With light to medium dark purple colors and swirling patterns, charoite is one of the few gemstones so distinctive that a gemologist can make a sight identification with confidence. No other material is likely to be mistaken for it.
A bargain gemstone, even the highest quality charoite pieces cost a few dollars a carat, at most. If you look for a lovely pattern, pleasing colors, a good polish, and an appealing shape, you can’t go wrong. A silky, slight to moderate chatoyant glow will add value to a piece.
“Lilac stone” was first discovered in the 1940s in the Chara River area in the Sakha Republic, Russia. In the 1970s, this gem entered Western markets as charoite and made an immediate impact. Traditional lapidaries could make cabochons from the material, while carvers could make decorative objects. Since charoite can be a massive material, these objects may even include bookends, vases, and goblets. Metaphysically inclined gem enthusiasts attribute a long list of healing and spiritual properties to the stone.
The only source for this striking gemstone remains the Chara River area in the Murun Massif, Northwest Aldan, Sakha Republic, Russia.