Hot Rocks: Zultanite

by Linda McMurray, G.G., A.J.P

Mesmerizing, 100% natural Zultanite is one of the newest gemstones to hit the market.  This once collector’s stone is now featured in high end jewelry designs.  Zultanite has the ability to change colors from bright shades of green to scrumptious hues of raspberry and pink.

A champagne and ginger ale color will appear depending on the light source you are under at the time.  Even at a certain time of day you will witness subtle nuances of colors.

Zultanite comes from one source in the world in the mountainous region of Anatolia, Turkey.   This mine is the only known source of this very rare, very unique, color change gemstone that is from the gem species Diaspore. Zultanite is also found with a phenomenon called chatoyancy. Chatoyancy is a cat’s eye effect seen in the gem that is caused by the reflections of minute, parallel, needle like inclusions inside the cabbing rough.  These Zultanites are always made into cabochons.

Early in the 1980’s, gem quality crystals of Zultanite were first discovered.  These crystals were never mined commercially until Zultanite, LLC, obtained the deposit.

Zultanite is a very romantic gemstone that is named in honor of 36 sultans who founded the Otterman Empire in Anatolia in the late 13th century.

Zultanite, like diamonds, have perfect cleavage.  Cleavage is the splitting, cracking of a gemstone along its parallel crystal planes in relation to the gem rough’s crystal structure.  A very experienced faceter is aware of the cleavage that makes these gemstones very challenging to cut.  Zultanite crystal is one of the most difficult to facet, adding to this gem’s rarity.  Also, the faceter has to position the crystal’s angles to bring out the full color change potential inherent to the gem.

More facts about Zultanite:

  • Yields are less than 2% of the rough crystal; 98% of the rough crystal is lost in the cutting process.  This is just one of the reasons Zultanite is so very precious and rare.  Extremely hard to find in larger sizes, Zultanite over 5 carats is very unusual.
  • It registers 6.5 to 7 on the MOHS hardness scale.  Refractive index is 1.70 to 1.75.  Specific gravity of 3.39.  These gem characteristics make Zultanite an excellent gemstone for mounting in jewelry.
  • Zultanite is 100% Natural!  No treatments or enhancements of any kind!
  • It is ethically mined with environmentally sound methods and fair wages for the miners.

This ultra-rare gemstone, Zultanite will only go up in price as it only comes from one place in the world.  This mine in the Anatolia Mountains in Turkey is the only place on earth where nature provided the exact mineral combination to form these amazing gem crystals.  My opinion is that Zultanite is a very good investment gemstone.  It will never go bad and you do not have any maintenance or storage fees to keep it.   When the mine gets depleted there will be no more…

Unfortunately, there are many counterfeit gems that try to impersonate the real Zultanite out there.  Only Zultanite, LLC has access to these rare gemstones, so ask your seller where they source theirs stones from to assure its authenticity.

I will never sell a Zultanite with inclusions unless it is a rare time I get one from the mine with a tiny blemish and I will disclose it in the description of the gemstone.

Genuine Zultanite is available at    Read more about the amazing Zultanite!


Linda McMurray is co-owner of Best Cut Gems in Beverly Hills, FL and is a certified Gemologist. Visit her online store for a wide selection of gemstones, cabochons, finished jewelry and more gemstone facts.

Posted in Hot Rocks

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