Sugilite is a very rare purple cyclosilicate mineral that was named after the Japanese petrologist, Ken-ichi Sugi, who first identified it in 1944 in the Iwagi Islet. This gemstone gets its attractive purple color from traces of manganese, and it can range in color from pinkish-purple to deep bluish-purple.
A significant deposit of gem-quality material was discovered in 1979 at a manganese mine in the Kalahari Desert of South Africa. Since then, additional deposits have been discovered, but since these are small and fairly deep under the earth’s surface, it remains a rare gem.
Since sugilite was only discovered in the 20th century, there are no known historical meanings associated with the gem.