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Gem Quiz

A Gemstone with a Beauty in Search of a Name 

But it often arrives in a beautiful royal purple.

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INSTORE June Gem Quiz

FIRST DISCOVERED IN southern Japan in 1944, it wasn’t until 1979 — deep under the Kalahari Desert — that I was found in a form and quantity suitable to support jewelry manufacturing. There was a problem, however — my name, which suggests an artificial coffee sweetener. Over the next two decades, I was variously marketed as luvulite, wesselite, cybeline, royal azel and royal lavulite. All those “royals” are a tribute to my often-luscious purple, deep enough that I could have proudly adorned an ambitious Roman noble’s toga. Alas, I never reached great gemological heights and have wallowed mostly in cabochon class. It’s true, I don’t facet well, but, oh, for a name that might have caught on …

Who am I?

Chris Burslem is Group Managing Editor at SmartWork Media.

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