"Mineral Classics" - Dealing in fine minerals and gems for over 45 years! Online since 2002!


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Sphalerite Gemstones from Spain and Bulgaria

Sphalerite is one of the more intriguing gems out there, as it is one the few transparent sulfides in the world that is actually suitable for faceting.  Typically Sphalerite is found in opaque black crystals, and transparent material is not common.  One of my favorite aspects of gem grade Sphalerite is the amazingly high dispersion of 0.156 which is over three times that of Diamond!  Additionally, Sphalerite is fairly dense when compared to most other gems such as Quartz, Beryl or Topaz, so even smaller stones carry plenty of weight, which translates into value for one's money.  When the stones are polished correctly, the luster is amazingly bright and often described as being adamantine.  Sphalerite is one of the very few minerals to have a total of six directions of cleavage, making faceting treacherous, and only skilled gem cutters have the ability to cut the material properly.  The color of Sphalerite is certainly enhanced by its high dispersion, and the fire that is seen in faceted stones is robust enough that is observed easily even in the stones with deeper colors.  The most sought after hues for gem Sphalerite are red and green, but the range of colors in between is vast, ranging from completely colorless to deep and intense shades of red, blue-green, gold, and orange.   The following gemstones represent some of our finest available faceted Sphalerites from Spain and Bulgaria, and all of them feature top luster / polish and beautiful concave faceting, which brings out more of the life of the gems as the light has more directions to move inside the stone. 


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