Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Gemstone of the Week: Sphalerite

(Image found on gemresouces.com)

Sphalerite is a gorgeous gemstone.  It's also known as 'Blende' or Zinc Blende' as it is the major ore for zinc.  Sphalerite has a hardness of 3.5-4 and is a transparent to translucent gemstone,  It was discovered in 1847 and its name comes from the Greek sphaleros meaning 'treacherous.'  An interesting name to give a gemstone! The reason it was named 'treacherous' was because the dark varieties kept being mistaken for galena.  Sphalerite may have a resinous or adamantine luster and in colour may be: yellow, light to dark brown, black, red-brown, colourless, green, or orange.  Sphalerite varies in per carat value, but can get moderately expensive depending on the colour, size, and quality of the stone. For 2013 per carat values, there is a price list on Gemval.com.  Sphalerite may be found in: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Antarctica, the Atlantic Ocean, Argentina, Armenia, the Arctic Ocean, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Canada (provinces of: British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavat Territory, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon Territory), Chad, Channel Islands, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Croatia, Cypress, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire), Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greenland, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indian Ocean, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Loas, Luxemburg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, North Mariana Islands, Norway, Pacific Ocean, Poland, Portugal, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Red Sea, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Serbia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, U.S. Virgin Islands, Uganda, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and the states of: Wyoming, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Washington, Virginia, Vermont, Utah, Texas, Tennessee, South Dakota, South Carolina, Rhode Islands, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Oklahoma, Ohio, North Carolina, New York, New Mexico, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Nevada, Nebraska, Montana, Missouri, Mississippi, Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Louisiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Idaho, Georgia, California, Arkansas, Arizona, Alaska, and Alabama, Sphalerite is also found on the moon.