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Charoite Properties, Meaning, Facts and Photos

Large triangular shaped piece of the mineral charoite in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum

What is Charoite?

Charoite is a rock forming mineral first discovered in 1948 by geologist Vladimir Ditmar.  It was another twenty years before the site where the stone was found was revisited by geologists.  Only then was it fully investigated.

Charoite was found in Yakutia also known as the Republic of Sakha.  This area covers more than three million square kilometres in Russia's Far East (Siberia).

It's widely reported that charoite was named after the Chara River where the material is found.  The location where charoite is actually found is just over forty miles away.

Prior to being named extensive discussions took place about what to call this new purple coloured mineral.  The name 'Charaite' was initially chosen but was later changed to avoid confusion with another mineral called "charalite". 

The name "charoite" was finally approved on 22nd June 1977.

In Russia charoite is known as 'sirenevyi kamen' (cиреневый kамень) meaning 'lilac stone'.

The doctor of geology and mineralogy who identified the mineral had concerns about the distance of the Chara River from where charoite was found.  She later agreed it wasn't a major problem and liked the fact that the word "chary" in Russian means "enchantment".

She felt it was appropriate for the enchanting purple colour of the stone. 

The location where charoite is found is almost 600 miles from the nearest road.  Being so remote makes access extremely difficult especially for heavy machinery.  For this reason it's mostly mined by hand.

The Republic of Sakha has limited the amount of charoite that can be mined each year to one hundred tons.

polished charoite mineral in a museum display cabinet

When polished, charoite can exhibit lilac to rich purple colour along with beautiful swirling patterns.  Some stone can be slightly chatoyant.

It has a complex chemical composition and always occurs with other minerals.  Some of the most common include aegirine, tinaksite, microcline, quartz, arfvedsonite, apophyllite and frankamenite.

Despite being more readily available now than it once was, charoite is still relatively rare.  Finding larger quantities and fine grade material has never been easy.  This is likely to become worse because of the current situation in Russia. 

It's believed there's almost no gem-grade charoite left available to mine.

Once charoite became known to the outside world it quickly captured the attention of collectors and enthusiasts.  Before long it was being widely used as a lapidary material.

Fake charoite has recently been identified from China.  Low grade purple fluorite is being used instead.

Charoite grades 5 to 6 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness, fluorite grade 4.  Charoite will therefore scratch fluorite but fluorite will not scratch charoite.

Charoite Healing Properties

Charoite is a stone of personal transformation and spiritual growth. It’s said to enhance one's ability to overcome challenges and embrace change.

The energy of charoite resonates with personal power and inner strength. It promotes resilience, courage and determination enabling you to fulfil goals and desires.

It has a calming effect on the mind and body and can be used to reduce stress, anxiety and negative emotions.  It encourages relaxation and brings a sense of tranquillity.

Charoite aids emotional healing by releasing deep-seated fears, past traumas and negative thought patterns. It can be used to facilitate forgiveness, acceptance and to resolve emotional turmoil.

Charoite stimulates the third eye chakra. This chakra is associated with insight, intuition and spiritual vision.

Carrying charoite can help improve mental clarity and focus leading to sharper thinking and improved decision-making.

It aids in organising thoughts, processing information efficiently and seeing situations from a broader perspective.

Charoite deepens the connection between the mind and spirit. It guides towards spiritual growth and raises awareness. It facilitates meditation and mindfulness, inner reflection and the exploration of higher realms.

Article Pictures

The charoite at the top of our page is on display in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington D.C.  The piece in the second photo is housed in London's Natural History Museum.

Both images are clickable and redirect to the original photo.  Photos by Stone Mania.

An article written by David Carter (published on Mindat) was used for reference.  The full article which includes extensive information and some great photos can be found here

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