Calsilica - Is it Natural?? Is it Man-made?? Does it Really Matter??

Published: 09th January 2009
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So what is calsilica and where does it come from? Rainbow Calsilica is a synthetic stone that is manufactured from a mixture of calcite, plastic and artificial coloring pigments. The different colored bands through Rainbow Calsilica are powdered carbonate rock artificially colored and then stabilized with plastic. The bands of color can come in any color. Despite being a synthetic stone, Rainbow Calsilica has been increasing in demand for fashion jewellery. Although many claim that calsilica (or "rainbow calsilica" as it is sometimes called), is a naturally occurring material, there is little evidence to support this claim. The most persistent claim (and it still persists today!) was that calsilica was mined in Chihuahua, Mexico. Calsilica was allegedly discovered in the veins or seams of the volcanic rhyolite in the mine.




Calsilica was thought to be a form of microcrystalline calcite, with various clay minerals as the bonding agents. Supposedly, the mine in Mexico would send out letters of authentication and photographs of the mine. Now there are rumors of a spectacular deposit of natural calsilica in China. In 2003, the Swiss Gemological Institute ( www.SSEF.ch ) published a brief note on calsilica in one of their newsletters. SSEF purchased two specimens at a mineral show in France in 2002. The original Geologist who did a scanning electron microprobe study of an untreated piece with rhyolite matrix attached, maintains that it is a natural stone and he could not detect anything that would suggest this is man made. GIA has published an article in Gems and Gemology stating that they tested a treated piece obtained in France, using Raman Laser Spectroscopy and it was found that the blue and yellow colors matched a man made pigment. They also said it had polymer and a paraffin-like substance.




When calsilica first appeared on the fashion jewelry scene several years ago, it made quite a splash! With its bright, vivid, and varied colors, it is not hard to understand why calsilica captured the imagination of jewelry designer as well as jewelry wearers alike. Calsilica earrings, silver pendants, rings, and other items were often the stars at gem and jewelry shows. So this mysterious and dazzling new stone that we have come to know as Rainbow Calsilica, cannot conclusively be confirmed as being 100% natural, yet it is certainly captivating many peoples attention and is full of energy and excitement, so does it really matter whether it is 100% natural or not?

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