Sulfur Value, Price, and Jewelry Information


sulfur - Russia
“Sulfur,” Vodinskoye, Samara Oblast, Russia. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

Sulfur has no use as a gem. It is so heat sensitive that a crystal held in the hand may crack due to thermal shock. A crystal dropped from a height of several inches would most likely chip or crack—not ideal properties for jewelry stones! Cutting sulfur is enormously difficult, but the challenge has been met by cutters who have succeeded in fashioning stones of small size. Facetable sulfur is actually not very common, so cut gems do have some scarcity value.

Sulfur Value

The International Gem Society (IGS) has a list of businesses offering gemstone appraisal services.

Sulfur Information

DataValue
NameSulfur
Crystallography Orthorhombic. Crystals tabular and pyramidal. often well formed; massive; powdery.
Colors Yellow, yellowish brown, yellowish gray, reddish, greenish.
Luster Resinous to greasy.
Fracture Fracture conchoidal. Sectile. Very brittle.
Hardness 1.5-2.5.
Specific Gravity 2.05-2.09
Birefringence 0.291.
Cleavage Imperfect.
Dispersion 0.155.
Stone SizesTransparent crystals exist that could yield stones over 50 carats, but these are specimens and not for cutting. Broken crystals have occasionally been faceted.
Luminescence None.
Spectral Not diagnostic.
FormulaS + Se.
Pleochroism Distinct in shades of yellow.

Optics: a=1.958; β=2.038; γ=2.245. Biaxial (+),  2V= 68°.

Alpha modification.

Streak: White.

Occurrence: Sulfur is usually in combination with metals as sulfides; it occurs in native form in volcanic and hot spring areas (deposited from vapor); sedimentary rocks, and in huge quantities at salt domes.

Wyoming; Nevada; California.

Chile; Mexico.

Girgenti, Sicily; fine, large crystals.

Cianciana, Sicily: good crystals.

Louisiana and Texas: salt domes.

Comments: Sulfur has no use as a gem. It is so heat sensitive that a crystal held in the hand may crack due to thermal shock. A crystal dropped from a height of several inches would most likely chip or crack—not ideal properties for jewelry stones! Cutting sulfur is enormously difficult, but the challenge has been met by cutters who have succeeded in fashioning stones of small size. Facetable sulfur is actually not very common, so cut gems do have some scarcity value.

Name: An ancient name for this mineral.