ifuckingloveminerals: earthstory: Zawadi sapphire A recently…



Zawadi sapphire

A recently found (2010) opaque variety of Corundum displays a beautiful golden bronzey sheen. Its moniker comes from the Swahili word for ‘gift of the Earth’. Only found in Kenya so far near its border with Somalia (currently a dangerous place to be), the stones have a chocolate brown colour with a shimmering moving glint caused by inclusions of rutile and haematite inside the stone (see http://on.fb.me/1EoGpBi for a detailed explanation). In order to display the optical effect they have to be cut in a unique way, as flat slab like stones with some depth, unlike the normal domed cabochons typically used for star stones (see http://on.fb.me/1PCk2bT). The original pocket is supposed to be depleted, though I’m sure that the miners are eagerly searching for more. Unlike most corundums, these stones are not treated.


Image credit: Gem Adventurer

I’ve got a box of sapphire that looks kinda like this, Common canada corundum used in the early days of mining for abrasive products. I don’t have any diamond grinding wheels otherwise I’d cut more, the stuff really wears down my green SiC wheels and dressing those things really sucks.

Geology Nerd

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