What is Charoite?
Photo: ExoticCrystals   

Charoite is a rare silicate mineral, first described in 1978 and named for the Chara River.

Charoite is translucent lavender to purple in colour with a pearly lustre. Charoite is strictly massive in nature, and fractures are conchoidal. It has an unusual swirling, fibrous appearance, sometimes chatoyant, and that, along with its intense colour, can lead many to believe at first that it is synthetic or enhanced artificially.

Though reportedly discovered in the 1940s, it was not known to most of the world until its description in 1978. It is said to be opaque and unattractive when found in the field; a fact that may have contributed to its late recognition.

Occurrence: In potassic feldspar metasomatites at the contact of nepheline and aegirine syenites with limestones.

Charoite occurs in association with tinaksite and canasite.

Name: For the Chara River, Russia, near which it was discovered.

What is Charoite?
Photo: ExoticCrystals   

Lustre:Vitreous, Silky
Colour:Violet to deep lilac
Hardness:5 - 6 on Mohs scale
Cleavage:Distinct/Good. Good in three directions