Charoite is an unusual and rare mineral which is found only in one location, along the Chary River at Aldan in Siberia. It is formed from the alteration of limestone by the infusion of unique minerals into the rock. It has the appearance of purple marble and its colours range from bright lavender to dark purple, and it has swirling patterns of black, grey and white, and transparent crystals of microcline feldspar. Charoite is sometimes confused with Sugilite, although it is the Charoite’s characteristic light coloured inclusions that are the main difference between the two.
Traditional legends, gemstone folklore and healing properties
Charoite was first discovered by the Russians in 1947 but it was not known in the West until 1978. It is used as an ornamental stone as well as a gemstone. The Mongols use it to make decorative objects, and on special feast days they boil the stone in tea. This tea is then consumed by all members of the family in order to strengthen family ties and protect from evil. Charoite is said to be a stone of transformation.
Metaphysically it is believed that it cleanses the aura and chakras by transmuting negative energy into healing. It is believed to open hearts and stimulate unconditional love, and is said to re-energise and reduce stress and worry.
Healers believe that Charoite stimulates and regulates blood pressure and pulse rate, can be used to treat problems with the eyes, heart, liver and pancreas, as well as healing general conditions of the nervous system. It is also said to improve sleep and dispel nightmares.
Charoite is not a traditional birthstone for any month but it is linked to the zodiac signs of Sagittarius and Scorpio.