Published November 2015 • Updated June 2022 • Read Time: 6 minutes
Sugilite is a famous purple crystal, but did you know the first one ever discovered was actually yellow? The yellow variety was found in Japan in the 1940s, while the purple variety was first seen in South Africa in the 1970s. They looked so different that it was several years before anyone realized they were the same mineral. Some collectors still call purple stone by its 1970s tradename of Lavulite. Sugilite grows in metamorphic rocks rich in black manganese. It is a stone of love, hope and acceptance. It encourages us to be true to ourselves, rather than trying to conform to match everyone else.
Sugilite has an exquisite vibration that sings of hope, love, and the deep knowledge that Light will always triumph over Darkness. It is a powerful protective stone which blocks negative energy and makes us feel truly free. It teaches us how to live happily from our own truth and how to love wisely and well. If we feel misunderstood or like we don’t belong, Sugilite will comfort us first and then gently lead us towards a greater understanding. It encourage us to accept and celebrate our unique qualities and to share our gifts with the wider world.
Heart, Third Eye and Crown
2, 3 and 7
Emotional Healing Properties
Sugilite encourages us to believe in ourselves and to love our own unique energies. It is a wonderful stone for anyone who feels awkward and helps us to let go of societal expectations and instead dance to our own drum. Sugilite dissolves fear and gives us courage to face life as it really is – and to see how we can take steps to improve it. It encourages both forgiveness and loving communication. During grief work, it has a soothing and sweet energy.
Mental Healing Properties
Sugilite is a very positive stone for the mind, helping us to focus on positive solutions and situations, rather than dwelling on the negative. It is particularly helpful for showing us the patterns, in our thinking and our actions, that most strongly effect our life. Sugilite helps us to acknowledge bad habits, forgive ourselves, and start actively creating new habits. Sugilite’s happy energy also stimulates our creative instincts, encouraging us to think outside of the box and work real magic in our lives and for our world. It is a sweet talisman for anyone with anxiety, particularly if the anxiety is bleeding over into nightmares. Sugilite helps us to distinguish between what is real and what is false, and to gently redirect our thoughts in productive and positive directions.
Physical Healing Properties
Sugilite is recommended for anyone exploring the awesome power of the brain. It is a wonderful talisman for anyone dealing with a brain disorder, from mild dyslexia to severe schizophrenia. Sugilite helps us to appreciate how truly strange the brain is and to find workaround solutions so that we can happily participate in a neurotypical world. Sugilite gently reminds us that we aren’t “dumb” or “broken” just because our brain is firing in a different way than other people. Sugilite can also help us to explore the mind-body connection, particular during meditations focused on sending healing energy to various parts of the physical body.
Sugilite has been found in Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, South Africa and Tajikistan.
Mining and Treatments
Sugilite is a secondary stone found in Manganese mines. While it has been found in various locations, virtually all of the Sugilite on the market is from mines in the Kalahari Desert of South Africa. It is mined underground in vertical shafts.
Sugilite is a Silicate mineral. Silicate minerals are the largest family of minerals, including more than 25% of all known minerals and 40% of all common minerals. In addition to being a major part of the Earth’s crust, Silicate minerals have also been found on the moon and in meteorites. Silicates are minerals which contain the elements Silicon (a light gray shiny metal) and Oxygen (a colorless gas). Together, these two elements form a tetrahedron – a shape similar to a pyramid – with a Silicon atom in the center and Oxygen atoms at each of the four corners. These tetrahedra connect with other chemical structures, in six different ways, to form various minerals and rocks. There are six main groups of Silicate minerals. Sugilite belongs to the Cyclosilicate group. Cyclo means circle and all the minerals in this family form closed rings of tetrahedras.
Sugilite is typically formed in metamorphosed Manganese deposits and sometimes in marble. It is usually granular, but on rare occasions does form small prismatic crystals. The vivid purple or pink coloring is from the Manganese.
Sugilite’s energy works well with its “friends” – crystal associates formed in the same geological environment. Try it in combination with Hematite
What are the other colors in Sugilite tumbled stones?
Pure Sugilite from South Africa is a vivid purple color and the best pieces are reserved for the fine gemstone industry. Tumbled Sugilite is more likely to be seen intergrown with other minerals, especially black Manangese in which it grows. It’s also not uncommon to see mattering of cherry red Inesite.
Pink, purple, or brownish-yellow
Hardness – Mohs Scale
Translucent to opaque
History of Sugilite
Sugilite was first identified in the 2oth century, and so is not included in any of the older lapidaries, texts that describe gemstones and their powers. While the most valuable pieces are a vivid purple, it was originally described as being yellow in color. Despite being very popular among collectors, Sugilite’s name is often mispronounced. The “g” should be pronounced with a “g” like “geese” rather than a hard “g” like “genie.”
Sugilite was originally discovered in southern Japan in 1944 near the small village of Iwangi. The mineral was sent to the geology department of the nearby University of Kyushu. Since it was found in metamorphic rock, it was studied by the resident expert in that field, Professor Ken-ichi Sugi (1901-1948) who determined it was a brand-new mineral. While elsewhere, people were focused on the war, Sugi spent his time during this period building classrooms for the university and studying rocks. When he studied the new mineral, the professor had already started to suffer from tuberculous which claimed his life a few years later. In the early 1950s, his colleagues published his works in his memory. It is not clear exactly when Sugilite was named, but it seems likely that it was named in tribute to his memory. The Japanese Sugilites were of the brown-yellow variety and received very little attention.
In the early 1970s, a vivid purple stone was found in the newly-established Wessels manganese mine in the Kalahari Desert of South Africa. Randy Polk, a jeweler who specializes in rare gemstones, brought this purple gem to market and gave it the trade name of Lavulite. In 1976, it was determined that the yellow-brown stones in Japan and the purple stones in South Africa were in fact the same stone! At this point the original name, Sugilite, became the official name. However, some sellers continue to use the other names, even when referring to Sugilite found outside of Africa. Purple Sugilite has been very popular since the 1980s and is considered one of the “New Age Stones” that represent the current Age of Aquarius.
Julie Abouzelof is the owner of Moonrise Crystals and an advocate for responsibly sourced gems and minerals. Her first career was in education teaching history, geology and anthropology, as well as working with special-needs students. She is now a heart-centered entrepreneur who encourages mindfulness and positive action to heal ourselves and the world. Julie lives in Hawaii with her lover and a little parrot named Darwin.