Canasite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information


CANASITE: Bur’atskaja, Urals, Siberia, USSR (~2 inches across). Photo © Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA. Used with permission.

The material usually seen on the market as “canasite” is purplish in color. It is frequently confused with another purplish material, a member of the  serpentine family known as stichtite. However, stichtite occurs in elongated fibers that have a kind of lustrous sheen, almost asbestiform, whereas canasite is granular. Recent research seems to indicate that, in fact, the material being called “canasite” has no canasite in it but is a new, distinct species.

Canasite Value

The International Gem Society (IGS) has a list of businesses offering gemstone appraisal services.

Canasite Information

DataValue
NameCanasite
Crystallography Monoclinic. Occurs in tiny grains, usually twinned.
Refractive Index 1.534-1.543
Colors Greenish yellow.
Luster Vitreous.
Fracture Splintery
Hardness 5 - 6
Specific Gravity 2.707
Birefringence 0.009
Cleavage Perfect 1 direction, good 1 direction
Stone SizesMassive blocks up to several inches have been found. Material is cut as cabochons and decorative objects.
Transparency Transparent to translucent
Absorption Spectrum Not diagnostic.
Formula(Na,K)5(Ca, Mn, Mg)4(Si2O5)5(OH, F)3
Optics = 1.534; β = 1.538; γ = 1.543. Biaxial (-), 2V, ~53°.

OPTICS: = 1.534; β = 1.538; γ = 1.543

Biaxial (-), 2V, ~53°

OCCURRENCE: Occurs in pegmatite in the Khibina Tundra, USSR

COMMENTS: The material usually seen on the market as “canasite” is purplish in color. It is frequently confused with another purplish material, a member of the  serpentine family known as stichtite. However, stichtite occurs in elongated fibers that have a kind of lustrous sheen, almost asbestiform, whereas canasite is granular. Recent research seems to indicate that, in fact, the material being called “canasite” has no canasite in it but is a new, distinct species.

NAME:  From the composition: Ca, Na, and Si.