16kg Manganoan Sugilite, GIA Laboratory Certified, Smithsonian Exhibition Stone, I.Kurgan Royal Azel, Hall of Gems Smithsonian Museum 1981, Wessels Mine in Northern Cape Province, South Africa
(repeating unit)
IMA symbolSug[1]
Strunz classification9.CM.05
Dana classification63.02.01a.09
Crystal systemHexagonal
Crystal classDihexagonal dipyramidal (6/mmm)
H-M symbol: (6/m 2/m 2/m)
Space groupP6/mcc
Unit cella = 10, c = 14 [Å]; Z = 2
ColorLight brownish-yellow, purple, violet, reddish violet, pale pink, colorless
Crystal habitPrismatic crystals, typically granular to massive
CleavagePoor on {0001}
Mohs scale hardness6–6+12
DiaphaneityTransparent to translucent
Specific gravity2.74
Optical propertiesUniaxial (−)
Refractive indexnω = 1.610 nε = 1.607
Birefringenceδ = 0.003

Sugilite (/ˈsɡəlt, -i-/ SOO-gə-lyte, -⁠jee-)[2][3] is a relatively rare pink to purple cyclosilicate mineral with the complex chemical formula KNa2(Fe, Mn, Al)2Li3Si12O30. Sugilite crystallizes in the hexagonal system with prismatic crystals. The crystals are rarely found and the form is usually massive. It has a Mohs hardness of 5.5–6.5 and a specific gravity of 2.75–2.80. It is mostly translucent. Sugilite was first described in 1944 by the Japanese petrologist Ken-ichi Sugi (1901–1948) for an occurrence on Iwagi Islet, Japan, where it is found in an aegirine syenite intrusive stock. It is found in a similar environment at Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada. In the Wessels mine in Northern Cape Province of South Africa, sugilite is mined from a strata-bound manganese deposit. It is also reported from Liguria and Tuscany, Italy; New South Wales, Australia and Madhya Pradesh, India.[4]

Sugilite is commonly pronounced with a soft "g", as in "ginger". However, as with most minerals, its pronunciation is intended to be the same as the person it is named after; in this case, the Japanese name Sugi has a hard "g", as in "geese".[5]

The mineral is also referred to as lavulite, luvulite, and royal azel by gem and mineral collectors.[3]

In Japan, sugilite is found as yellowish-white to colourless, and is not good for jewellery.[6]

Sugilite on Matrix, Wessels Mine in Northern Cape Province, South Africa, size: 2.4 x 2.1 x 1.2 cm
Sugilite owl and mouse, height 9 cm (3.5 in)

See also


  1. ^ Warr, L.N. (2021). "IMA–CNMNC approved mineral symbols". Mineralogical Magazine. 85 (3): 291–320. Bibcode:2021MinM...85..291W. doi:10.1180/mgm.2021.43. S2CID 235729616.
  2. ^ a b Barthelmy, David (2014). "Sugilite Mineral Data". Retrieved 22 July 2022.
  3. ^ a b c Sugilite,
  4. ^ a b Anthony, John W.; Bideaux, Richard A.; Bladh, Kenneth W.; Nichols, Monte C. (2005). "Sugilite" (PDF). Handbook of Mineralogy. Mineral Data Publishing. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  5. ^ "OpenLearn Live: 8th September 2015 - Meet The Minerals". OpenLearn. The Open University. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  6. ^ "Understanding Sugilite | Gem-A". 15 May 2019.