Zultanite: A Turkish Rarity

Modified: November 2012
large zultanite gemstone detail

The Sultan of Gems, Zultanite®, was named in honor of the 36 sultans who ruled the Ottoman Empire, a powerful and important sovereignty that spanned three continents at its peak. The term Sultan originally meant strength and authority, perfectly describing this robust gemstone. First collected and faceted by mineral enthusiasts in the late 1970s, Zultanite® is an extremely rare variety of the mineral Diaspore that can contain color changing or color shifting varieties. Zultanite® owes its unique palette to the minute presence of manganese. Found in only one place in the world, Zultanite® is mined in Turkeys remote Anatolian Mountains at an extreme height of over 4,000 feet. Anatolia, which means sunrise in ancient Greek, is blessed with majestic and beautiful landscapes that perfectly complement such an extraordinary gemstone. The unique beauty of Zultanite® is its rarity, and natural earthy color. The Zultanite® Chameleon variety has contrasting colors, which change from kiwi greens with flashes of canary yellow under sunny skies to rich champagnes in traditional indoor lighting and raspberry hues in candlelight. Zultanite®s other key characteristics are its saturation, sparkle and durability. Always natural, Zultanite® is one of the few gemstones that is never enhanced! Astonishingly beautiful, durable and exotic, Zultanite® is an extraordinarily rare Turkish treasure.

Unparallelled Clarity

Zultanite®s characteristics make it an excellent gemstone to add to your collection as well as the focal stone in jewelry. While Zultanite™ is classified by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) as a Type II gemstone (gems that typically grow with some inclusions that may be eye-visible), our vendor supplies faceted Zultanite® gems that are typically eye-clean. Providing gems with only the highest clarity only serves to increase Zultanite®s rarity in the marketplace.

gold and orange zultanite gemstones

About Zultanite® Chameleon

The unique beauty of Zultanite® Chameleon lies in its contrasting colors, which can change or shift from kiwi greens with flashes of canary yellow under sunny skies to rich champagnes in traditional indoor lighting and raspberry hues in candlelight.
Unlike many other gems that color change or color shift, Zultanite®s phenomenal colors arent limited to just a couple of colors. The same gem can exhibit sparks of canary yellow, cognac pink, ginger, kiwi green, raspberry pink, rich champagne and sage green.
Like all gemstones, the larger the Zultanite®, the more striking the color change or color shift is and the greater its color intensity. Zultanite®s colors perfectly complement the fashionable earth tones of chocolate, gold, green and mocha.
A few Zultanite® gems even display the coveted cats eye effect. The cats eye effect, also known as chatoyancy, appears as a single bright reflective line of light, similar to a cats eye. Chatoyancy is created by the reflection of light from long needle-shaped inclusions occurring in a parallel arrangement. Similar to star gems, the cats eye effect is dependent on a gem being cut en cabochon and is most visible in a direct, single beam of light.
Zultanite®s other key characteristics are its saturation, sparkle and durability.

A Cut Above the Rest

Each Zultanite® gem is cut by some of the worlds most experienced lapidaries to optimal proportions. Zultanite® tests the skills of even experienced cutters due to the difficultly in correctly orientating each crystal to accentuate its inherent color change. With up to 98% of the crystal lost during cutting, its unbelievably low yield (2%) really reinforces the exclusivity of this truly beautiful gemstone and is one of the reasons Zultanite® is so rare, especially in larger sizes (over five carats). Cutters also lament Zultanite®s inherent tendency to cleave (or split apart) in a single direction (much like a diamond) and its trickier-than-usual crystal orientation. A wide variety of classic and specialty cuts are available, including rounds, ovals, concave ovals, oval checkerboards, cushions, radiants and the ever popular trilliants.

Zultanite® Care Instructions

If you choose to set your Zultanite® gem into jewelry, it is well-suited to everyday wear. We do recommend avoiding any activities that risk impact, exposure to chemicals, heat or extreme temperature changes.

