Pietersite Gemstone Information
About Pietersite - History and Introduction
Pietersite is a rare dark-gray or reddish breccia aggregate (rock made up of fragments embedded in a matrix), comprised mostly of hawk's eye and tiger's eye. Pietersite from Namibia was first described in 1962 by Sid Pieters, who named it in his father's honor. The term "pietersite" is now used as a general term to describe brecciated tiger's eye.
Pietersite is characterized by its distinctive swirls or streaks of gold or orange, due to the crocidolite inclusions within a microcrystalline silica host. Crocidolite is the same material responsible for tiger's eye chatoyancy. When polished, the inclusions in pietersite exhibit chaotic chatoyancy whereas in tiger's eye, the inclusions are arranged in parallel lines and give the appearance of a continuous line.
Identifying Pietersite Back to Top
Pietersite can be identified by its distinctive chaotic chatoyancy, caused by brecciated crocidolite inclusions, which appear as golden swirls. Pietersite may have dense or sparse crocidolite inclusions, resulting in a differing appearance. Therefore, it could appear mostly gray-blue, orangey-brown, or an equal mixture of the two.
Pietersite; Origin and Gemstone Sources Back to Top
Pietersite is only found in Henan Province, China, and Namibia, South Africa.
Buying Pietersite and Determining Pietersite Gemstone Value Back to Top
Pietersite Gemological Properties: Back to Top
Please refer to our Gemstone Glossary for details of gemology-related terms.
Pietersite: Related or Similar Gemstones Back to Top
Pietersite belongs to the large family of quartz gemstones. It is composed of both tiger's eye and hawk's eye. Pietersite is a pseudomorph of quartz, which means that it started its life as another mineral, crocidolite, but over time, quartz replaced the crocidolite fibres. Crocidolite is one of several minerals which belong to the riebeckite family of amphibole silicates.The quartz family includes many gemstones, including many popular gems, as well as some lesser-known quartz varieties too.
The two main branches of quartz include macrocrystalline quartz and cryptocrystalline quartz. Macrocrystalline quartz includes transparent to translucent gemstones, such as amethyst, ametrine, rock crystal, blue quartz, citrine, prasiolite (green amethyst), quartz cat's eye, smoky quartz and rose quartz. Hawk's eye, tiger's eye and pietersite are rare examples of opaque macrocrystalline, as most other quartz gem types have excellent transparency. Cryptocrystalline quartz includes a wide variety of opaque to translucent quartz gemstones, including agate, onyx, chrysoprase, bloodstone, jasper and carnelian.
Pietersite Gemstone Mythology, Metaphysical and Alternative Crystal Healing Powers Back to Top
Pietersite is sometimes referred to as "the tempest stone", possibly because of its stormy appearance. It is thought to possess a highly-charged energy that enhances focus and personal will. Pietersite is said to provide protection from the elements and encourage calmness. It is believed that pietersite can help to cure addiction and boost self confidence. Physically, pietersite is thought to balance the hormones, blood pressure and body temperature. In traditional Hindu beliefs, pietersite is associated with Swadhisthana, or the sacral chakra, which is related to the reproductive system and governs pleasure, creativity, joy and enthusiasm. Pietersite is also linked to Manipura, or the solar plexus chakra, which is concerned with digestion, willpower and personal development. Furthermore, pietersite is linked to Ajna, or the brow chakra, which regulates sleep and promotes balance of the self. Pietersite is not a traditional birthstone or zodiac stone.
Pietersite Gemstone and Jewelry Design Ideas Back to Top
Pietersite's interesting patterns and vivid hues make it an eye-catching jewelry gem. Its bold color makes it suitable for both women's and men's jewelry and when cut en cabochon, it can be used to make pendants, earrings, bracelets or rings. When polished, pietersite has an attractive shine and it looks good with gold and silver settings alike. Alternatively, pietersite can be wire-wrapped for tribal style jewelry. As a variety of quartz, pietersite is suitable and durable enough for wearing in everyday jewelry, including in pietersite cabochon rings. Pietersite cabochons are popular for use in men's fashion accessories, especially cufflinks, tie-clips, pendants and fine rings.
Note: Buy colored gemstones by size and not by carat weight. Colored stones vary in size-to-weight ratio. Some stones are larger and others are smaller than diamonds by weight in comparison.
Pietersite Gemstone Jewelry Care and Cleaning Back to Top
Pietersite is quite a tough substance that is suitable for everyday wear, but in order to maintain its luster and color, it should be cared for properly. To clean your pietersite, simply use soapy water and a soft cloth. Be sure to rinse well to remove soapy residue. As with most gemstones, ultrasonic cleaners and steamers are not recommended. Always remove any jewelry or gemstones before exercising, cleaning or engaging in harsh physical activities such as sports. Store pietersite away from other gemstones to avoid scratches. It is best to wrap gemstones in soft cloth or place them inside a fabric-lined jewelry box.
- First Published: March-18-2014
- Last Updated: October-17-2017
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