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 not canasite in it but is a new, distinct species.

Canasite Value

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Canasite Information

DataValue
NameCanasite
Crystallography Monoclinic. Occurs in tiny grains, usually twinned.
Colors Greenish yellow.
Luster Vitreous.
Fracture Brittle; grinds to felt-like powder.
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.
Spectral Not diagnostic.
Formula(Na,K)5(Ca, Mn, Mg)4(Si2O5)5(OH, F)3

OPTICS: a= 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 not canasite in it but is a new, distinct species.

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