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Sugilite Properties, Facts and Photos

rich purple sugilite in a display cabinet

1. What is Sugilite?
2. Sugilite Geology
3. Sugilite Healing Properties
4. Article Pictures
5. Shop Sugilite

What is Sugilite?

Sugilite is a rare mineral first discovered in Japan in 1944.  In 1976 it was named after the eminent petrologist who discovered it, Professor Ken-ichi Sugi.

The greenish-yellowish-brown stone that he discovered was visually quite different to the purple stone found many years later in South Africa.

The sugilite found in Japan was at the time believed to be a variety of eudialyte.  With this already being a known mineral, the stone was not believed to be a new find.

It was another thirty two years before sugilite was finally classified as a mineral in its own right. 

In 1973 a new source of sugilite came to light.  It was found in an area known as the Kalahari Manganese Fields in the Southern Kalahari Desert, South Africa.

As well as the size dwarfing any deposit that had been found previously, the quality of the sugilite stone was far superior.  The vast majority came from the Wessels Mine although much smaller quantities were also found in the adjacent N'Chwaning Mine.

Sugilite was once known as luvulite although the name is now very rarely used.polished sugilite stone'Sugilite' tends to be pronounced with a soft 'g' as in the word 'genius'.  It should however be said with a hard 'g' as in 'gold'.  This is because the surname of the person after whom it was named is pronounced in this way.

Geology of Sugilite

The chemical composition of sugilite is primarily potassium, sodium, lithium, iron, manganese and aluminium. It forms as a translucent to opaque purple coloured stone.  The exact shade of colour and intensity can vary.

It crystallises in masses and also forms individual crystals but they're extremely rare.  Minerals that crystallise with a 'massive' crystal habit form as one large shapeless mass.  The crystals have no external shape or form.

The vast majority of sugilite and certainly the finest grade material comes from the Kalahari Manganese Field in the Northern Cape of South Africa.  This is the largest known manganese deposit on Earth.  It lies amongst sedimentary rocks known to be more than two billion years old.

The exact age of the Kalahari Manganese Field is unknown but it's estimated to be between two billion and three billion years old.

The deposit is believed to have formed during a period of intense volcanic activity which resulted in the accumulation of manganese-rich minerals in the Kalahari Desert region of South Africa.

Over time the deposit was covered by sediment and preserved until it was discovered in the 1940s.

The age of the Kalahari Manganese Field is much older than the Kalahari Desert itself which is estimated to be about five million years old. The deposit has been exposed through erosion and other geological processes making it accessible for mining today.sugilite mineral in a museum display cabinetOver the last few years smaller deposits of gem grade sugilite have been found in Italy, New South Wales, Mount Saint-Hilaire in Canada and Tajikistan.

It has also reportedly been found in India but because of the limited amount present and low grade, the find has not been pursued.

The finest grade of sugilite is often called 'gel sugilite'.  This material exhibits exceptional colour and is incredibly rare.  It's believed to be mostly mined out.

With it being so rare and highly sought after a considerable amount of fake sugilite is in circulation.  Stones can be a combination of low grade sugilite and other minerals that may or may not have been artificially coloured.

It can also be a combination of minerals that contain no sugilite at all.

Sugilite Healing Properties

Sugilite is believed to strengthen emotions, aid mental and physical healing and reduce stress.  It balances mind, body and spirit, clears away unwanted thoughts and brings feelings of wellbeing and spiritual love.

Due to the presence of manganese it's said to be a good remedy for a headache. 

Sugilite counteracts the feeling of alienation or isolation and reduces tension about what you want and what can realistically be achieved.

A major love stone, sugilite brings wisdom and opens all the chakras to the acceptance of love and a path of happiness. It helps find answers to questions about life such as why am I here?  What is my destiny?

With sugilite having a close relationship with love it can bring light to the darkest situations.

On a mental level sugilite promotes understanding and can settle nerves when dealing with difficult situations.  It eases sorrow, grief and fear and encourages positive thoughts and behaviour.

Sugilite is a stone for those who need love and support and who struggle with some aspects of life.

When used for career development it stimulates a strong desire for learning and success.  It motivates you to acquire new skills and to expand your knowledge.

Sugilite improves confidence and self-esteem. It can encourage you to show off skills and talents that would otherwise not be seen.five rough sugilite stones sitting in a shallow cardboard lid

Article Pictures

The sugilite in the picture at the top of our article is courtesy of Steve (singingstone48).

The single polished stone and the rough pieces were once part of our collection.

The sugilite from the Wessels mine is in the Harvard Museum of Natural History, Massachusetts, USA.  Photo by Stone Mania.

Most photos are clickable and redirect to the original image.  

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