Canasite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information


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.

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

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.

 


Joel E. Arem, Ph.D., FGA

Dr. Joel E. Arem has more than 60 years of experience in the world of gems and minerals. After obtaining his Ph.D. in Mineralogy from Harvard University, he has published numerous books that are still among the most widely used references and guidebooks on crystals, gems and minerals in the world.

Co-founder and President of numerous organizations, Dr. Arem has enjoyed a lifelong career in mineralogy and gemology. He has been a Smithsonian scientist and Curator, a consultant to many well-known companies and institutions, and a prolific author and speaker. Although his main activities have been as a gem cutter and dealer, his focus has always been education. joelarem.com

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