chatoyancy of Tiger Eye, it is not found in continuously structured bands or fibers, more in swirls, swathes and fibrous (sometimes linear) segments. Thus the structure of the fibrous streaks in Pietersite may appear rather chaotic, and can flow or exist in many directions side by side.

Colors include various blues, golds and reds, that may appear together or alone. The blues and golds in the stone tend to be the most intriguing. The blues range from a baby blue to a dark midnight hue, the golds can be light to very deep and rich, sometimes having a reddish hue, however, all fibrous color variations will have a superb and striking chatoyancy. CHATOYANCY is the appearance of a bright and subtly changing shimmer of color that moves along the surface of a gemstone as it is viewed from varying angles.

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Pic Courtesy of Jon Vargas

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