Always store your Zultanite® separately to avoid scuffs and scratches. Clean with gentle soap and lukewarm water, scrubbing behind the gem with a very soft toothbrush as necessary. After cleaning, pat dry with a soft towel or chamois cloth. Never steam or ultrasonically clean your Zultanite®!

Genuine Rarity

Zultanite®s genuine rarity is undeniable; however, the gems rarity is not just dictated by its natural scarcity. Only 50% of all Zultanite® mined is suitable for faceting and up to 98% of the raw crystals are lost during the cutting, or lapidary, process. Despite its rarity, Zultanite® is no longer merely a collectors gem. On the contrary, it is rapidly making inroads in the fine jewelry community.

Mining Information

Although it was initially collected by mineral enthusiasts and independent miners in the mid 1980s, Zultanite® has now been mined commercially since 2006. Mined by hand with chisels and pick-axes in Turkeys Anatolian Mountains (Milas county of Mugla) at a height of over 4,000 feet, the worlds only Zultanite® deposit is seven miles away from the nearest village of Selimiye.

round diaspore sample

Just the Facts

Chemical formula: Diaspore AlO(OH)
Specific gravity: 3.30 ~ 3.39
Hardness: 6.5 ~ 7
Cleavage: perfect
Fracture: conchoidal, brittle
Luster: vitreous
Refractive index: 1.702 ~ 1.750

Certificate of Authenticity & Romance Card Included!

With every Zultanite® gemstone purchase, our customers will receive a certificate of authenticity card. This plastic card with an embedded hologram verifies that your Zultanite® gem is of entirely natural origin, ethically mined with environmentally safe techniques and never enhanced.
Additionally, each customer who purchases a Zultanite® gem receives a folding romance card, which provides them with more details about Zultanite® as well as care information for their gem.

Additional Facts About Zultanite

•Zultanite®s beauty and intrigue lie in its different colors. Color changing or color shifting varieties can go from a kiwi green to a raspberry purplish-pink, depending on the light source. Incredibly, Zultanite® can also exhibit khaki greens, sage greens, cognac pinks, pinkish champagnes and gingers. Its kiwi greens with canary flashes are noticeable under daylight, while incandescent lighting will elicit rich champagne, pink or raspberry hues. The darker raspberry hues are caused by higher manganese content.
•Zultanite®s mineral name, diaspore, comes from the Greek word diaspora, meaning to scatter. While diaspore was discovered in Mramorskoi, Kossoibrod, Ural Mountains, Russia in 1801, the Turkish deposit remains the worlds only source of Zultanite®
•The worlds largest Zultanite® weighs 96.20 carats! The original raw crystal weighed 72.53 grams and it took the lapidary 30 hours to complete this magnificent gem.
•A single source gemstone, Zultanite® is mined at an elevation over 4,000 feet in Turkeys Anatolian Mountains.
•Only 50% of all Zultanite® mined is suitable for faceting and up to 98% of the raw crystals are lost during the cutting process.
•Relatively new to the gemstone world, Zultanite® is an extremely rare gemstone well suited for the collections of savvy connoisseurs.
•Zultanite® is the perfect gemstone for women who prefer earth tones. If you are that lady, youll fall in love with Zultanite®s subtle contrasting pastels. They are the perfect complement to the gems earth tones (green, brown and gold), making the gem more wearable.
•Zultanite® represents the pinnacle of exclusivity, beauty, rarity and desirability.
•Like tanzanite, Zultanite™ is so rare that it comes to you from only one source in the world--a remote mountain area in Anatolia, Turkey.
•Zultanite® was named in honor of the 36 sultans who ruled the Ottoman Empire.
•Zultanite® is a true Turkish rarity!
•Were sure youre going to fall in love with Zultanite®s sparklingly brilliant, yet tranquil earthy colors.
•Rest assured that your Zultanite® gemstone has been cut by some of the worlds most experienced lapidaries.
•Legend and lore: Zultanite® is said to assist in the development of ambition and intellect.

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