Zincite Gemstone: Properties, Meanings & Value Info Guide

zincite gemstoneZincite is a zinc oxide gemstone with autumn hues. Natural, gem-quality crystals are almost exclusively from America, specifically the state of New Jersey. Most zincite gemstones on the market are synthetic, as natural crystals are tiny and scarce. 

Is zincite a rare mineral? Natural zincite is very rare, with the exception of New Jersey deposits. It’s also hard to cut into gems, so faceted zincites are among the rarest finds. Luckily for shoppers, synthetic zincite has opened up a broader market for this gorgeous stone. 

What color is zincite? Its pure form is colorless, but these are rare. Zincite is known for its distinct bright orange or deep red hue, though zincite can also display other autumn shades like yellow to brown and, on rare occasions, green.

Itching to find out more? Come along and discover all the zincite gemstone meanings, healing properties, uses, and more!

zincite gemstone

About Zincite Stone

Zincite is a semi-precious gemstone with unique qualities. Astrologically, it’s a zodiac stone for Libra and Taurus. Fascinatingly, zincite is also a lunar mineral, brought back in 1976 by the Soviet Union’s Luna 24 probe in their last moon mission.

This mineral has had numerous names over time, such as:

  • Red zinc ore/oxide

  • Red oxide of zinc

  • Calcozincite

  • Sterlingite/Stirlingite

  • Spartalite

  • Apartalite

  • Ancramite

  • Brucite

  • Ruby zinc

Zincite often resembles the zinc sulfide gemstone sphalerite, and you may recognize the term “ruby zinc” as a common sphalerite nickname. However, “ruby zinc” is also a local New Jersey nickname for zincite.

Sphalerite is also the most significant zinc ore, but is zincite an ore of zinc? Yep! And that’s just one of its many uses outside the gem world. 

Zincite Uses

Zincite from Franklin, New Jersey, is a minor ore of refined zinc oxide. Despite being the most zinc-rich mineral at the mine, it’s the least common. 

Another use is in sunscreen. Among the 17 FDA-approved sunscreen ingredients, zincite is special — it blocks all UV-rays (harmful UVA and UVB included) and it won’t harm sensitive skin. The best percentage of zincite is 10-25 percent.

Lastly, zincite crystals (natural and synthetic) were used historically as semiconductor detectors in crystal radios to restore or identify radio signals. 

From a mineral standpoint, what is zincite made of? 

Zincite Specifications & Characteristics

The pure zincite formula is ZnO, but manganese impurities are so common, the formula is often given as ZnO + Mn. In fact, zincite can be 1-7 percent manganese oxide. Iron impurities are also common.

Zincite crystals are hemimorphic, meaning the ends have different crystalline forms, often one pointed and one flattened. The small crystals also have pyramidal faces (flat sides) with horizontal striation lines (parallel, indented grooves). They can also be distorted or corroded.

Crystals are rare, so you’ll typically see zincite in a granular or foliated, massive form. It can also form as druzy with a rough surface and often an etched texture. 

What are the properties of zincite? Find them all below:

  • Mohs hardness: 4-4.5

  • Color: Typically deep red or bright orange; Can be colorless, yellow, brownish-red, or green

  • Crystal structure: Hexagonal

  • Luster: Sub-adamantine to adamantine (diamond-like) or resinous

  • Transparency: Transparent to opaque, usually translucent

  • Refractive index: 2.01-2.03 

  • Density: 5.64-5.69

  • Cleavage: Perfect 1-direction on [1010] but difficult; Basal parting on [0001]

  • Fracture: Conchoidal, subconchoidal, or uneven

  • Streak: Orange-yellow

  • Luminescence: Very rarely fluorescent - yellow in SW-UV; Some New Jersey material (mixed with other minerals) is fluorescent - yellow-green, yellow, yellow-orange, or orange in SW-UV

  • Pleochroism: Sometimes present but very weak, two shades of the body color

Wondering what minerals make some zincite fluorescent? Read on to find out!

willemite and calcite specimen fluorescent under uv lightPictured above: Willemite and calcite specimen under UV light

Types of Zincite: Synthetic & Mixed

Zincite doesn’t have varieties per se, but there are two notable kinds to know: synthetic zincite and zincite mixed with franklinite and calcite. 

