Pietersite was first discovered by Sid Pieters in 1962 while prospecting farm land. He registered the find in the mineral records of Britain, which was published in 1964 naming the material Pietersite.

Pietersite is formed from a crocidolite type asbestos or variety of Riebeckite. The process begins with Hawk Eye, the name given to the blue variety of Tiger Eye. This opaque aggregate is formed when quartz replaces the blue/green mineral crocidolite creating iridescent planes or fractures with a silky luster. Tiger Eye is created when the iron from the decomposed crocidolite oxidizes changing it to a golden brown color. Pietersite is then formed by a process known as brecciation. This occurs when the fibrous structure of both Tiger Eye and Hawk Eye are broken via the earth's geologic process. The tiny fragments are later naturally cemented together by quartz creating a finished product with multiple hues and superb chatoyancy.

 

(The state of Namibia, displayed at right in green, may be the most beautiful countries in all Africa. The contrast of landscape provides home for cheetah, giraffe, zebra, rhino, atelope and plenty of wildlife resorts. The state is abudantly rich in precious metals and minerals. It is home to to many of the world's most unique and beautiful gemstones.)
 

Pietersite is extremely rare and found in two locations world-wide: Hunan, China and Namibia, Africa. Our sources tell us the Chinese mine has been flooded and non-operable for many years. The world's single remaining mine is run by our good friends from Swakopmund, Namibia. They have graciously given us huge discounts and allowed us to hold their excess inventory for distribution.

The price of Pietersite has risen in the past several years due to the closure of the Chinese mine, limited production from the African mine, an increase in demand, and difficulties in export.

Pietersite is widely used in jewelry and ornaments due to a very high hardness of 7 and it's toughness from lack of cleavage. It has a specific gravity of 2.7. We have Pietersite available in rough or polished slabs, tumbled, flat or calibrated cabochons. We have lentil and barrel bead bracelets and necklaces; rings, carvings, eggs, spheres, bottle openers, corkscrews, pill boxes, magnifying glasses and knives.

If you decide to purchase our rough Pietersite and enjoy cutting or polishing your own stones, please take caution. Rough Pietersite may contain pockets of pure unadulterated rock wool so caution must be taken while cutting and polishing this stone. We recommend you protect your respiratory system with a simple mask if not a dual canister respiratory mask. We also suggest you soak the slabs in alcohol or detergent if you have sawed them with oils. The minute particles between fibers may hinder you from obtaining the finest possible polish.