This wonderful stone (pronounced si-lah'-mi-lane) is a type of manganese ore. It has the look of shiny dark hematite, but with beautiful banded patterns of pure black. It is very messy and dirty to cut, and most stone cutters shy away from it, so finding such lovely pieces is pretty rare. But we're lucky because lapidarist Pat Ruhnke is still willing to bring beauty out of the mess. I edited the photos of these pieces so as to show off their patterning, but in person, they are patent-leather black with silvery black stripes and swirls. Note: This stone is comparatively soft--Not useable for rings or heavy-wear bracelets.
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