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Charoite

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Charoite

Chemical Composition : K(Ca,Na)2Si4O10(OH,F) H2O Hydrated Potassium Calcium Sodium Silicate Hydroxide Fluoride
Hardness : 5.0 – 6.0
Specific Gravity (Density) : 2.54 – 2.58 (g/cm3)
Refractive Index : 1.550 – 1.559 Biaxial ( + )

Charoite is found only in the Murun Massif, Chara River area of the Torgo River Basin, Aldan Shield, Southwest Yakutia (Sakha Republic), Eastern-Siberian Region, Russia. It was discovered in 1947, but was not introduced to the outside world until about 1978. This beautiful mineral has swirling colors of violet, purple and lavender and occassionally swirls of white Feldspar, yellow Canasite, orange Tinaksite and black Aegirine mixed in. Some specimens are beautifully chatoyant. The mineral is a massive material suitable for making large objects such as bookends and vases and also cabochons. Cabochons look alive with swirling colors and chatoyance. The look of Charoite is unlike any other mineral.

Charoite is named for the Chara River, Russia, near which it was discovered. However, I have heard that the name comes from the Russian word “chary” which means “charms” or “magic” due to its beautiful chatoyance.

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