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Is old 1997 Sugilite Stock from Africa Rare?


I have a Sugilite Necklace I purchased in 1997 from International Gem Show vendor from Africa. I posted it for sale on Posh and a woman commented that I should not list it as a rare gemstone, because her brother lives in Ghana and sugilite is prevalent there. So my question is, what do I say to my potential customers under her comment? I had researched prior and I found numerous articles that it was rare. Thank you for any input.
Here is a picture of the necklace

I’m not sure how to load the pictures, sorry. Any help appreciated.


Sugilite is rare. It occurs in very few locations and in gem-quality form only in South Africa and only in a few mines in Northern Cape manganese fields.

I couldn’t find any information on Ghana producing sugilite. However, this GIA G&G article (p. 80) does note that Ghana does have stratiform manganese deposits, like those that produce sugilites in South Africa. Perhaps there has been some recent gem production?

Even if Ghana does turn out to be some new hotbed of sugilite mining, I think this gem still qualifies as rare.


I also believe that sugilite is a rare gem material.

The definition of “rare” varies from one person to another - and the variation is often related to their experience. Some people with limited experience might have a perception that something is not rare if they have seen or heard about it a few times. Others might think that a very common material is rare if they have never seen it.

I would treat the customer politely and provide whatever information she needs. If her only comment is about the use of the word “rare”, she might be using that as an opener for negotiation.

I enjoyed seeing your photos. The necklace if very nice.


Thank you very much for your input. I have been scouring the Internet to find any information I can on sugilite. It’s wonderful to have a place to come to, to ask others that are knowledgeable on the subject. Much appreciated! Thank you.


Thank you for your insight on how sugilite can be rare to those who have never heard about it or quite common to those who have. I guess I’m still at a little loss though after reading through the many different sites that say one thing and then another. I read about the old stock of deep purple not being as valuable as what’s coming out of the Wessels Mine now, being a translucent gel like material.

When I look around at sites that sell sugilite, some list the deep opaque and others the translucent as rare. So, in any case would you say that it’s still a common abundant gemstone? I don’t want to overstep my bounds, by listing the necklace as a rare gemstone?

Thank you for your help on this, ever so much.


Right here on IGS.

What is the color of sugilite? Grape jelly purple is a good description. More popular among consumers in Asia than North America, this is a very rare and beautiful opaque gem material with an unusual appearance.


Thank you so very much. I have read this and now understand the difference. I then got so enthralled with the other links to other gemstones! I could stay on there forever just reading away. I have bookmarked it and will go back tomorrow.

Thank you again,I really appreciate your insight and finding the time to help me.


Also called Lavulite and Royal Azel, though these names didn’t stick. Semi-transparent material is particularly rare.


This type beads quality came in kgs or tons…
Only facetings grade rare…