Zultanite: Turkish Color Changer

Zultanite is a relatively new addition to the gemstone world. One of the few natural color change gemstones, like alexandrite.

In rare cases a cat’s eye effect can be seen in zultanite. An amazing example of rough and cut zultanite can be found at the bottom of this page.

What is Zultanite?

Zultanite is the gem quality variant of the mineral diaspore, which was first found in 1801 in the Ural mountains in Russia. It is an extremely rare gemstone and only mined in a single location in Turkey.

The zultanite gemstone displays light green colors under natural light, while displaying pinkish colors under candlelight.

However unlike alexandrite which only displays two colors (green and red) zultanite can display a large range of earthen colors. From yellow to pink and reddish colors, they are all a possibility.

Chatoyancy or cat’s eye effect is another valued property, showing a band of light in the middle of the gemstone. Currently this is the only color change gemstone that has this effect.

Zultanite is a high quality gemstone that is usually eye clean, has a hardness of around 7 on Mohs scale of hardness and its colors will usually be intensified when set in metal. Which makes this gemstone an excellent choice for jewelry.

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How to Take Care of Zultanite

As always, physical labor is not recommended, though zultanite does not chip easily, it is still a possibility. It is fairly easy to care for, here are a two easy tips to keep it in good shape:

  • Warm water, some soap and a soft brush should be enough to clean this gemstone, some diluted jewelry cleaner can be used if needed.
  • Dry it with a soft cloth afterwards before storing it away from other gemstones. Why? Because zultanite can still be scratched by even harder gemstones such as sapphires or diamonds.

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Zultanite Buying Guide

The most important property for zultanite prices is its color change, the higher the contrast between the two colors the better. This color change is more prominent in larger stones, unfortunately however, sizes above 3 carats are almost never found and usually make their way into designer jewelry.

Most zultanite is at least eye-clean. Make sure you can’t see inclusions before buying, because it will have a large effect on the look of the stone and its color change effect. If you’re going to buy zultanite that is not eye-clean make sure you are getting a large discount.

No gemstone enhancements are currently performed, as the company responsible for the exploitation of zultanite is only selling it as a natural gemstone. Keep in mind though that treating a gemstone is always a possibility, as  some dealers can (and eventually will) use gemstone treatments to increase their bottom-line.  Synthetic zultanite does not currently exist. Most likely because the market is fairly small and color change gemstones are notoriously hard to synthesize.

Important!: Make sure you are buying zultanite (gem quality diaspore) and not regular diaspore. While regular diaspore does display the color change it is not a gem quality mineral. Loose diaspore should be selling for around $50 per carat. However, zultanite is usually sold for between $500 and $1000 per carat. For exceptionally large zultanite stones the price per carat will be far higher than that.

Though quite expensive, it is actually far cheaper than for example diamonds. While at the same time it is far more rare and exclusive. The only drawback is that it is not as suitable for engagement rings or jewelry that you want to wear daily. Though for normal use its durability is more than sufficient.

Hopefully this gemstone will be found in other places making it more available on the market. However even at today’s prices this magnificent color change gemstone is well worth it. Simply take a look below and you will see why!

Zultanite

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Zultanite Video

Below is a video of an antique cut zultanite gemstone. This is a very high quality stone and the color changes are very visible. Keep in mind though that this is a promotional video and so the conditions were perfect for this video-shoot. So don’t expect your own zultanite to be quite as sparkly as it looks below, but it won’t be that far off!

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Comments

  1. Such an unusual gemstone, the colours look amazing, especially in the uncut stone.

    • I agree it looks amazing. I’d love to get a rough crystal for my collection, but I have no clue where I can buy it. All I’m seeing is cut gemstones and I’m not interested in those. I wish they’d find it in more locations, because it seems the current mine owners are not interested in selling zultanite to mineral collectors. I know there’s more money to be made from selling cut gemstones, but there’s bound to be some crystals that look good, yet impossible to get a good cut from right?

      If anyone could point me in the right direction I’d really appreciate it.

      Thank you,

      Tim Carr

      • I figure that your closest thing to a gem quality rough would be diaspore. They posses similar qualities but they are not gem grade.

        • Thank you for your response.

          Unfortunately I already own a piece of diaspore, but it looks fairly bland. I think my only hope at this point for a truly spectacular diaspore or zultanite crystal is when they discover a new deposit somewhere else.

      • there is quite a bit on ebay

      • Anonymous says:

        Hello, I have found a deposit of this stone in a limestone quarry, we removed all we could find in this pocket. I kept the stones in a turtle shell not knowing what they were until I say a show on tv and I think these are zultanite or the lower value type. They are mostly white to yellow, and are 1-3 cm in size. The color shift stone are bigger, maybe only a dozen of these from brown to white gradations, with box-like matrix. No idea there value, I thought they mite be pre-diamonds or something, reply if interested

  2. Tim Jokela says:

    FRAUD ALERT!

    “zultanite” is a made-up name for the mineral diaspore, so when you read nonsense like the following, beware!!:

    “Important!: Make sure you are buying zultanite and not diaspore. While diaspore does display the color change it is not a gem quality mineral. Loose diaspore should be selling for around $50 per carat. While zultanite is often selling for between $500 and $1000 per carat!”

    • GemstonesAdvisor says:

      Using words like “Fraud Alert” and “nonsense” is uncalled for. While yes, the name zultanite is a marketing ploy to set it apart from diaspore, this can hardly be called fraud. Fact is that the diaspore deposits found in Turkey simply are of a (far) higher quality than any deposits found before that. Would you call tanzanite nonsense or fraud as well, because it was officially called blue zoisite?

