Sugilite is a moderately scarce, mainly translucent, pinkish purple mineral type named cyclosilicate. It is also cited as lavulite, luvulite, and royal azel by mineral and gem collectors. Its compound chemical formula is KNa 2 (Fe, Mn, Al) 2 Li 3 Si 12 O 30.
Sugilite solidifies into a honeycomb like structure of crystal prisms. These formations are usually enormous, and quite rare. It has a Mohs hardness of 5.5 to 6.5 and a distinct gravity of 2.75 to 2.80.
In 1944, the Japanese petrologist Ken-ici Sugi (1901-1948) became the first to chronicle sugilite, from a formation in Iwagi Islet, Japan. It was located in an aegirine syenite intrusion.
Sugilite has been discovered in a similar climate in Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada. Formations have since been revealed in India, Italy, and Australia.
It is also mined from a deposit of strata-bound manganese in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.
Note: The mineral is often mis-pronounced with a soft “g”, as in “gem”. However, as with many minerals, it was intended to be pronounced the same as the person whom it is named after; in this case, the name Sugi has a hard “g”, as in “goat”.