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.
- Viking explorers would use sunstone as a nautical navigation tool because of its ability to amplify and reflect light from the sun, even on overcast days. Today the sunstone continues to be associated with bringing safety to travelers.
- Sunstone encourages good humor, cheerfulness and a good temper, while it drives away fear and phobias.
- Sunstone imparts the strength and energy needed to undertake projects and tasks. It can help increase vitality when beginning a fitness program.
- Crystal healers use sunstone to warm the body, stimulating metabolism and digestion. It may also be used to treat chronic throat ailments and stomach ulcers.
- Wear sunstone and moonstone pieces together to bring the influences of the sun and moon into harmony.
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.
- Ranks 6.5 to 7.2 on the Mohs hardness scale.
- Colors include clear, champagne, yellow, light salmon, orange, and occasional red or blue-green.
- Sourced from Tanzania.
- Member of the feldspar family.
- Also known as adventurine feldspar or heliolite.
- Associated with the zodiac sign of Leo.