      Still, we see that the quoted text above isn’t worded too well, so we’ve made a slight edit to better get our point across.

      In other news, the word zultanite may be falling in disuse before long, as zultanite is trademarked and the mine has had a falling out with the trademark owners. So, now they have taken to calling it Turkish diaspore, czarite or perhaps more to your liking: gem diaspore.

      GemstonesAdvisor

  3. Wow what a great stone. I am collecting various gemstone now for five years and have never seen such a royal, glamourous stone.
    While we all know this is diaspore, Zultanite is truely a natural gem and really rare as the other diaspore was available in URAL mines in 1800s. Zultanite has really put a great spell on me.

    Tanzanite is 100 times rarer than diamond and now we have Zultanite which is 100 times rarer than Tanzanite. My personal collection includes not only regular stone of Diamond, Sapphires, Rubies, Emerald but newly discovered 21st century great stones like Tanzanite, Tsavorite, Zultanite, Kyanite. All of them are good for investment as they are marketed at 200 – 350 $ a carat and will double in five years. Bigger stones and greater cut demands a premium of 25 %.

    Good Luck

    Sandeep
    Mumbai
    India

    • Sandeep,

      My BHP shares are also beautiful and will double in 5 years. (Doesn’t that sound right?)

      Gemstones are commodity items, and their value is dictated by demand and supply as with all commodities. The best stones will always command a premium however. Buy gemstones because you love them, not to get rich.

  4. Reba Johnson says:

    I purchased a 4.5 carat stone about 5 years ago. paid $300. appraised for $2500. can not find a deal like that again.

  5. Eyyüp canpolat says:

    Zultanite per carat 300$&10.000$

    • GemstonesAdvisor says:

      The prices have indeed gone slightly down. A high quality 1-carat zultanite stone can now be bought for around $300 per carat. The $10,000 figure is based on an exceptional 40+ carat stone and is not the norm for zultanite.

      GemstonesAdvisor

  6. Eyyüp canpolat says:

    Labtrade gemological laboratory 10carat zultanite 22650$

    http://www.lancefischer.com/collection/anatolia/ zultanite 525.000$

    http://zultanite.org/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=67&products_id=328
    25.90carat zultanite 150.000$ per carat 5.791$

    • GemstonesAdvisor says:

      All those prices are for large zultanite stones of exceptional quality. We base our prices on a high quality 1-carat stone to make comparison with other gemstones possible.

      Like any gemstone the price per carat of zultanite rapidly increases when dealing with larger stones. We have edited the article to make this more clear.

      GemstonesAdvisor

  7. how to tell the difference of imitation zultanite with real zultanite

  8. I currently have a large lot of diaspore that was given to me all measuring 1.5″ and larger. They are rough stone and would like to know if there is anywhere I could find a buyer for these stones..Thank you

    • GemstonesAdvisor says:

      Hi,

      You can try selling it on eBay, though the competition there is quite fierce (and often unfair, see this article: http://www.gemstonesadvisor.com/stay-away-from-ebay/). Another option is to contact a local rock-hounding or mineralogy club and arrange a meeting. Even if they are not interested in buying themselves, they’ll often know someone who is.

      Good luck,

      GemstonesAdvisor

  9. Robin Alex says:

    Hello,

    I recently purchased a 6.2 carat zultinite/disapore stone while in turkey that they set into a ring. I have the certificate’s, etc. and would like to sell my gem. There are inclusions in the stone and it is very large. I paid $3800.00. Where can I sell this?

  10. I would suggest hiring & paying an independent US Gem Lab to do an appraisal and run all the testes giving you the current market (retail) value of the gem. Usually costs around $50 + or – a few dollars for the appraisal, authentication, appraisal & s&h with s&h insurance both ways. They will want payment up front and they will return your gem with a report which should include at least 3 photos of your gem because it has a color change, a detailed description including descriptions of any inclusions it may have, they are like the thumbprint of the gem and no 2 gems are alike. Also the report should contain the usual, ie..ct weight, measurements, colors & color shift strength and color shift colors and hopefully more than 1 photo showing the color changes. It could take up to a few months for your gem and reports to get back to you.

    Research your gem lab, make sure you can contact them by phone and check out their reputation before doing business with them, last thing you want is to never see your gem again. Also when requesting the Gemological evaluation and appraisal make sure you get a contact name.and ask how much they think you should insure it for along with shipping fees to make sure you get some compensation should your gem get lost or damaged in transit.

    After you have the gem, appraisal, & gem report you can try directly contacting jewelry stores and ask if you can have their jewelery designers contact you if they are interested in your rare stone. You can try and sell it to some of the jewelry gem tv shows that sell loose gems and antique and estate jewelry, you can try on on ebay also though it does not possess the amount of trust it used to have in gem/jewelry sellers, there is also amazon and ETSY. The best way to make as much as possible from the sale of your gem is by having certified documentation of its value, specs and a good overall description of its condition and which tests were performed on the gem done by a reputable gem lab, collectors know the reliable labs! These documents will guarantee you at least reasonable offers.

    If your appraisal co. is local you may want to list it on Craigs list, meet at the facility to discuss offers, be careful if you can’t meet at the appraisal co. , meet in a public place, be safe, I don;t really recommend Craigs list for certain items but many people look for rarities there, never invite them to your home !. Many people really don’t appreciate rare gems for their true value and rarity, but there are some out there , some even addicted to collecting only rare gems! Best of luck to you,Jo:) . Best of luck to you!

  11. I have around 40/50 Zultanite stones various sizes and cuts up to 6cts. what do you suggest I do with them?

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