Stone Story: Pietersite
Pietersite is my very favorite gemstone, hands down. The colors range from deep red to deep blue, with golden yellow in between. It's chatoyant, like tigers eye, but instead of that shimmer showing in a single band, the glassy fibers that make pietersite shimmery clash with each other in patches and bundles. If you look at pietersite from one direction, this portion over here might shimmer, but if you look from a different angle, a different patch entirely shimmers. Pietersite cabs look to me like lightning storms, or wildfires, or nebulae, or wild Van Gogh paintings. Pietersite is a fairly durable stone, registering 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale (quartz crystal is usually about a 7). It's a joy and a delight to work with, truly, and is excellent for long-lasting jewelry.
Pietersite is fairly rare; it's currently only produced in one location in Namibia. It was once mined in China as well, but all Chinese pietersite mines appear to be closed now. It was discovered in 1962 by Sid Pieters while he was looking for some farmland in Africa. Most pietersite on the market comes from a single mine, Hopewell Farm, in the Outjo District in Namibia.
If you're into the metaphysical beliefs surrounding gemstones, pietersite is really interesting. Because it looks so much like a wild desert storm, it's thought to ground people during times of chaos and turmoil. The primary colors in pietersite are associated with calm spirituality (blue), with intellect (yellow), and with passion (red), so its energy can be associated with a wide range of human experience. It's also thought to heighten intuitive capabilites and to boost self-esteem.