Diaspore, Zultanite, and Csarite – Are They the Same?

There’s a lot of confusion surrounding Zultanite, Csarite and Diaspore, three gemstone names that are often used interchangeably even though they have differences. The confusion arises from the fact that Zultanite and Csarite are varieties of diaspore, but not many people know this.

So what’s the difference between these three? Should I buy Zultanite or Diaspore? Let’s take a look at Diaspore, Zultanite and Csarite, how they’re the same and how they’re different.

What is Diaspore?

gold zultanite ring with cz
Diaspore ring. See this here.

Diaspore is a unique gemstone known for its color changing properties. It was discovered in Russia in 1801, which makes it a relatively recent find. The name diaspore comes from the Greek for diaspora, which means to scatter or spread, a reference to the gemstone’s ability to disperse light in all directions.

Diaspore is an aluminium oxide hydroxide mineral and gem quality specimens are extremely rare. Most diaspore mined today comes from Russia, China, Brazil, Argentina, New Zealand, the US, and Turkey (more on Turkey later).

Diaspore Color

pink diaspore color change gemstone
Color changing Diaspore. See this here.

Diaspore’s color changing properties is unique and makes it quite rare. When viewed under fluorescent light, diaspore appears yellowish green in color, but when the light is incandescent, the gemstone exhibits a purplish pink color. This makes diaspore jewelry perfect for any occasion, whether night or day. Larger stones tend to have more contrasting color changes.

Diaspore’s colors also match well with any metal color, especially rose gold and yellow gold for a sophisticated, classy look, while white metals give the gemstone a modern, trendy appearance.

Diaspore Clarity

Most diaspore is of excellent clarity and has high transparency, but sometimes the gemstone can have minor, natural inclusions. This is one way to tell diaspore apart from synthetic or imitation material.

Diaspore Cut and Durability

Diaspore ranks 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, making it durable enough for regular wear. However, it’s not a very tough stone, because of its perfect cleavage and can fracture clean along its cleavage lines.

This is why cutting diaspore is a tricky business and has to be done by a skilled gemstone cutter. Diaspore’s beauty lies in its color change and brilliance, two aspects which are clearly visible when well faceted.

What are Csarite and Zultanite?

Diaspore Stone Ring
Diaspore Stone Ring. Check price here.

To put it simply, there’s no difference between Csarite, Zultanite, and diaspore. Csarite and Zultanite are trade names, while diaspore is the gemological name. Why two trade names, we hear you ask?

It comes down to experimenting with branding. Diaspore that comes from a specific mine in the southwest of Turkey’s Anatolian mountains is known as either Zultanite and Csarite. The mine was owned by a businessman who initially branded the gemstone Zultanite. He later sold the mine, but as the name didn’t seem to catch on, it was rebranded as Csarite by the next owner of the mine. Today, both names are used for the gemstone.

The diaspore that comes from this Turkish mine is of excellent quality, with distinctive color changing properties. Unlike most other diaspore, this variety clearly exhibits three colors at a time. While diaspore has been around for over 200 years, Zultanite/Csarite was sold for the first time in 2006.

So, Zultanite and Csarite are only brand names for Turkish diaspore. Both Zultanite and Csarite are references to the rulers of Turkey (czar and zultan both mean ruler or sovereign).

But What Makes Zultanite/Csarite Better than Most Diaspore?

Cushion Cut Diaspore Ring
Cushion Cut Diaspore Ring. Check price here.

Zultanite and Csarite are the highest, gem-quality variety of diaspore. Because they’re brand names, they have a touch of prestige and luxury about them. While it might all seem like some marketing gimmick, there’s actually some big plus sides to buying Zultanite or Csarite.

  1. You know exactly where the Zultanite came from. It can be traced back to a single mine in Turkey.
  2. Not every stone can be called a Zultanite or Csarite. These names are reserved only for the very best in quality, with the diaspore showing excellent cut, color and clarity. These stones are natural, untreated and unenhanced in anyway.
  3. You can’t find Zultanite and Csarite everywhere as they’re only available from licensed distributors. So while diaspore is readily available, Zultanite and Csarite aren’t.
  4. Diaspore is very difficult to cut and facet, due to its perfect cleavage that can cause the stone to easily fracture. However, Zultanite stones are beautifully faceted and cut.

Many retailers who sell Zultanite market it as a rare gemstone only found in one place in the world. This is technically true because Zultanite is a single mine gemstone, coming only from Turkey, and this mine does produce some of the best diaspore in the world.

The benefit of buying Zultanite is that you know you’ll be getting a high-quality, extremely rare gemstone, with stunning color changing ability. However, always check that the stone is, in fact, Zultanite or Csarite and not an overpriced diaspore.

Watch Out for Glass!

zultanite necklace on a woman's neck
Oval Cut Zultanite Necklace. Check price here.

Because high quality diaspore is highly valuable, there are imitations on the market that mimic the gemstone’s color changing properties. These glass imitations change color according to the light its viewed under, exactly like Zultanite. Telling such glass imitations apart from Zultanite is almost impossible without specialist tools. This is why it’s important to purchase from trusted sources to avoid getting ripped off.

Where to Buy Diaspore or Zultanite?

To buy Zultanite or Csarite, it’s best to go direct to the source or purchase from a licensed seller. They should provide you with certification authenticating the stone and identifying its origins.

For diaspore, you can search on any specialist gemstone shop. Note that high quality specimens are rare, and you’ll have to do your due diligence to find a good piece. Quality diaspore is valuable and can fetch high prices. Always purchase from a trusted source and ask about the origins of the stone as well as for certification. If the store is selling the gemstone as Zultanite or Csarite, they should be able to back this up with certification.

You can also search on Etsy or Amazon for a range of diaspore jewelry at good prices. You may also be able to find pre-owned Zultanite or Csarite jewelry on offer here.

Ready to browse? Click here to search for diaspore jewelry.

Wrapping Up

So there you have it. Three names, one stone but varying qualities. High-quality diaspore is a gorgeous gemstone for any jewelry, and suits both masculine and feminine designs. If you’re looking for a lesser known gemstone, then this one is sure to tick all the boxes.

Dani Rhys

Dani Rhys has worked as a writer and editor for over 15 years in the jewelry niche. She holds a Masters degree in Linguistics and Education. She has always been interested in expression through fashion and accessories, and her extensive experience in the field has made her a respected voice in jewelry trends and education. As the chief editor of Jewelry Shopping Guide, she not only leads the content strategy but also shares her insights through engaging articles. Her passion for storytelling is reflected in every piece she curates, exploring the intricate relationship between jewelry and personal identity.

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