Turkish Delight…Csarite

This is a gemstone you may not have heard of, whilst it’s use is increasing in popular jewellery and it has made many appearances on the red carpet, this is an incredibly rare gem and still unknown in many areas.

Csarite has some amazing features, in particular the ability to display different colours under different lights.  Under natural light this gem displays light green colours, but under candlelight it displays colours in the pink range, and a whole lot in between.  If colour change alone wasn’t enough, Csarite also displays chatoyancy or a “cat’s eye” effect which means it shoes a band of light in the middle of the gemstone – it’s caused by the reflection of light in parallel inclusions and this is the only colour change gemstone currently known to have this effect!

 

 

These amazing features are even more surprising when you know that there are currently no known treatments used in Csarite.  It’s actually a form of Turkish Diaspore, but don’t get confused between Csarite and Diaspore – they are very different.  Csarite is gem quality and Disapore is not.  Csarite is mined by hand, only in Mugla in Turkey and is difficult to cut in order to achieve the best emphasis on the colour change feature.  If you think you’re getting cheap Csarite, beware!

 

 

 

It has a hardness of around 7 on the Mohs scale and once set into metal the colours are intensified.  Whilst this is a pretty tough gem of course you need to be wary of mixing it with other harder gems such as sapphires or diamonds as they might scratch it.  Gentle cleaning is best with this gem, no chemicals or ultrasonic treatments, just a little gentle soap, water and a soft cloth.

In the UK the only stockist of Csarite is Gemporia aka Gems TV.  Whenever you’re thinking of buying this precious gem it’s definitely worth checking that you are buying from a reputable stockist to ensure that it’s the genuine article you are buying.

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