Pietersite Discovered in Namibia in 1962
Pietersite is a relatively new mineral discovered in Namibia in 1962 by Sid Pieters. A striking stone formed from layers of sand or silt cemented together by quartz, pietersite is a chalcedony with embedded fibres of other minerals. Fine grade stones can exhibit slight chatoyance which is an optical phenomenon seen in certain minerals. In tigers eye chatoyance occurs in bands whilst in the mineral pietersite it tends to be more random or chaotic.
Pietersite is a distinctive stone that's been described as a mix of hawks eye which a blue variety of the mineral tigers eye and brown tigers eye. Despite tigers eye and pietersite sharing many similarities they formed under very different geological conditions.
The main source of mining for pietersite is close to the small town of Kuruman in Namibia which is close to the border with South Africa. Tigers eye, manganese and ores of iron are also mined here and the town has the richest deposits of crocidolite in the world. The mineral crocidolite is also known as blue asbestos.
In 1996 it was reported that pietersite was becoming scarce because the mines were getting close to being depleted. The stone was also discovered in China in 1966 and went on to be mined during the 1970's and 80's but the mines subsequently closed due to flooding and have never reopened.
In crystal healing pietersite is said to be beneficial for exhaustion, headaches and absorption of nutrients. It provides creative ideas to help resolve stagnant situations and can also help to resolve conflicts.
Grading 6½ to 7½ on Mohs scale of mineral hardness means pietersite is a relatively hard stone which makes it an ideal material for decorative purposes. When used as a gemstone it tends to be shaped as a cabochon.