In 1962, a miner named Sid Pieters found a large stone near a farm in Outjo in north-central Namibia. The stone was covered with limestone and quite heavy, so he took it back to Windhoek, the largest city in Namibia, where he cut it open. Inside he found something that he had never seen before. He described his find in the mineral records of Britain in 1964, and named the mineral “Pietersite.”
Namibian Pietersite is found inside river cobbles or large stones buried in the sand. No one knows where the mineral actually comes from, but it has been mined by digging down into river sand, sometimes more than 2 meters (6 feet) below the surface, to excavate the cobbles.
One of the amazing features of Pietersite is its chatoyance, which means that it changes colors and brightness when you change your angle of viewing. Dull browns can become bright yellows, reds, or blues, sometimes looking like an abstract painting with bands and swirls of different colors.
This chatoyance is a result of the mineral structure of Pietersite. It is brecciated, which means that there are broken fragments of other minerals jumbled up and folded inside a matrix of some kind of material, in this case quartz. Think of a lot of chocolate chips inside a matrix of dough, and you will have the concept of brecciated.
This brecciated structure can contain the minerals crocidolite, dolomite, barite, and pyrite as microcrystalline fibers and inclusions in the Namibian Pietersite.
It is a relatively hard mineral, with a Mohs hardness of 6.5-7.0.
Other than the source in Namibia, Pietersite has also been found in China, and Chinese Pietersite has been on the market since 1997. However, the Chinese Pietersite is different from the Namibian, in that it contains more hematite and has more reds and blues than the Namibian one.
In either location, Pietersite is quite scarce. The Namibian mining operation is said to cover just 10 acres, and the Chinese mine is rumored to have been shut down. As a result, Pietersite prices continue to skyrocket as the demand often exceeds the supply.
From a metaphysical standpoint, Pietersite is said to have a lot of properties. It is said to encourage clarity of thought and intuition. It is also said to stimulate the third eye, leading to an awareness of the future, and it is said that its use in meditation can sometimes lead to blissful enlightenment. Some metaphysical theoreticians call Pietersite the “Tempest Stone,” because like a storm, it is said to bring cleansing energy to create change.
We have a selection of top-quality Pietersite on our website, Heart of Stone Studio.