Charoite Facts and Buying Guide

Charoite Facts and Buying Guide

by Sheweta Dhanuka

Charoite is purple, lavender, lilac, white and violet in colour. It consists of black, peach, gray and white swirling patterns. Colour of the stone and the colour of the pattern always complement each other very well. It occurs naturally. The patterns are also called as veins. These veins are quite remarkable as nothing is fixed in the nature.

Charoite is the most recently discovered gem among all the precious and semi precious gemstones. World came to know about this gemstone in the year 1978. Since then it is widely used as an ornamental stone and a gemstone. Gemstone lovers can acquire this amazing gem in any form like jewelries, carved figures and decorative items etc.In order to buy the genuine gem, buyer needs to have some knowledge about it. Thus, in this article we would analyse the gemstone with respect to four important characteristics viz. colour, clarity, cut and carat weight. Other important aspects such as occurrence, precautions etc shall also be covered.

Colour

It is purple, lavender, lilac, white and violet in colour. It consists of black, peach, gray and white swirling patterns. Colour of the stone and the colour of the pattern always complement each other very well. It occurs naturally. The patterns are also called as veins. These veins are quite remarkable as nothing is fixed in the nature. All the colours are quite pleasing and look very beautiful. However, purple colour with gray swirling pattern is the most desired combination.

Clarity

This unnaturally beautiful gem is translucent in nature. It sometimes consist few fractures or flaws else it is a clean stone. It possesses vitreous to pearly luster that makes it very attractive stone.

Cut

It is easily cut into the desired shape and style. Round, pearl, square, pear and many more shapes are used by the designer to create breathtaking pieces. It is also used in multiple ways like carvings, cabochons, beads, spheres and even tiles because of easy cutting. It can be even cut into very thin slices, which are used in making different decorative items as well like lampshades, vases and goblets etc.

Carat weight

It occurs in large sizes as rough. After the essential processing the gemstone of all required carat weights are processed. Less carat weight between 2-4 as well as large between 8-10 are available. Price of the gem is largely dependent on the carat weight. Price is directly proportional to the carat weight that is with the increase in the carat weight the price of the gem also increases and vice versa.

Occurrence

Russia is the only country in the world that produces this purple beauty. Since the very beginning it is found only at Murun Mountains near Charo River at Aldan in Russia. Thus, it is named after the name of the river only.
It is a form of rock consisting of many unusual minerals. It is formed when excessive heat and pressure causes the alterations in the limestone due to the presence of an alkali-rich nephline syenite intrusion. Also the alterations happen because of the infusion of unique chemicals into the rock. As a result transformations into new minerals occurs and charoite is produced. This unique chemical reaction in the limestone takes place very rarely and under the certain specific physical and chemical conditions found only near Charo River at Russia. Thus, it remains only one single country to produce this chemically complicated gemstone.
Cost – The cost of the gem falls between the expensive to affordable range. It is neither priced very high nor cheap. However, its rare occurrence and only one source increase the price that might be beyond affordability for few people. Further, gems with the intense and bright purple colour without flaws are priced little high.

Uses

Charoite jewelries are gaining popularity with the passage of time. Other than the conventional ornaments, handcrafted jewelry is also appreciated a lot in this present era. This gem is very well paired with amethyst gemstone in different jewelries that makes the wearer attractive and also keeps him/her away free from fears.

For the female rings, the ideal carat weight of the stone is 2.5-3.5 carat. In the same way for the male rings, 5-7 carat weight is more suitable. The gemstone used for rings can be of any shape. Bracelets of adjustable length from 7″ to 8.5″ can hold maximum of 6 gemstone weighing 6 carat each that is making the total of 36 carats. Bracelets for men can hold a total of 65 carats having 6-7 pieces of gems. For the pendants, any carat weight of any shape can be selected depending upon the pocket of the buyer. It can be as less as 3 carat to as large as 10 carat. For the earrings, usually same carat weight is used as that of female rings.

All these jewelry items can be made up of 14K or 18K yellow gold, white gold or sterling silver. Any one of these materials can be used for every single design and pattern. Buyers should be careful while making the purchase of gem, it should be ensured that all the gems are mounted nicely so that there is negligible possibility of the gemstone falling out. Beads are also used to make exquisite necklaces, earring and bracelets for females. The beads used for making these items must have the similar appearance and look. It should offer harmonious look to the jewelries. Apart from the jewelry, in western countries beads are also used for making marvelous chandeliers and lampshades.

As mentioned earlier, this stone is used in many other ways. The gemstone lovers, love carved pieces with the pure gold polish across the globe. The carving done on one single stone is valued most. Similarly, jewelry boxes are made using Charoite. On the top of the box carving or painting is done in order to make it more attractive.

Imitations

As it is relatively a new gemstone there are no imitations or synthetic stone available in the market till date. And also this stone is procured and sold in natural form without any enhancements/treatments.

Precautions

This gem rates only 5-6 Mohs on the hardness scale thus, requires constant care and precautions. It has to be protected from excessive heat and large temperature change, as it is heat sensitive. Like other gemstones, it too should not be exposed to the cosmetics and harsh solutions. Cleaning through ultrasonic processes and steam must be avoided. It should be cleaned only with the luke warm water and mild soap using a soft bristle brush. After cleaning the gemstone or its jewelry or any other items, should wiped off with a soft cloth. A separate jewelry box lined with cotton/velvet must be used to store the gemstone and jewelries.

Beliefs

People around the world wear this gemstone in order to attain courage to overcome all sorts of fear. It is believed that if this gem is kept under the pillow while sleeping it keeps away all the bad and horrifying dreams and offers soothing and undisturbed sleep. This gem is also associated with deep meditation where it cleanses and purifies the energy of the body by throwing all the negative energies out of the system. In simple words, it makes the aura of an individual more powerful.

Just in 25 years Charoite gemstone had gained a wide acceptance due to its unique characteristics like colour and multiple uses etc. Inspite of few limitations such as rare occurrence, complicated composition and only one source of procurement, it attained a distinctive position in the huge gemstone market. Even being a very new gemstone it is in high demand same as other gems that had been discovered thousands years ago. This is absolutely incredible!!

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