Sunday, June 29, 2008

Buying Semi Precious Beads - Charoite


The thing I hate most about buying semi precious beads is the representative picture. Now I understand that sellers want to put their best foot forward and take pictures of those top notch new arrivals - but as a buyer, I don't want to see that best strand pictured, I want to see what you will be sending me.

These are Charoite 10mm Round Beads and they sell for $59.95. Their rich Lavender and Purple swirls are phenomenal. I was thrilled when they arrived. Upon their arrival, I immediately returned to the vend to buy more and was lucky to acquire a second strand.

Charoite is a rare mineral, named for the Chara River (though this etymology is disputed by some), and found only in the Sakha Republic, Siberia, Russia. It is found where a syenite massif has intruded into and altered limestone deposits. Charoite is a strong, translucent lavender to purple in color, reminding some of a granite or marble with its pearly, swirling luster. However, it is a discrete mineral rather than a rock. It has an unusual swirling, fibrous appearance, sometimes chatoyant, and that, along with its intense color, sometimes of a "grape" nature, can lead many to believe at first that it is synthetic or enhanced artificially.

Though reportedly discovered in the 1940s, it was not known to the outside world until its description in 1978. Charoite is used as an ornamental stone and sometimes a gemstone, generally as cabochons set into pendants.

Russia has fairly strict prohibitions on the exportation of charoite. Generally, charoite is permitted to be exported only after the stone has been worked, for example, into figurines or other type ornaments. It is therefore difficult to procure "unworked" or "rough" charoite in a form suitable for further working into jewelry such as cabochons.

Charoite often contains inclusions of the mineral tinaksite, which appears as a golden, spire-like shape running through the material.

Many people have different ideas about semi precious stones; including, the belief that they have healing qualities. This information on stones is referred to as its metaphysical qualities. Charoite is referred to as the soul stone connecting the head and the heart. It is believed that Charoite removes negativity energy from within the realm of your world. I have read that if you place some charoite under your pillow, it will enhance your dreams and ease your fears.

Personally, I believe it is one of the richest purple stones on our planet with Amethyst coming in at a close second.

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