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CHAROITE

Introduction: “Charoite”, as a gem material,  is a rock composed of the mineral species charoite, aegerine-augite, feldspar and tinaksite.  It often has a fibrous appearance.  Pictured above is a 5.32 ct oval cabochon.

Colors:  semitranslucent to opaque, purple with swirls and spots of black, gray and white

Clarity:  Charoite does not have a type classification for clarity.  It is usually cut as cabochons, beads and carvings.  Cracks should be avoided in finished pieces.

Stone Sizes:  Large masses are available capable of pieces of more than 30 cm in size.

Localities:
-Chary River area in the Murun Massif, Northwest Aldan, Yakutsk, Russia is the only source of the material.  It was discovered in 1978.

Gemology:
-Refractive Index:  1.550-1.559 (+/- 0.002)

-Birefringence:  0.009

-Optic Character:  AGG (aggregate)

-Specific Gravity:  2.68 (+0.10, -0.14) but varies with mineral content

-Hardness:  5 to 6

-Toughness:  fair

-Chemical Composition:  (K,Na)5(Ca,Ba,Sr)8(Si6O15)2Si4O9(OH,F)-11H2O

-Cause of Color:  unknown

-Fluorescence:  inert to weak patchy red (LW; inert (SW)

-Absorption Spectra:  not diagnostic

-Cleavage:  None

-Phenomena:  None

Name:  Charoite is named after the source on the Chary River

Dates:  None

Care:  The ultrasonic should never be used and the steam cleaner is risky.  Warm, soapy is safe.


To see available charoites, click here.