Discovering Charoite: A Buyer’s Complete Guide

Charoite, a rare gemstone, stands out with its bright purple colors and swirling designs, showcasing nature’s beauty. Found only in Siberia, Russia, this special mineral combines deep colors with a mysterious charm, making it highly valued in the gemstone world.

Let’s take a look at everything about Charoite, from how people discovered it to its importance in jewelry and healing.

What is Charoite?

Wire Wrapped Charoite Necklace
Wire Wrapped Charoite Necklace. Check price here.

Charoite, a rare and eye-catching gemstone, stands out with its bright purple color and unique swirling patterns. The gemstone’s name comes from the Chara river, linking it to its origin.

Charoite is a complex silicate mineral containing elements like potassium, calcium, and sodium. Its special fibrous structure creates an intriguing mix of colors and patterns, usually showing shades from lilac to deep purple, along with white, black, and sometimes orange inclusions, giving it a captivating look.

With a Mohs hardness rating of around 5 to 6, charoite is fairly strong but needs careful handling to prevent scratches. It’s often used in jewelry like cabochons, beads, or inlays, highlighting its striking appearance.

Besides its visual appeal, charoite is believed to have metaphysical properties, such as promoting spiritual growth and helping overcome fears, making it popular in crystal healing. Its rarity and unique beauty, combined with these spiritual qualities, make charoite a gemstone that collectors and enthusiasts highly value.

Evaluating Chariot Quality

Color and chatoyancy are the two main driving forces behind the value and quality of charoite. Whether it comes in stunning bright lavender, a soft lilac or a deep purple, charoite makes for a unique and beautiful gemstone to look at. And, unlike a lot of other minerals, the main coloring agent of charoite – purple – is actually due to the charoite itself and not to its inclusions.

Charoite Tumble Sterling Silver Pendant
Charoite Tumble Sterling Silver Pendant. Check price here.

Where the inclusions come in is in the swirly patterns of this mineral. They are usually white or grey but they can also be various streaks of green, black or orange, depending on whether there are tinaksite or aegerine impurities.

And where, with a lot of other gemstones, such inclusions can be seen as negatives, in charoite they are what actually makes the mineral even more beautiful and valuable.

Even more than that, however, the most desirable trait of charoite is its chatoyancy.

Often called “the cat’s eye effect” chatoyancy is a recognizable visual effect that can occur in many gemstones and it is distinctive for how much it resembles a cat’s eye. It’s caused by the reflection of light by various natural fibers, channels, and needles inside the stone. These too are due to the various fibrous and fine-grained parallel inclusions in the charoite gemstone.

Chatoyancy is most sought after in translucent charoite stones which are a bit rarer than the more common opaque gemstones. A lightly colored, translucent charoite with a pearly luster and a strong chatoyancy effect is the most highly valued charoite stone you can get.

How is Charoite Used in Jewelry?

Charoite Stud earrings in 925 Silver
Charoite Stud earrings in 925 Silver. Check price here.

Charoite, known for its bright purple color and unique patterns, is a favorite for many types of jewelry, valued for its looks and rarity. This gemstone is great for standout pieces due to its distinct colors and each stone’s uniqueness.

1. Pendants and Necklaces

Charoite often takes center stage in pendants and necklaces. Its bold colors and designs catch the eye. Designers use large charoite pieces in pendants, highlighting the stone’s natural beauty. These pendants sometimes feature other gems or decorative metalwork to make the charoite stand out even more.

2. Rings

Charoite creates a striking look in rings when set in metals like silver or gold. It’s better for rings worn on special occasions, not every day, due to its softness (Mohs hardness of 5-6). Charoite rings usually have a smooth, rounded (cabochon) cut, showing off the stone’s color and patterns.

3. Earrings

Charoite is used in various earring styles, from simple studs to hanging earrings. Its unique patterns make every pair special. Earring designs use smaller charoite pieces, adding a subtle elegance.

4. Bracelets and Bangles

Charoite can be the sole gem or one among many in bracelets and bangles. Its striking look adds a bold touch to these pieces.

5. Brooches and Pins

The distinct look of charoite is perfect for brooches and pins, allowing for the use of larger stone pieces.

Charoite’s vibrant colors and patterns are key in all its jewelry uses. It matches well with different metals and other stones. Charoite jewelry, often chosen for its unique style and spiritual meanings, adds individuality and elegance to any setting, whether simple or intricate.