We’ll discuss synthetic zincite more in-depth in the Gemstone Properties section.

While zincite is forming in Franklin, New Jersey (USA), it often mixes with franklinite, calcite, and/or willemite. Franklinite, willemite, and zincite are the mine’s most significant zinc-bearing materials. 

Here’s a refresher on the other three:

  • Franklinite: Opaque black zinc iron oxide, often with metallic luster

  • Calcite: White calcium carbonate with intense fluorescence in almost every color, sometimes multiple colors if the stone is banded

  • Willemite: Typically white or greenish-yellow zinc silicate with intense green fluorescence and sometimes strong phosphorescence

When zincite mixes with these minerals, it usually forms as a base of white calcite (matrix) with spots of franklinite and zincite. Sometimes these specimens also contain willemite. 

When we reference these stones in this guide, we’ll call it “mixed zincite.”

The most common form of zincite is in willemite or franklinite ore as intergranular crystals, meaning it’s wedged between two or more bigger, different crystals.

Mineral properties? Check. But what about zincite’s metaphysical properties?

zincite gemstone specimen multi-colored

Zincite Meaning & History

Zincite symbolizes restoration, resilience, and originality. It also represents friendship and the bond of working toward a shared purpose. 

The name “zincite” comes from its zinc composition. (Big shocker there, right?) The word “zinc” is likely derived from the German zink meaning “prong.” However, “zincite” was not the stone’s first name. 

The American mineralogist Archibald Bruce discovered zincite in New Jersey, USA, in 1810 and wrote the first mineral description. Bruce called the stone “red oxide of zinc.” Another American mineralogist, Francis Alger, dubbed the stone “sterlingite” in 1844. 

The “zincite” name came in 1845 from Austrian mineralogist Wilhelm Haidinger. Though other names came after — like “spartalite” in 1852 or “ruby zinc” in 1861 — the name “zincite” stuck. 

Over a century later in the 1980s, Poland unveiled a new, gem-quality synthetic zincite to the American market. The original creation was accidental, formed as a by-product of producing zinc oxide powder. Eventually, others replicated the process to bring more affordable zincite gem options to the market. 

In the crystal healing realm, what is zincite used for? 

red and yellow zincite gemstone raw crystal specimen

Zincite Healing Properties

Both natural and synthetic zincite crystals can be healing stones, with powers associated with their coloring. For instance, red zincite shares abilities with other red gemstones, like invigorating and strengthening the wearer. 

Meanwhile, orange gemstones like orange zincite are known for encouraging creativity and courage. These crystals are also chakra stones for the center of creativity, your solar plexus chakra, and the center of grounding, the root chakra. 

What about the physical and emotional zincite crystal benefits? 

Physical Healing

Like zincite crystal’s spiritual meaning, the stone’s purported healing abilities include restoring your strength and energy. Likewise, it’s also said to help you maintain an exercise regimen. 

Emotional Healing

Emotionally, zincite is believed to bring inner peace and balance emotions. Crystal healers recommend meditating with it to manifest your desires. 

This crystal can also help you find and embrace your unique purpose, then go after it fearlessly. Relationship-wise, zincite encourages healthy, genuine friendships.

Thinking of browsing for a healing zincite crystal for sale? Check out what value factors to look for next!

red zincite gemstone faceted master cut

Zincite Gemstone Properties

Besides looking at rarity, experts judge zincite’s value based on its color, cut, clarity, and carat weight. We’ll also discuss synthetic zincite below.


While orange or red are most common, zincite can also show varied shades like brownish-red, yellow-orange, and rarely, green. Yellow zincite is also rare, but displays the best dispersion (rainbow sparkle, or “fire”). 

Fine-grained zincite is typically lighter-colored, while those with microfractures typically show deeper (but dull) hues. Synthetic zincite can be any of natural zincite’s colors, though it’s usually bright-colored.

Natural zincite’s color comes from impurities of manganese, iron, or both. Nickel causes green coloring. The source of synthetic zincite’s color is unclear. Researchers at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) believe the color may come from internal-structure factors, not impurities. 


