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                           Mineral of the Month--July 2008


                                              Potassium Sodium Lithium Iron Manganese Aluminum Silicate





Sugilite Picfest!

                                                 By Ken Casey


     Welcome back to our mid-Summer at DMS Picfest Central!  We won't be surfing on the
waves, but we'll sure be web surfing.  Please do join us for a Sugilite Picfest!

     So, jump on in with this month's favorite: Sugilite!  Let's go!



     Welcome to another annual Mineral Picfest summer blast! 

     Sugilite began its career as curiousity, discovered by a scientist around
sixty years ago.  Lately, its lapidary potential and consumer response has
led this stone into a dollars-per-gram spotlight.  Well, here it is: Sugilite.



A Brief History

     Sugilite is a mineral named after a scientist: Professor Ken-ichi Sugi, as approved by the
IMA in 1974.  He discovered it in Japan around 1944.  Today's major source is Africa.  A
complex silicate mineral, sugilite has grown in popularity since 1981, when it was marketed
as a gemstone.

     Premiering at the Tuscon Minerals Show in 1981, Sugilite was introduced as "Royal Lavulite",
or just "Lavuelite".  One year after, a California company trademarked the name "Royal Azel".
The latter name is what I remember selling it as in, earlier in my jewelry career.


     Best known as a purple to lavender hued stone, it is best suited to cabachon treatment in
jewelry and lapidary world.  To my eye, the best color might be described as a half-eaten grape
Tootsie Pop, the dark brown undertones of the chocolatey center refracting through the hazy,
deep purple lollipop shell. 
A provocative mineral, Sugilite, stands out as memorable magenta,
a winner for gem color in the violet range.



Sugilite Picfest!


Sugilite rough
(Photo by Emily's Gems)
Sugilite polished barrel beads
(Photo courtesy of Emily's Gems)


Sugilite Polished oval cabachon
(Photo by Mystic Merchant)
Sugilite cabachon set in Sterling money clip
(Photo by Redhawk Paintings-Jewelry)


Sugilite Horses Carving (left), Sugilite polished freeform (right)
(Photo by R. V. Dietrich, GemRocks
Sugilite rough
(Photo courtesy of


Sugilite Polished freefrom
(Photo courtesy of
One-of-a-kind Sugilite Sterling Pendant
(Photo by
Sugilite Tile
(Photo by
Sugilite and Sterling inlaid earrings
(Photo by Gold Mountain Mining Co.)
Sugilite and Sterling Silver Ring
(Photo by Southwest Silver Gallery)


     Sugilite has only a gemstone usage known to date.





Members' Gallery

Here is where DMS Members can add their Sugilite photos to share with us.


Until Next Time

     We hope you have enjoyed our all too short visit to Sugilite.  Please join us next month,
for another article, and we shall journey together!
     Until then, stay safe, and happy collecting. hardhat2a.gif (5709 bytes)



Article Contributors

Photo & Graphics Credits

I would like to gratefully acknowledge the generous contributions of our fellow Sugilite
enthusiasts, collectors, authors, curators, professionals, and club members who made this
work possible. 

Amethyst Galleries

Emily's Gems

Redhawk Paintings-Jewelry

R. V. Dietrich, GemRocks

Mystic Merchant

Gold Mountain Mining Co. 

Southwest Silver Gallery 

2008  All contributions to this article are covered under the copyright protection of this article
and by separate and several copyright protection(s), and are to be used for the sole purposes of
enjoying this scholarly article.  They are used gratefully with express written permission of the
authors, save for generally-accepted scholarly quotes, short in nature, deemed legal to reference
with the appropriate citation and credit.  Reproduction of this article must be obtained by express
written permission of the author, Kenneth B. Casey, for his contributions, authoring, photos, and
graphics.  Use of all other credited materials requires permission of each contributor separately. 
Links and general contact information are included in the credits above, and throughout this article. 
The advice offered herein are only suggestions; it is the reader's charge to use the information
contained herein responsibly.  DMS is not responsible for misuse or accidents caused from this
article. All opinions, theories, proofs, and views expressed within this article, and in others on this
website, do not necessarily reflect the views of the Delaware Mineralogical Society.

Suggested Reading



KEN.JPG (31503 bytes)

   About the Author:  Ken is current webmaster of the Delaware Mineralogical Society.  He has a diploma in Jewelry Repair, Fabrication & Stonesetting from the Bowman Technical School, Lancaster, PA, and worked as jeweler.  He has also studied geology at the University of Delaware.  And, he is currently a member of the Delaware Mineralogical Society and the Franklin-Ogdensburg Mineralogical Society.  E-mail:

Invitation to Members


Want to see your name in print?  Want to co-author, contribute, or author a whole Mineral of the Month article?  Well, this the forum for you!

