Saturday, March 17, 2012

Maw Sit Sit - Huh?

MAW SIT SIT – It’s no joke

Yep, that’s really the name of a gemstone, and an exceptionally beautiful one, at that.

One of the newer, and more unusual stones, Maw Sit Sit was first identified by the late eminent Swiss gemologist Eduard Gubelin as recently as 1963. It is named after the village where it was discovered, in Myitkyina-Mogaung District, Kachin State, northern Myanmar (Burma), in the foothills of the Himalayas. This location remains the only recorded occurrence for Maw Sit Sit.

Being in very close proximity to the Imperial Burma Jadeite mines, coupled with its rich green coloration, Maw Sit Sit was originally thought to be Jadeite, until Gubelin identified it as a separate entity.

Maw Sit Sit is sometimes referred to as a “cousin” of Jadeite, which is not inappropriate. It is,
however, a rock, rather than a mineral, being an aggregate of a number of different minerals. Described as a chromium-rich metamorphic rock, the dominant mineral in Maw Sit Sit is Kosmochlor, a sodium chromium pyroxene, which constitutes about 60% of the mix. The next ingredient, at around 15% is chromium-enriched Jadeite, followed by chromium Ekermannite at 4% and chromium Albite at 1%. This composition makes Maw Sit Sit the most chromium rich material on the planet. It can also contain small amounts of other minerals such as pure Chromite and Natrolite.

Maw Sit Sit is an opaque stone, consisting of a green ranging from dark emerald to almost neon in color and rivaling that of the best Imperial Jadeite, with distinctive black splotches, swirls and veins. It is most commonly cut as cabochons, beads or carvings.

Technical Stuff

Hardness: 6-7
Specific Gravity: 2.5 – 3.5
Refractive Index: 1.52 – 1.74 (varies according to the exact chemical composition)
Lustre: Vitreous to Greasy
Crystal System: Monoclinic
Habit: Massive
Fracture: Irregular to conchoidal

Expect to pay from $1 to $4 per carat for good quality cabochons, more for matched pairs & carvings.

 Thank you for reading,


O V Gillies said...

First time I came across this one & I'm going to look for it from now on - so gorgeous!
Thanks Augie for the great article! xo

Mollie Ann said...

Oooooh - Maw Sit Sit!!! I love it! What a perfect way to turn every day into St Paddy's Day! Thank you Augie!!

Blanche said...

Me thinks me likes!

Tracy said...

I've never heard of this before! Thanks for sharing your wisdom! What a pretty gemstone.

Michele said...

Very interesting!!! Lovely stone and color!!!

MadeByTammy said...

Great Post! Thanks for sharing. This is a perfect gemstone / color to include in a spring collection!

WanderingJewel said...

Beautiful stone! Thank you for writing about it.

DelicaTess said...

Never saw Maw Sit Sit before, but I love it! It's gorgeous! Great blog.

SendingLoveGallery said...

glad to know about this spectacular stone, thanks!

Unknown said...

What a color. I love learning about new stones. Leave it to Bearsie! Thanks so much!

Erika Price said...

Wow Augie - I'd never heard of it either! Thanks for sharing - it's a gorgeous colour!

Ribasus said...

Bearsie... knows all, sees all. Thank you so much for this wonderful article!

Unknown said...

Well I have to repeat what everyone else has said also...LOVE this color and I've not heard of it either, I am SO GLAD we have you Bearsie...once again an invaluable resource!!!

ShinyAdornments said...

What a gorgeous stone! and wow.. the color is amazing.

Great info as always...

Love your posts



jemsbyjb said...

Haven't heard of this one before. It certainly is a beautiful stone. Thanks for enlightening us.