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Gilsonite is a generic name widely used for a black, lustrous, carbonaceous resin classified as an asphaltite. Its proper name is uintaite, and it is found in Utah, USA. An important characteristic of Gilsonite is its softening-point temperature. In oil-base muds, it is used as a fluid-loss control agent. Being a hydrocarbon, it is naturally wetted by the oil. In water-base muds, it is used as a shale-stabilizing additive and is difficult to evaluate unless tested at or above its softening point. As a hydrocarbon, the powder must be coupled to water by using a glycol or similar water-wetter.
Gilsonite has the appearance of anthracite coal.  Gilsonite is solidified oil.  It’s an asphaltite , a naturally solid hydrocarbon , that is jet black in color, very lightweight, brittle, and has a conchoidal fracture. One of the largest “deposits” of Gilsonite in the world are in the western part of Iran.
Until recently it wasn't considered a coal, oil product, or asphalt. Now it is recognized as an asphalt.
Gilsonite is typically mixed with other petroleum products for wide-ranging industrial and commercial applications including printing ink, waterproofing primer, roofing asphalt, joint sealer, pond and ditch lining, fireworks, paints and varnishes, linoleum, oil- and gas-well cementing and drilling fluids, foundry sand molding, high-purity carbon electrodes, and more.