Saturday, March 4, 2017

"Silverite" Update---Is It Sillimanite? One Seller Says So!

White "Silverite" - Sillimanite?
I have written about a gemstone that is almost exclusively sold on Etsy, called "Silverite".  Sellers in India say it's a natural gemstone, and until now, that's all they would say.  I asked some wholesalers about "Silverite" and never got a really straight answer, other than to tell me what it's NOT----I heard it's "definitely NOT sapphire" and "definitely NOT coated".  Yet jewelry designers on Etsy (and elsewhere online) have described it as "coated sapphire", "opalescent quartz", and just a lot of other descriptions that they must have made up, since the actual wholesalers state otherwise.

Anyway, I bought some of this silverite over the past year and had it tested, and every piece that I had tested (from different sellers) turned out to be just glass.  One strand of silverite that I had tested was "coated glass", with some sort of mystic coating on it.

Silverite - Could Be Sillimanite
Tonight I heard from someone who pointed me to a new seller on Etsy who has Silverite.  This person told me that silverite is actually a trade name for "Sillimanite", which is a natural gemstone.  I looked at the listings, and YES, this seller states in the description that this is actually "natural Sillimanite".  HERE is a link to one of their listings.  As of March of 2017, the term "silverite" is not a registered trade name, and no gemologists have even heard of it (except for the ones I contacted about it---they heard of it from me) and it's not written about anywhere--not on mineral websites, the GIA, gemstone forums, nowhere.  The term "silverite" was registered at one point for a coating method, but it's a "dead" trademark and it had nothing to do with a gemstone name anyway. 

I haven't bought any of this new seller's silverite yet, and so I haven't had it tested, so I can't say for sure that this is a natural gemstone.  However, it's interesting to see a wholesaler offering silverite and describing it as Sillimanite.

I hope this is the case!  This seller seems reputable and has other nice gemstones, so hopefully this actually IS a gemstone (Sillimanite)!

Sillimanite is a gem that is closely related to Kyanite and Andalusite.  It's a hard gemstone, and a large amount of Sillimanite has been recently mined in India.  It's considered a collector's gem, and can be quite expensive.  Sometimes, sillimanite is dyed to look like precious rubies, emeralds and sapphires.  HERE is some good info regarding sillimanite.

And once again----no matter what "silverite" is, it is definitely NOT a sapphire, or corrundum; it is not a coated quartz; it is not a pearlescent coated opal, or any other type of precious gemstone.

If I get some of this Silverite, I will test it and let you know!

2 comments:

  1. Yes let us know! Please- it is so pretty but no one knows what it is. Sometimes I have seen it turn from white to a little gray.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Pam! I'm not going to buy any more of this (all of the "silverite" I've had tested by a gemologist were just GLASS beads!) but if anyone else buys from this particular seller, and has it tested, please let me know if it's Sillimanite and not glass, and I'll include your update!

      -Dawn

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