Stichtite is purple, purplish pink to purplish red hydrated magnesium chromium carbonate first discovered at Dundas, Tasmania, Australia. It is most often found as spots or veins in serpentine. It is formed when the chromite in the serpentine alters after the introduction of a fluid. The purple stichtite often radiates out from black chromite crystals in the serpentine. Stichtite is a polytype of barbertonite. It gets its color from chromium. It is most often opaque with a pearly or greasy luster. Tasmania is the only commercial source, but it can be found in other locations around the world. Notable specimens come from South Africa and the Russian Federation. It is used for cabochons and decorative objects.
- Optical Properties
- Characteristic Physical Properties
- Chemistry & Crystallography
Countries of Origin
Russian Federation; Czechia; United States of America; Kazakhstan; United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; India; New Zealand; Canada; Austria; Morocco; Swaziland; Brazil; Mexico; South Africa; Zimbabwe; Australia
Stichtite was found at Dundas, Tasmania, Australia in 1891 but it was thought to be Kämmererite until 1909. A.S. Wesley, the chief chemist with the Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company, determined that it was a new mineral after chemical analysis. It was named after metallurgist Robert C. Sticht, the General Manager of the Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company, Tasmania, Australia, in honor of his help with the catalogue of the “Minerals of Tasmania”. Major commercial mining ceased at the Dundus mine in the late 1930’s and it is now family owned mine site.
Stichtite is very soft, so be mindful of scratching. Avoid sudden temperature changes, chemicals, and ultrasonic cleaners. Soluble in acid. Requires gentle handling.