Known for its distinctive swirls of deep violet and lilac, Siberian charoite is one of a few gemstones gemologists can confidently identify by sight alone.
The name charoite comes from the Russian word "chary", meaning charm or magic. This gemstone was originally discovered along the banks of the Charo river in Eastern Siberia. Charoite features churning waves of purple, lilac and violet, with an enchanting iridescence. Siberian charoite is a relatively delicate stone. The potassium that gives it its purple color is also a soft alkali metal. Strong acids can easily damage the alkaline mixture of minerals in the stone. It is a 100 percent natural gemstone with small to moderate chatoyancy (cat-eye effect) and a silky or pearly luster.
Charoite can only be found in snowy Siberia, making it a rare find and difficult to procure. The mine is located in the Sakha Republic region of Russia, in the foothills of the Murun Mountains. Russia is famous for its deposits of rare and exotic gems such as alexandrite, demantoid garnet and Siberian charoite.