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.
When we saw this opportunity we just couldn’t say no – Jewellery Maker are offering bloggers the opportunity to win a strand of gemstones by writing a post about our top 5 choices from the site under the hashtag #blog2win.
This is rather appropriate for us, as one of us has a small addiction to the Genuine Gemstone Company Ltd, the umbrella company who run Jewellery Maker and sister channel Gems TV, and a burning but unfulfilled desire to create her own pieces of jewellery (I’m not telling you which one of us it is….) Having only recently discovered Jewellery Maker it was a good opportunity to explore the website, so here are my top 5 Jewellery Maker gemstone strands:
65 carats of Smokey Quartz graduated drops – anyone who knows me will know why I’ve picked this! Aside from being one of my favourite gemstones (I have a fabulous smokey quartz ring which is one of my most prized possessions) the graduated sizes of this strand mean that it would make a very straightforward yet striking necklace. I would probably team this with a brightly coloured wire such as this purple coloured copper wire – although I can’t tell from the website what thickness would be best for these drops…a quick call to the freephone number should resolve that though!
140 carats of multi-colour fluorite diamonds – I love the unusual shape of these and the mix of colour. I feel I should probably pick something more expensive as this is a particularly cheap strand! But I just couldn’t skip over this strand, I am a great one for crochet and I have been aiming to start my creative journey with some jewelled cuffs and these would be the perfect thing.
480 carats of red jasper puffy coins – these look amazingly tactile, I can imagine lots of them on a layered statement necklace (although I fear they would end up spending far too much time in my son’s mouth) or think what great earrings they would make. I can imagine them really standing out against even the chunkiest of winter clothes.
140 carats of labradorite graduated plain drops – labradorite is such an amazing gem and often overlooked so I couldn’t resist these huge pieces. The labradorescence given off by this gem means it looks fabulous in pretty much every light and is sure to attract attention. I also think this strand is great value – you could get several pieces of jewellery from one strand.
75 carats of amethyst graduated plain marquise – I am a huge fan of amethyst and chose this particular strand to highlight the unusual cuts available. It’s not a cut I would usually go for, so it’s a bit of a risk, but I think these would make amazing earrings. If you, like me, enjoy amethyst do check out the cabochons and puffy coins which look good enough to eat.
Well, there you go, my top 5. I wish it had been top 10 because I didn’t get to tell you about the larimar pearls, green aventurine, real blue sapphire, slabs of chalcedony and ruby nuggets to name but a few (moonstone, agate, turquoise coins, sunstone rondels and crackle quartz to name a few more…Jewellery Maker, you may have created a monster!)
I promise if I do #blog2win I will do a blog about creating my first piece of jewellery…although I may have to enlist the help of my favourite co-blogger/jeweller/gemologist!