Charoite

First described in 1978, Charoite is a rare mineral silicate, named after the River Chara. It was found only in Aldan Shield, in the Republic of Sakha, Siberia, Russia. Charoite has a vibrant natural purple to violet hue with a striking appearance. The pattern appears as mesmerizing banding, swirls, scales, or parallel lines and radials if examined closer. Charoite was named either from its origin – River Chara – or the Russian word chary which means magic or charm.

Formation

The formation of Charoite occurs when calcar deposits are transformed by heat and pressure and are combined with nephline syenites, in a contact metamorphism process. Nepheline syenite is a holocrystalline plutonic rock composed primarily of nepheline and alkali feldspars. Though Charoites are so rare, the forming mechanism for their formation is quite simple.

Properties

Typically, the colors of charoite range from lilac to lavender and near-violet to very deep violet. Within the same specimen, charoite gemstones usually show many colors of purple and violet, and form with unique shapes like swirling, striations, or feather patterns. A characteristic of charoite is its spinning shapes, which are a result of its interlocking complex fibrous structure. It is translucent to opaque and it can present chatoyancy. It has a hardness of 5-6 on Mohs scale. The detailed composition of Charoite is quite complex and, given that it is a “newly” discovered rock, not very well understood yet. Among its mineral there is hydrated potassium, sodium, calcium, barium, strontium, and silicate hydroxyfluoride. Its discovery on Chara River led researchers to other “charoite rocks” rare minerals like canasite, tinaksite, frankamenite or mizerite.

Symbolism

Transformation. Element: Wind

In tradition, Charoite is thought to help overcome obsessions and obstacles and assist with making major life decisions. It is considered a good stone to wear for people in need of support dealing with pain and cramps.


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