Charoite is one of my favorites stones, especially since I am a lover of purple. This rare, natural stone from Siberia Russia is increasingly hard to get, with the better quality commanding bigger and bigger prices. This stone has some chatoyancy in it, too.
I used heavy, solid sterling silver (not plated or coated) to wire wrap this large cabochon. I gave it lots of detail and added a hand applied antique patina. This is a gorgeous pendant. The color alone will be seen from across the room, inviting a closer look where the care in creating it will become evident.
stone ---- 45x24mm; 11 grams or 54 carats
pendant ---- 2.78" / 71mm long; 1.12" / 28mm wide
bail ---- 7mm
This does not include a chain or cord.
You can purchase one here.
More About Charoite:
Charoite is a rare mineral found in the 1940's, in one small area of Russia. But, it wasn't until globalization of markets that the Western world found out about it in the late 1970's. Charoite became a immediate sensation. And, for good reason. Charoite was never very plentiful due to the harsh conditions where it is collected. The exportation of it is tightly controlled, too. There are persistent rumors that Charoite has become scarce with little to no new material being collected. Prices are reflecting this and so is availability. Rough is very difficult to obtain and afford.
Once you see charoite, you'll be hooked. It looks like no other gemstone. Charoite is a mineral displaying a great range of purple including violet, grape, lavender and lilac. Impurities commonly include black ugite, transparent crystals of microcline feldspar and orange Tinaksite. Charoite can be translucent to opaque. Besides the fabulous color, which it is known for, there is a distinct swirling pattern caused by interlocking fibrous crystals. Sometimes, charoite displays a slight to moderate chatoyancy which gives it a pearlescent luster. The best stones contain bright saturated purple pure charoite, with lighter purple swirls with chatoyancy in the swirls when the stone moves. (I liken it to a purple bowling ball, if you can envision that.) However, most stones have some white and/or black impurities and sometimes orange.
Charoite is a 5-6 on the Mohs scale of hardness making it hard enough for some jewelry applications, like pendants, necklaces and earrings, though ring and bracelet stones should probably be avoided. Avoid high temperatures such as in steam cleaners.
Charoite is a transformative stone able to transform the negative into the positive.