What You Need to Know About Charoite – A Rare Silicate Mineral

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Charoite – Overview 

The next time you go to Siberia, take a leisurely stroll and you may just find Charoit. A rare silicate mineral that was not discovered until the late 1970’s. But make sure you are on the eastern part, as it is not known if you will find charoit in western Siberia or anywhere else of the world for that matter.  The purple to lavender silicate gemstone has a striking appearance and a pearly luster that makes it an attractive mineral. 

If you take a look at this mineral’s structure, it is huge and the fractures have a smooth rounded surface, similar to that of a scallop shell. The unusual pattern of swirls and its fibrous appearance and striking color make people believe that it is a synthetic rock. 

The lavender, violet and purple silicate has a pearly luster and while it is opaque, the mineral turns translucent when held in the light. There are also some transparent pieces of this rare silicate. However, it is the higher translucency that is one of the most desirable features of Charoite. 

Since it is abundantly found in the Siberia region; specifically, the Sakha Republic, most of these rocks can be polished and some pieces can be used as an ornamental stone to add beauty to a jewelry box or a decorative vase in your living room. 

Charoite’s color and texture is so distinctive that no other mineral can be mistaken for it. However, its rarity, as well as other factors contribute to this precious mineral’s restricted volume in the international market.

Formation 

As mentioned earlier, this rare mineral can only be found in the Eastern part of Siberia. The Murun Complex in the Sakha Republic is the only place in the world where Charoite is mined. 

The deposits are formed when a sedimentary rock containing the mineral dolomite interacts with an alkali syenite intrusion. This creates an unusual geochemical environment for rock formations. When other mineral-rich fluids come in contact with the dolomite, it results in the formation of this rare stone. 

While the process of Charoite formation is said to be a simple one, it has never been fully understood by researchers. And while this gemstone was first identified in the 1940s, its recognition as a mineral was not designated until the late 1970s.

Properties of Charoite

Composition 

Geologically, Charoite is a complex silicate mineral and as of now, there is no consensus regarding the chemical composition of this rare silicate. For you chemical enthusiasts, according to the Glossary of Geology, the stone has the following composition: 

(K,Na)5(Ca,Ba,Sr)8Si8O46(OH,F)·nH2O

But if you look at the composition reported by the International Mineralogical Association, it is as follows:

(K,Sr,Ba,Mn)15-16(Ca,Na)32[Si70(O,OH)180] (OH,F)4·nH2

And while the two defined compositions vary widely, there are genuine reasons for this confusion. Firstly,, no well-formed crystals of pure Charoite have been found. Moreover, the mineral almost always occurs with numerous other minerals, which makes it impossible to separate and find out the exact composition of this rare silicate. 

Hardness 

On the Mohs scale of hardness, the rocks containing Charoite measure between 5 and 6, which means that they are neither too hard nor too soft. This property makes it suitable for use as a gemstone or ornamental stone. 

Specific Gravity 

The specific gravity of Charoite varies between 2.5 and 2.6. 

Healing Properties 

Some people believe that a mineral that comes from the ground brings several healing properties and Charoite is not an exception. Since it is scarce and unique, it yields healing properties seldom found in any other mineral or gemstone. 

Additionally, they believe that it helps overcome physical, mental and spiritual disorders. Physically, the use of Charoite as an ornament or gemstone that can improve the following health conditions. 

  • Allow detoxification of the liver and is recommended for people who use too much alcohol
  • Aids in regulating blood pressure 
  • Is effective in treating sleep disorders such as insomnia 
  • Ease cramps, muscle spasms, and conditions such as restless leg syndrome 

The gemstone is also known to improve mental health and treating personality disorders. People who use Charoite as a healing stone claim that it assists to overcome fears of all kinds, including fear of illnesses and death. Additionally, it facilitates emotional healing and helps reduce stress and anxiety.  

Moreover, the energy that flows through this purple mineral acts as a powerful tool that can strengthen your spiritual state and bring in more balance in your life.

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