Canasite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

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

Canasite

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 Information

Data Value
Name Canasite
Colors Greenish yellow.
Crystallography Monoclinic. Occurs in tiny grains, usually twinned.
Refractive Index 1.534-1.543
Luster Vitreous.
Hardness 5 - 6
Fracture Splintery
Specific Gravity 2.707
Birefringence 0.009
Cleavage Perfect 1 direction, good 1 direction
Stone Sizes Massive 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°.

Optic Sign Biaxial -

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.