Thursday, July 10, 2008

Maw Sit Sit vs Jadeite and Malachite

Some of the the confusion between jadeite and maw sit sit has to do with the fact that both stones are mined in the same area. For a long time, many assumed that maw sit sit was just a variety of the jade. It wasn't until gemologist Eduard Gubelin studied the stones that it was determined that they are, in fact, two separate gemstones.

Maw sit sit also has a resemblance to another stone,-- malachite. But whereas malachite has white striations running throughout, maw sit sit's are deeper shades of green and black. It can also exhibit spots of the same colors or even a combination of veins and mottling.

Maw sit sit is rare and isn't easy to find, primarily because it is currently found only in that single location of Burma. Because it is so rare, it is a popular gem among collectors but is not readily available through most jewelers. Because the gem is rare, it is typically set into gold rather than silver. It looks beautiful in either metal color, which explains why a few collectors have also had stones set into platinum. The gemstone is never faceted, but generally cabochon cut or cut into beads. Faceting would destroy the beautiful banding of the stone and detract from is natural glass-like texture.