And Members, if you have pictures, or a story you would like to share, please feel free to offer.  We'd like to post them for our mutual enjoyment.   Of course, you get full photo and author credit, and a chance to reach other collectors, hobbyists, and scientists.  We only ask that you check your facts, give credit where it is due, keep it wholesome for our Junior Members watching, and keep on topic regarding rockhounding.

You don't even have to be experienced in making a webpage.  We can work together to publish your story.  A handwritten short story with a Polaroid will do.  If you do fancier, a text document with a digital photo will suit, as well.   Sharing is the groundwork from which we can get your story out there.

Our club's webpages can reach any person surfing the net in the world, and even on the International Space Station, if they have a mind to view our website!

We are hoping for a possible tie-in to other informative programs upon which our fellow members might want to collaborate.  Contact any officer or board member with your suggestions.

Our next MOTM will be a surprise.  For 2008-9, we are waiting for your suggestions.  What mineral do you want to know more about?

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Most of the Mineral of the Month selections have come from most recent club fieldtrips and March Show Themes, and from inspriring world locales. thus far.  If you have a suggestion for a future Mineral of the Month, please e-mail me at:, or tell me at our next meeting.



Past Minerals of the Month
June 2008 Mineral of the Month: Larimar
May 2008 Mineral of the Month: Delaware Hornblende
April 2008 Mineral of the Month: Delaware Biotite Mica
March 2008 Mineral of the Month: Delaware Pegmatites
February 2008 Mineral of the Month: Exotic Pegmatites
January 2008 Mineral of the Month: Delaware Quartz, Part 2
December 2007 Mineral of the Month: Delaware Muscovite Mica
November 2007 Mineral of the Month: Delaware Beryl
October 2007 Mineral of the Month: Delaware Quartz, Part 1
September 2007 Mineral of the Month: Delaware Garnet: Almandite
August 2007 Mineral of the Month: Schorl (Black Tourmaline)
July 2007 Mineral of the Month: Rubellite
June 2007 Mineral of the Month: Elbaite 
May 2007 Mineral of the Month: Delaware Feldspar, Part 2
April 2007 Mineral of the Month: Delaware Feldspar: Plagioclase
March 2007 Mineral of the Month: "The Colors of Fluorite"
February 2007 Mineral of the Month: Pennsylvania Fluorite
January 2007 Mineral of the Month: Sillimanite
December 2006 Mineral of the Month: Hedenbergite by Karissa Hendershot
November 2006 Mineral of the Month: Brandywine Blue Gneiss
October 2006 Mineral of the Month: Spessartite by Karissa Hendershot
September 2006 Mineral of the Month: Native Silver
August 2006 Mineral of the Month: Kryptonite
August 2006 Mineral of the Month: Kryptonite
July 2006 Mineral of the Month: Azurite
June 2006 Mineral of the Month: Pyromorphite
May 2006 Mineral of the Month: Tsavorite by Karissa Hendershot
April 2006 Mineral of the Month: Variscite
March 2006 Mineral of the Month: Petrified Wood, Part II
February 2006 Mineral of the Month: Petrified Wood, Part I
January 2006 Mineral of the Month: Strontianite by Karissa Hendershot
December Mineral of the Month: Clinozoisite
November Mineral of the Month: Bismuth
October Mineral of the Month: Wulfenite by Karissa Hendershot
September Mineral of the Month: Turquoise
August Mineral of the Month: Peridot
July Mineral of the Month: Ruby
June Mineral of the Month: Antarctic Fluorite
May Mineral of the Month: Dolomite, Part 2
April Mineral of the Month: Dolomite, Part 1
March Mineral of the Month: Calcite
February Mineral of the Month: Agate
January Mineral of the Month: Fluorite
December Mineral of the Month: Pyrite
November Mineral of the Month: Stilbite  
October Mineral of the Month: Celestite   

This page last updated:  February 19, 2011 10:15:24 AM




Next Meeting

April Program, Monday, April 8, 2013:

"Destruction of the Fossil Exposures in the Chesapeake Bay Area" presented by Dr. Lauck Ward

General Club Meeting:
April 8, 2013

We are meeting at
Greenbank Mill

Special Meetings:

*Show Committee Meeting, April or May, 2013

*New Home/Lapidary Committee, 2013

*Board Meeting,  April, 2013

Next Field Trips


Past Fieldtrips

Next Show
DMS March Show
March 1-2, 2014 at DelTech Stanton


Our 2013 Show Theme was:
"All That Glitters is as Good as Gold!"

March Show 2013 Report






Fossil Forum

"Dinny, the Dino"

"Belemnites are coming"


MOTM June also commemorates our 50th Show!

It's shiny, yellow, and is a symbol of 50 Years!Can you guess?


Collecting Adventure Stories:

"Sunny Brook Crick Goethite" by Joe Dunleavy