Masai sunstone captivates attention with its distinctive shimmer. Delicate, glittering crystals pepper the body of this gem producing a sparkle resembling brilliant confetti.
Sunstone also goes by the name Heliolite, from the Greek "helios" meaning sun and "lithos" meaning stone. A member of the feldspar family of minerals, this gem formed from volcanic lava flows and has close ties with the popular moonstone. Sunstone retails under different trade names, including illusion sunstone, tanzasun and Masai sunstone. In 2000, a young Masai warrior from the Kenya and Tanzania border region discovered a sunstone deposit near Arusha in northern Tanzania. The large flakes of bright red and orange hematite in the stone mirror the brightly colored garments worn by the semi-nomadic Masai tribe.
Sri Lanka and the U.S. state of Oregon are two major sources of sunstones. Tanzania is the sole source for the brilliant Masai sunstone. This all natural stone receives no form of treatment to bring out its brilliance.
Unfortunately, supply of this stone has dried up and Tanzania now holds only a minor reserve on this gem. We purchased Masai sunstone from a private collection shortly after its discovery in 2000, allowing us to share this beautiful gem with the public today.