What is Charoite?


Charoite is a rare silicate mineral, first described in 1978 and named for the Chara River in Russia. It’s often used as a gemstone and is popular for its unique purple color and swirling patterns.

Charoite is a rare gemstone that comes in shades of purple with swirling patterns. Its unique appearance and color make it a popular choice for jewelry and decorative items, especially rings and pendants.

Gemstone Properties

Chemical ClassificationInorganic - Silicate
ColorRanges from light lavender to deep purple, often with swirling patterns of black, white, and/or transparent crystals.
LusterPearly to vitreous.
TransparencyTranslucent to opaque.
OccurrenceRussia (specifically the Sakha Republic) - it's the only known location for charoite.
FormationFound in association with tinaksite and canasite in the Murun massif in the Sakha Republic.
DiaphaneityTranslucent to opaque
CleavagePerfect in two directions
Mohs Hardness5 to 6
Specific Gravity2.54 - 2.58
Diagnostic PropertiesPurple with swirling patterns.
Chemical Composition(K,Sr)15-16(Ca,Na)32[Si6O11(OH)]2[Si12O18(OH)]2[Si17O25(OH,O)]2(OH,F)4·~3H2O
PleochroismNot observed in charoite.
Crystal SystemMonoclinic
Optical PropertiesBiaxial (-)
Refractive Index1.550 - 1.559
2V angleMeasured: 0° to 30°
DispersionNot typically noted for its dispersion.