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Hypersthene (variety Bronzite) Slabs from Brazil
Bronzite is the iron rich form of hypersthene with a Moh’s hardness of 5 to 6. It contains chatoyant bronze-colored spangles and metallic areas that make it a very interesting and unique stone. Some people call bronzite a poor man’s pietersite, but it is a fine material in its own right.
Because of the varying hardness of the crystaline formations and metallic areas, bronzite can be a challenge to cut. It must be sanded with fine grits to avoid tearout and care must be taken to avoid undercutting. The careful cutter will be rewarded with unusual and beautiful cabochons. Bronzite polishes with tin oxide or diamond.