Zultanite is a veritable superstar - an extremely rare gemstone that has even reached the Oscar red carpet thanks to its beauty. Its wonderful color change renders it an elegant and refined precious stone.
This unique gemstone’s name already reveals its noble origins, recalling the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire. A truly appropriate etymology for a natural marvel such as Zultanite. The gemological name ‘Diaspore’ is derived from the Greek ‘diaspora,' meaning ‘dispersion.'
Chemical composition of Zultanite
Zultanite is one of the most rare and transparent gemstones in the Diaspore family. Its colors range from yellow, cognac, pink to red. The most intense red hues are due to manganese concentrations. Like Alexandrite, Zultanite also presents impressive color change.
The best quality Zultanite is extracted from a sole deposit, a remote mountainous area in Anatolia, Turkey, 1200 meters above sea level. The deposit is located near the Turkish town of Selimiye, and extraction began in the mid 1980s.
Examples of Zultanite
The history of Zultanite
The mineral Diaspore was discovered in the Russian Urals in 1801, but the first faceted gemstones only entered the market in the 1970s. However, most of the stones were of poor quality, likely explaining the poor reputation Diaspore enjoyed for a very long time. In order to avoid confusion, the most valuable examples were named ‘Zultanite,' and since then they have literally conquered the gemstone market. Zultanite jewels are the favorites of Hollywood stars walking the Oscar red carpet!
Marvelous examples of Zultanite
Properties of Zultanite
This gemstone’s allure lies in its color, its extraordinary brilliance and its luster. Depending on the light source, Zultanite changes color: from kiwi green in natural light, to raspberry red in artificial or candle light. It can also display khaki green, pink cognac, pink champagne and ginger hues. Unlike other precious stones, the intensity of the color change in Zultanite does not depend on the intensity of its base color. Zultanite has well-developed cleavage, making it one of the most difficult gemstones in the world to cut. Therefore, it is particularly important for lapidaries to select a cut that minimizes the gem’s tendency to cleave, while at the same time ensuring the color change effect is optimally visible.
About 98% of raw gemstones are lost during cutting, making larger Zultanites extremely rare.
Varieties of Zultanite
A few examples of Zultanite display chatoyancy or a ‘Cat’s Eye’ effect, which manifests as a single bright line on the surface of the gemstone, recalling the eye of a cat. This effect is caused by light reflecting off minute needle-shaped inclusions arranged in parallel.
Cat's Eye Zultanite
Care for Zultanite
Zultanite must be protected from harm, chemical elements, heat and extreme temperature changes. Store Zultanite carefully to avoid scratching, and clean it simply using neutral soap and warm water; if necessary, a soft brush can be used to deal with more persistent dirt. After cleaning your jewel, rinse it with warm water and dry it carefully with a soft cloth. Never subject your Zultanite to steam or ultrasonic cleaning.