Sunstone Discovery in Mexico

Sunstone Discovered in Mexico

One of the more exciting developments in the mining game this year is the discovery of a new Sunstone deposit in Mexico.

Located by Ruben Valenzuela in the State of Sinaloa, this new copper-bearing Sunstone from the Aztecsun mine shows both similarities and differences to the material from Oregon.

aztecsun sunstone mine

In the numerous specimens that I’ve tested, the Refractive Index seems to average about 0.01 less than the Oregon material.

The crystal structure is certainly triclinic, as shown in the beautiful large specimen-on-matrix below.

aztecsun sunstone mine

The external surfaces of most roughs display the typical features of gem Feldspar, including the telltale signs of transformational twinning.

aztecsun sunstone mine

Some of the crystals found here are quite large, as shown by this specimen on matrix.

The new discovery is very unique because it contains copper schiller, much like that found in Oregon stones, and so far in a pattern that we would describe as “snow-flake schiller”, for the relatively even distribution within the stones.

aztecsun sunstone mine

This photo shows copper schiller in a faceted stone.

aztecsun sunstone mine

This oval faceted stone weighing 10.45 carats shows copper schiller that is very similar in appearance and beauty to the Sunstone from Oregon.

aztecsun sunstone mine

This rough, weighing 80.5 carats, shows a nice copper schiller,
and will be great for carving.

aztecsun sunstone mine

Another very exciting feature of the Mexican find is the average size of the stones. This rough weighs 275 carats – and we have reports of stones as big as 550 carats.

aztecsun sunstone mine

Larger-size stones are being produced in quantity at the Aztecsun,
as shown in this photograph of recent production.

aztecsun sunstone mine

Something else that I’ve never seen in gem feldspar is the beautiful smoky-quartz color, shown here in a 50.6-carat specimen. This coloration is appearing in a significant percentage of the material from production.

aztecsun sunstone mine

Adding to the unique characteristics of the material from Aztecsun mine are hollow tube-like voids within many of the crystals. We’ve seen these kinds of intrusions in the Oregon material, but usually more seldom, and usually isolated or in small numbers.

However, some pieces from the new find are completely shot-through with these fascinating features that vary in size from almost hair-like to over a millimeter in diameter.

aztecsun sunstone mine

This 26.6-carat native-cut specimen displays the smoky color quite nicely – along with some of the black inclusions that appear to be more common in the new find than in the Oregon material.

aztecsun sunstone mine

One of the most exciting features of the Aztecsun material is the size and availability of coveted “silver schiller” effect stones. We find some material exhibiting this appearance in Oregon, but they are usually smaller, less intense, and quite rare.

aztecsun sunstone mine

This 13.5-carat native-cut gem was fashioned from a rough that looked similar to the one immediately above. The shimmering effect is very silver with a blue tint.

aztecsun sunstone mine

A few pieces of this material have been found with such intense
shimmering features that they seem to glow with thier own light.

aztecsun sunstone mine

This is the cabochon cut from that rough, but it seems impossible
to get a photo that does it justice. The thing just glows from all around.

aztecsun sunstone mine

There are two additional minerals being recovered from the
Aztecsun, including this as-yet unidentified intense green gemstone.

aztecsun sunstone mine

The other as-yet unknown mineral is a grey metallic substance that forms in pretty octahedrals, most of which display some melting. The surfaces of many
of these pieces display an iridescent sheen.

Keep an eye out here – or sign-up for my free newsletter – for continuing updates from the Aztecsun regarding production, new material – and availability of both rough and cut gemstones from this exciting new find. At this time, we expect production from
this mine to be available through two authorized dealers at Tucson…

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5 Responses to Sunstone Discovery in Mexico

  1. Dave Sandersfeld says:

    Please add me to newsletter!

    • John Bailey says:

      Hi, Dave,

      I can’t add you manually. You’ll want to go to the sign-up at the top of the page and put your information in there. Then, make sure you confirm your subscription and mark the mail so it won’t filter to junk.

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  2. Forrest Cottrell says:

    I am interested in the stones, particularly the as yet unidentified listed on facetingacademy.com. I am also keen to know more about the geology of the region of the mine.
    thanks,
    Forrest

  3. Patricia Miklik says:

    please sign me up for your news letter! i’ve enjoyed your information immensely!
    happy holidays!

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