Another Sugilite Mystery - Black Sugilite?

Recently purchased this pendant online as “New Old Stock” and listed as Sugilite and said to be from the 80s, hallmarked FT. I was really excited to get it as I had also gotten a Sugilite cuff from them which I had posted here a little while back. This was a really nice dark color and I got it at a steal for it being Sugilite. However, when I got it, it looked totally black, even outside in the sunshine. I wrote the vendor and asked if they possibly made a mistake before I take it to my jeweler for testing and was told he didn’t remember the piece well enough to say, but assured me that he had a lot of faith in their gemologist. Incidentally, they do take returns without any hesitation. Today I took it into a jeweler here in PA, now remember, there is basically zero market here for Native American jewelry. I was told that to test it correctly, they would have to take it out of the setting, something neither they nor I were comfortable with and after some discussion the one jeweler man had lots of doubt of it being Sugilite even though he did look on his computer and see that Sugilite does apparently come in black!?! Who knew? (Surely not me!) He thought it was more likely onyx or jet. I truly have no reason to doubt the jewelers I purchased this from, yet I do have a bit of apprehension. Now I can say, I’ve had just one or two pieces of gold jewelry with black onyx and I don’t recall those pieces of onyx having what this appears to have is an almost translucent sheen to it. I mean in the sun, I could see the reflection of the sky in this stone. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that in a piece of onyx and I’m not sure if that’s possible with onyx or not. So, here I am again, coming to all my more experienced, more knowledgeable people, asking your opinions and thoughts on what I might have here? I tried to take a few pics from different angles. Please let me know your thoughts!




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The internet can say a lot of things that are ultimately marketing language versus gemological fact, so turning up something random online stating it’s sugilite but also totally black is not too reliable. Only gemological analysis, or a highly reputable gem website, or hard, firm provenance can establish that something like this is sugilite.

To me the issue is what you want to own, and whether this meets that requirement. If you meant to buy something with sugilite’s normal properties, then what you got is not that–it’s not purple to the eye, at all. That’s the beauty, and value, of sugilite.

I’m highly skeptical, and of course it wouldn’t be a bargain if it really is something else like onyx or agate or whatever.

For me it would be a return.

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Go to Reddit and post this in their what’sthisrock. Forum. They can probably answer if it is black sugiite or something else.

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I think most people think purple when thinking about sugilite, if you want purple take it back. Aside from that, and I am by no means anywhere close to a NA jewelry expert - but does that pendant look like NA jewelry? Hallmarks are very common, almost every jewelry maker I know, including myself hallmark our work either with a custom stamp, common alphanumeric stamps or with a rotary tool.

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@Khmetalwork I don’t think Tess necessarily meant that this is NA jewelry, though she did refer to it, so it was ambiguous.
Anyway, the bezel and pendant don’t necessarily look like Native silverwork, but perhaps they are. At first glance I kind of misinterpreted the bezel because of how close her (unrelated) ring was in the picture, lol.

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Oh, I misunderstood her - I thought she thought they were NA because she brought NA jewelry prices where she lives. Mea culpa

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I would say it does look Native American made, and I can say the vendor I purchased it from has pages upon pages of several thousand pieces of Native made pieces for sale.

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Well I did, now I am really getting confused!

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You know your dealer, so that’s a plus. In the wild I would certainly wonder about its origins.

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I understand completely.

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Can you get a photo without sky reflections?
There are a number of black rocks that are used for jewelry.

A photo of the hallmark would also help. Some artists have a pattern of only using certain stones.

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It is impossible, I think, to get a pic with out a reflection! I tried to walk into a darker room to take this last pic.



I was looking through the Bille Hougart book for the hallmark and of the FTs listed, the only one I thought it might be was possibly Fritzen Toledo. Book says he was active since the 70s, but his hallmark was usually a conjoined FT, so I don’t know.

Is the stone translucent?

That’s a really hard question to answer! I kind of feel like it is, but with the silver backing on it and it being so reflective, it’s hard for me to say for sure.

gotta little flashlight?

Just doesn’t look like sugilite. At all. Even the stuff I saw online that was really dark still had a purple cast. :person_shrugging:

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Yes I have a small flashlight. What do I do with it and what am I looking for specifically?

I’ve been told by Biih Tsiiyupovi that sugilite does come in black that it’s the host rock.

People don’t normally make, collect, or wear cabs of host rock. Surely we can recognize that it doesn’t look like sugilite.

The translucency/glassy property makes me hope it isn’t glass. Or the like.

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