Sphalerite is a beautiful gemstone, mainly great for collectors. It has only been on the market as a collectors gem for a few years but it is quickly gaining popularity because of the incredible fire that it shows. With some searching you can find the Sphalerite that is perfect for you. When you do find it you will absolutely fall in love with it. The variety of color mixed with the brightness is what makes this gemstone so appealing to the eye.
Sphalerite can be identified by its color. Most gemstones range in color from pale yellow to deep orange, while other variants of color can be found. The rarest form of Sphalerite is colorless. It can be natural, man made or created. It can be found in places such as Bulgaria, Canada, Mexico, Nambia, Spain, parts of the US and Zaire naturally.
This beautiful gemstone can be on the soft and brittle side making it a challenge for gem cutters and setters. The lack of hardness in this gemstone means that it can break, crack, or scratch easily. Even as brittle as it is, it can still be found in many shapes, sizes and settings. Because Sphalerite is brittle each gemstone contains imperfections.
Sphalerite In Jewelry
Sphalerite is rarely found in jewelry due to its lack of hardness. When it is found, it is not recommended for daily wear and use. It is best suited for earrings and pendants where the risk of damage is lower. If you find your perfect stone setting it in a bezel setting is ideal. The bezel setting offers a little added protection to lessen the chance of scratches and other damage.
Overall it is a truly beautiful gemstone coming in a variety of colors. This beautiful gemstone does however lack the hardness of more popular gems, leaving it vulnerable to scratches and other damage when worn daily and exposed to everyday life. The idea that Sphalerite is for collectors is a correct statement. Even the improper storage of Sphalerite can cause scratches on the surface of the stone.
Sphalerite is one of the gemstones that has a very high dispersion number. This number represents how much fire or rainbow colors can be seen when looking at the gem. Dispersion is very hard to capture on camera but you can see from the photos above that there are lots of beautiful rainbow colors emitting from this gem.
The Spanish Gem
The best Sphalerite in the world all comes from the Aliva Sphalerite mine in Cantabria, Spain. This mine closed down in 1989 and all of the material that you can find on the market today originated from this mine. It is well known for the orange toffee colored stones that are clean and very bright. Among collectors it is the stones from this region that are the most highly prizes.