Low hardness and perfect cleavage make zincite hard to cut, so faceted zincite is extremely rare. Still, jewelers often choose radiant, square, or rectangular cushion faceted shapes

More often, it’s sold raw or cut as cabochons. The most visually appealing (and most common) cabochons are zincite mixed with franklinite, calcite, and willemite. 


Zincite’s clarity (the number of visible inclusions) is low, so most stones appear translucent or cloudy. Common inclusions in natural stones are black hetaerolite or franklinite.

In Polish synthetic zincite, researchers have seen interesting “tadpole-like” and oval-shaped inclusions. These are most likely soot and carbon gasses (carbon dioxide and methane) present during the manufacturing process. 

Carat Weight & Size

All known zincite crystals with good shape have only reached 4 in (~10 cm). Massive zincite, on the other hand, can reach multiple pounds. 

For cut material, most faceted zincites are 1-3 cts, though the largest reach 20 cts. New Jersey zincite cabochons can be nearly 300 cts. 


Most zincite gemstones are synthetic, meaning they’re man-made but share the same composition and structure as their natural counterparts. These crystals may be a zinc smelting by-product or intentionally lab-grown.

The inclusions inside synthetic zincite (discussed in the Clarity section) are more common for the by-product material than lab-grown material. The techniques used for lab-created zincite may be vapor deposition, hydrothermal, and Czochralski methods. 

light green zincite specimen rough crystal

Zincite Formation & Sources

Zincite can form in rocks as a primary mineral (formed while the rock formed) or a secondary mineral (formed later through weathering or alteration). 

Primary zincite forms in metamorphosed (altered) zinc ore bodies or limestone. Transformed zinc-rich ore deposits also contain secondary zincite in oxidized areas, formed from the oxidation of sulfide ores. 

Scientists aren’t entirely certain about the exact zincite formation process in New Jersey. Many concur that primary zincite forms when a carbonate rock containing zinc, manganese, and iron undergoes decarbonation (alteration from high temperatures and pressure). 

Some believe secondary zincite forms when willemite undergoes serpentinization (low-temperature alteration from chemical reactions).

All that said, where can zincite be found?

Mining Locations

As you know, New Jersey (USA) is famous for having the world’s most abundant zincite mines. The two significant New Jersey mines are Franklin and Sterling Hill, both widely known for their abundance of fluorescent minerals (though zincite alone doesn’t fluoresce). 

Additionally, tiny grains of zincite have been found in:

  • Arizona, USA

  • Congo

  • Namibia

  • Spain

  • Tasmania

  • Washington, USA

Poland was the first producer of synthetic zincite and remains the primary source.

Ready to shop zincite for sale? Then let’s talk price!

zincite gemstone faceted

Zincite Price & Value

As we discuss price-per-carat, keep in mind that zincite is very dense, so greater carat weights often still mean stones with smaller dimensions. For reference, a 1-carat zincite would be about half the size of a 1-carat diamond.  

Natural zincite’s rarity means it's pricier than synthetic zincite. Natural faceted zincite gemstones are $40-$65 per carat at wholesale, whereas synthetic faceted zincites are around $10 per carat.

Zincite cabochons (not mixed) are around $23 per carat. Mixed zincite cabochons are typically $5-$10 each. Rough zincite crystals or crystal clusters are generally $0.20-$2.50 per carat.

Jewelry can be pricier, with zincite crystal necklaces ranging from $30 to $170. 

Zincite Care and Maintenance

Proper zincite gemstone care starts with choosing less vulnerable jewelry — pendants and earrings are safer from damage. Rings should have protective settings.

Handle zincite carefully and only clean it with water and maybe mild soap. Keep the stone away from heat and store it in a cool place separately from other gems. 

Drink Up Zincite’s Restorative Energies!

Zincite is a rare wonder with almost as many names as it has benefits. The modern invention of synthetic zincite made these beauties much more accessible, with options for any budget. 

If you’re seeking an autumn-hued gem that brings the season’s renewal and abundance year-round, zincite is the perfect stone for you!

Buy zincite gemstones today!

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