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Sunstone and Goldstone


#1

I’m sorry, but I can’t remember which list this query was posted on.
Someone was looking for a material they called sunstone and also
"monkstone" I have seen no answer and I am going to take a stab at
it. I think what they had in mind was “goldstone”, which is a
manufactured glass with copper (?) flakes included in it. The way I
understand it, it was originally developed in Italy by monks and the
formula was secret for years. It is pretty stuff, but hardly a
precious stone. Rose Alene McArthur


#2

Whatever the original list was, this is still a good question. I
have found that blue goldstone with 9ct yellow gold has been very
popular in both the UK and the US, although the goldstone itself is
not particularly expensive.

However, sunstone and goldstone are not the same thing at all.
Goldstone is indeed manmade glass, and comes in the original orangey
colour, blue and black, all having the minute internal sparkles that
make it pretty. I have quite a long write-up about it on my website,
including the fact that its actual composition is still a secret.
Because of its origins, it is goldstone tat is more likely to be the
monkstone referred to.

Sunstone, on the other hand, is a natural sodium-calcium aluminium
silicate (feldspar).

But my question is, who exactly decides what makes a semi-precious
gemstone? It cannot be appearance alone, because some are remarkably
unattractive. Nor can it be value, because some are quite cheap. At
what point does a semi-precious stone become redefined as a precious
stone?

Regards
Pat Waddington
Semiprec - beautiful jewellery
www.semiprec.com


#3

Many years back I purchased a cab of something called sunstone. It
was a yellowy orange color with a definite flashiness to it. Kind of
made me think it was one of the feldspars, similar in nature to
Labradorite (Norwegian moonstone?). Jim

[Edited: hanuman]

Here is a nice collection of feldspars sunstones:
http://www.creativegem.com/gem_deals/includes/shopdisplayproducts.asp?Stone
Combo=255&header=gemstone&strfilter=T


#4

Rose - “Monkstone” = goldstone. There are differences of opinion
about how goldstone was originally made, but it is definitely
"monkstone". Sunstone is a far more costly feldspar gem, and has
never been commonly available in large chunks the way goldsstone is.
However, goldstone has been treated as a gem at least since the
mid-Victorian era, and is still available in antique jewelry of the
age. It is also used as an ingredient in art glass objects like
sculpture, paperweights and ashtrays.

Jim Small
Small Wonders


#5

Mrs. Rose Alene McArthur The person looking for " Sunstone " may
have been looking for an uncommon natural stone from Lake County
Oregon .

Sunstones are comprised of the feldspar group ( Labradorite ,
Microcline, or Oligoclase Feldspar with oriented inclusions . )

The Hematite inclusions produce an effect called " Aventurescence "
which is a sparkled effect due to the reflections of the parallel
oriented flakes.

Other mineral inclusions may take the place of the Hematite. These
include Zircon, Magnatite, Ilmenite and Rutile.

These oriented inclusions cause a rolling sheen of golden red
spangles.

A book which includes both gemological and Lapidary is

"Gem and Lapidary Materials " by June Culp Zeitner. ISBN -
0-945005-18-0

ROBB


#6

I haven’t been keeping up with all the chit chat here, but this one
caught my eye. There is such a stone as Sunstone. I have some
friends who are a great source. They exhibit a few booths down from
me in Tucson. They are Dust Devil Mining Co. out of Cloverdale
Oregon http://www.dustdevilmining.com (503) 965-7707 Anyone there can
help you. They have a great supply as well as an award winning
cutter Will Cox (1st place AGTA Cutting Edge Award 2001).

Travis Duggan
Placitas, NM
Master of the GoldButcher’s Art


#7
But my question is, who exactly decides what makes a semi-precious
gemsto ne? 

The best way to deal with these terminologies is to stop using one
of them! The term “semi-precious” is obsolete in today’s world, IMO;
call them ALL gemstones (from jasper to garnet to diamond), some of
which happen to be more valuable than others.

The big four AD diamond, emerald, ruby, sapphire AD still have a
certain cachet and recognition in the mass market, but even there I
think you’ll find things changing. Tanzanite, for one, has joined
that elite company in the last several years.

If we all stop making a distinction between precious and
semi-precious, so eventually will the marketplace. They are all
gemstones and their relative values are determined by beauty, rarity,
durability, desirability, the eye of the beholder (I’ll take a fiery
black opal over a sapphire any day!) and , like it or not, fashion
trends.

Bury the term “semi-precious.” It no longer has a place in today’s
marketplace!

Beth


#8
    The Hematite inclusions produce an effect called "
Aventurescence " which is a sparkled effect due to the reflections
of the parallel oriented flakes. 

The inclusions in sunstone are copper, not hematite; and while the
shimmer effect is often referred to as aventurescence, in sunstone it
is more properly called schiller.

Other mineral inclusions may take the place of the Hematite. These
include Zircon, Magnatite, Ilmenite and Rutile. 

I think you’re mixing up copper-included feldspar with
hematite-included quartz. I could be wrong but I don’t believe there
is such a thing as rutilated feldspar!

For more on sunstone, go to the horse’s mouth:
http://www.dustdevilmining.com/AboutSunstone.asp

Beth


#9

Hi, Sunstone is not Goldstone. Goldstone is manufactured; Sunstone
is a natural stone (from India I think).

The stuff I have is sort of a pastel to more intense tangeriny-peach
color, that shimmers and flashes(sort of in the way that tigereye
can flash). It is a pretty stone. I’ve heard that it is a
feldspar, but can’t confirm it.

Supposedly in the past, magicians would use it.

–Terri


#10

Actually Sunstone is the Oregon state rock. Dust Devil Mines pulls
a lot of it out of the Oregon desert.


#11

Hello Jerry I have to disagree with you a little. The Sunstone is
actually Oregon’s State GEMSTONE whereas the Thunderegg is Oregon’s
State ROCK.

Karen Bahr “the Rocklady” (@Rocklady)
K.I.S. Creations
May your gems always sparkle.


#12

Beth, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! Look at Jaspers, no 2 pieces
have the same pattern! That is rare enough to call them all
On the other hand most diamonds of the same grade and
cut look the same. That’s why I don’t much care for them. Give
beauty AND uniqueness any day. Let’s drop the term semi-precious. It
is outdated and confusing and takes away from the value of unique
stones.

Vera Battemarco
www.TheBeadInstitute.com