Feature Gems & Gemology, Winter 2010, Volume 46, No. 4

A Microstructural Study of Pietersite from Namibia and China


Pietersite has been described as a brecciated variety of tiger’s-eye. This study examined pietersite specimens from Namibia and China (the main sources) using powder X-ray diffraction, optical microscopy, environmental scanning electron microscopy, and conventional gemological methods. On the basis of the results, quantitative approaches were developed to distinguish pietersite samples from the two localities. It is also proposed that the petrogenesis of this gem material is quite different from that of South African tiger’s-eye.