SUGILITE (‘ROYAL AZEL’) DESIGNER CABOCHON (Africa) – 13.38 ct.
Sugilite, also trade named “Royal Azel” and “Royal Lavulite,” is a relative newcomer to the gem scene. The mineral was named after its Japanese discoverer but gem quality material was unknown until a manganese mine in South Africa’s Kalahari Desert encountered a small deposit nearly a mile beneath the earth’s surface in the late 1970s. Very little quality material now comes to market and good material has always been costly. I was fortunate to find some excellent rough in the 1990s but tucked it away because I couldn’t polish it satisfactorily. I’ve recently learned “the secret” and am able to offer some fine stones from that old stock. This beautiful, clean fine grade sugilite designer cab offers a sleek designer shape and fine polish. (The blackish "blob" in the center of the image is the reflection of my camera's lens.) Excellent consistent purple color with only very minor black markings. Sugilite is often associated with reddish bustamite and bluish richterite. High dome and semi-polished back. Wonderful high grade material. About 25 x 15 x 5.1 mm. (All uses, N)