Learn about the rare and beautiful mineral Charoite. Explore Charoite meaning and healing properties and history.
What is Charoite?
Charoite is a rare mineral, found only in one place in the world in the Sakha Republic area of Siberia, Russia. Charoite is a naturally vibrant purple color with swirls of shimmering lavender. It commonly has inclusions of black Aegirine and occurs with Canasite and Tinaksite. Charoite Chemical Composition: (K(Ca,Na)2Si4O10(OH,F)·H2O)
“Charoite resources are estimated at some tens of thousands of tons, with stone quality varying widely from sample to sample. Thus, for the moment, charoite remains the rarest and the most exotic gem stone on earth, and finding an analogous deposit is still unlikely, even globally”
- V.A. Solyanik, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok, Russia in The Journal of the Gemmological Association of Hong Kong
Charoite is a newcomer, first discovered in the 1940s in the Sakha Republic area of Siberia, Russia. More specifically, at the Murunskii Massif. A Massif is an unusual geological formation, of which there are few worldwide. The rarity of Massifs and the uncommon geological events that occurred at the Murunski Massif, lead scientists to suggest we may never find another deposit of this unusual and beautiful mineral.
Charoite’s Magical Discovery
Contrary to popular belief, Charoite was not named for the Chara River. There seems to be some debate about this, but it is now generally agreed upon that Charoite was named for its magical appearance; The Russian word Chary means "charms" or “magic” and the site where it was first uncovered is about 70km away from the Chara River.
The Chara begins as an outflow of Bolshoye Leprindo lake in the Kodar Mountains, in northern Zabaykalsky Krai. It flows through the Chara Basin between the Kodar and Kalar Mountains, passing the Chara Sands, a 37 square kilometres (14 sq mi) area of active sand dunes. The region is famous for a peculiar mountain where charoite is mined. This intensely purple mineral, is only found here and was discovered in the 1940s when a rail tunnel was constructed. Part of the Russian governmental debt was paid in charoite and slabs of this now expensive ornamental material were stored in basements of houses of the Hungarian capital city, Budapest.
Charoite’s appearance was so magical in fact, that when it was first discovered, it was thought to be a fake - many thought it must be dyed to appear such a striking shade of purple. Also, it was challenging to determine Charoite’s specific, complex make-up and how it was possible that such a deposit exists in isolation. It took nearly 15 years, but Charoite’s status as a genuine and unique mineral was finally approved by the International Mineral Association in 1978. International Mineral Association chemical formula for Charoite: (K,Sr,Ba,Mn)15-16(Ca,Na)32[Si70(O,OH)180](OH,F)4 · nH2O Commonly mixed with: Al,Fe,Mn,Sr,Ba
Charoite Appearance and Varieties
Black Spots on Charoite are often Black Aegirine which commonly occurs with Charoite as shown on the right.
What are the black spots on Charoite?
The black spots or sprays on some Charoite stones are Aegirine. Aegirine occurs in almost all varieties of Charoite. If they are large, round spots may be green feldspar.
What are the light spots on Charoite?
Lighter colored Charoite stones or ones that have some translucent areas are likely a result of Canasite. Charoite and Canasite occur together.
And the yellow or brown?
The yellowish brown spots on some Charoite are most likely Tinaksite, another mineral discovered at the same time as Charoite in Russia. Tinaksite, Canasite and Charoite occur together and black Aegirine is also common there.
What makes Charoite appear chatoyant or iridescent?
Charoite’s silky, fibrous structure results in a shimmery looking polished stone. Sometimes, the very white flashes are tiny white feldspar.
A name for uniformly colored lilac Charoite, with a compact beam and columnar structure. Beam charoite is composed of sheaf-like, differently oriented aggregates of 5-10 mm in size, of a deep lilac color and with strong pearly iridescence. There are fewer mineral admixtures in this variety and is considered most attractive for jewelry purposes. This variety contains fewer mineral admixtures (up to 15%) and represents high-quality jewelry material.
Spotty Beam Charoite
This variety demonstrates the widest range of colors. The deep purple and lavender background emphasizes contrasting spots of black aegirine aggregates, golden or brown-yellow tinaksite, and round spots of dark green feldspar. Beam aggregates can reach up to 3 cm in diameter with spotty beam charoite up to 2-4 cm in diameter. Spotty-beam charoite is remarkable for its “landscape” varieties and is used as a semi-precious stone.
Charoite Metaphysical Meaning and Healing Properties
Incredibly mesmerizing to look at, Charoite is a purple stone with iridescent swirls of glistening lavender. Known as a powerful healing stone, it is thought to convert negative emotions into positive actions. When we feel overwhelmed by the hardships of the world, Charoite can remind us that we are more powerful than we believe and inspire us to act with kindness and compassion.
Emotionally, Charoite is both a protective and an energizing stone for empaths and healers. It motivates us to channel our efforts toward enacting positive change and helping others while assisting us in setting healthy boundaries.
Charoite reminds us to preserve our energy to avoid emotional exhaustion and to not take on more than we can handle. Through teaching us that we are all connected, this stone reminds us that we cannot help others if we do not first take care of ourselves.
In addition to inspiring us to selflessly help others, Charoite is a remarkable stone for reflection. When we think of our past mistakes that still bring us guilt or pain, instead of punishing ourselves, Charoite challenges us to learn from our experiences without harsh judgment. This stone supports us as we ask ourselves, “How can I make things right, and how can I do better from now on?” Its strong humanitarian properties help us to keep a loving worldview close at heart and remember that our actions have a ripple effect.
A Stone of Discovery and Energy Flow
Charoite helps us turn the ethereal realm into something we can grasp and utilize in this reality for practical, powerful change in our own lives and for the benefit of others.
Charoite is a stone of inner knowledge, harnessing energies and purifying the etheric body. Popular among healers and psychics, Charoite is thought to help one tolerate high-frequency vibrations and prevent psychic fatigue. Charoite draws on higher frequencies of the Earth's energies, allowing it to be channeled into this realm through the beholder. In general, it assists the flow of energy through the body, removing blockages and preventing overstimulation.
While Charoite opens us to new energies, it also is considered an energetically protective stone, helping shield us from negative or disruptive forces. Charoite opens the mind to latent knowledge and activates Third Eye, nourishing intuition and predictive abilities. Charoite may seem like it is all about the conceptual, even 'flightier' side of healing, but it is also known for being powerfully grounding; Charoite helps us turn the ethereal realm into something we can grasp and utilize in this reality for practical, powerful change in our own lives and for the benefit of others.