History of Charoite

Charoite, known for its stunning purple swirls, has a fascinating history. Discovered in the 1940s near Siberia’s Chara River, which gave it its name, this gemstone stayed hidden from the wider world until 1978. Its remote Siberian origin and rarity kept it a secret for a long time.

What makes charoite stand out is not just its beauty but also its relatively new discovery compared to other well-known minerals. Its formation from a special mix of minerals created its unique purple color and intricate patterns, resembling swirling clouds or flowing water, making each charoite piece unique.

When charoite first appeared on the market, its bright colors and patterns were so unusual that some thought it was man-made. But research confirmed its natural origins, increasing its appeal and value among collectors and gem lovers. Charoite is rare, made mostly of silicate minerals and found only in one place in the world.

Its popularity grew partly because of its claimed metaphysical properties, like bringing calmness and protection. Now, charoite is a popular gemstone in jewelry and crystal healing. Its journey from a remote part of Siberia to being treasured by gemstone enthusiasts worldwide shows its captivating beauty and the lasting interest in nature’s wonders.

Charoite vs. Sugilite: What’s The Difference?

Both charoite and sugilite have a similar violate to purple color scheme. However, sugilite lacks the distinctive twisting patterns that are present in must charoite gemstones.

Three Stone Charoite Post Dangle Earrings
Charoite or sugilite? Check here.

Sugilite also doesn’t have the slight to moderate chatoyancy that’s common in a lot of charoite stones.

So, while charoite stones can sometimes be mistaken for sugilite if they lack any distinctive chatoyancy or colorful swirly patterns, in general, you shouldn’t have trouble differentiating between the two gemstone types.

Sugilite is also generally priced higher than charoite but this depends on the quality of the gemstone and the jewelry setting.

How to Care for Charoite

The main factors that make charoite tricky to take care for is its moderately soft nature. At 4.5 to 5 on the Mohs scale, charoite is quite easily scratched and accidentally damaged whether while wearing it or while in storage with other pieces of jewelry.

With that in mind, charoite is usually not recommended for jewelry that you intend to wear on a daily basis. Also, it’s best stored separately from other pieces of jewelry or wrapped in a piece of cloth if placed together with other gemstones.

As far as cleaning is concerned, charoite is best cleaned with warm soapy water and a soft piece of cloth. Never use strong and toxic detergents on it and never try to scrub it with a coarse sponge, brushes or anything similar.

Also, keep in mind the metal or other jewelry material as well as they can sometimes be even more delicate than the charoite itself.

Charoite Meaning and Symbolism

Charoite Sphere
Charoite Sphere. Check price here.

Although charoite is a new gemstone, it’s already been noted for its symbolism and meaning. The beautiful purple or violate color of charoite, as well as its twisting and turning patterns, have quickly made it famous as one of nature’s most beautiful dream stones and illuminators.

Charoite is believed to allow its wearer to learn from past lives as well as to look for spiritual guidance in the future. It’s also said to embody the unique synthesis between the Crown and the Heart Chakras.

Charoite is thought to be a stone that can help you to focus on the present, and to remove negativity, emotional baggage or thoughts that keep you trapped in the past.

It helps you to overcome obsessive behaviors and to appreciate the beauty of the now.

Where to Buy Charoite Jewelry

Charoite is difficult to find and chances are, you won’t see it at your local jewelry store. Searching for charoite jewelry online is your best bet as you’ll be able to access options from around the world.

  • Etsy is great for finding unique charoite jewelry and stones. Here, you can browse a variety of handcrafted charoite items like pendants, rings, and raw stones. The platform connects you with artisans and small shops that offer custom designs.
  • Amazon provides a wide range of charoite options from various sellers, including jewelry and loose stones in different styles. The site is easy to use and offers helpful customer reviews and reliable shipping.

Wrapping Up

Charoite stands out for its stunning beauty and rare origins. This gemstone, whether in handcrafted jewelry or as part of a collection, combines visual charm with a touch of mystery. Its journey from a remote area in Siberia to being loved by gem enthusiasts around the world shows its lasting and captivating charm.

Nadi Alahakoon

Nadisha has been a fashion aficionado for as long as she can remember! From following the latest trends to checking out vintage styles, she’s always curious about what’s in and what’s out! She has a background in Nursing, literature, and English. When she’s not writing about jewelry and diamonds, Nadisha spends her time window shopping, dancing, or traveling the beautiful landscapes of Canada.

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