Cancrinite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information


CANCRINITE: Bigwood Township, Ontario, Canada (~3 inches across). Photo © Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA. Used with permission.

Cancrinite is one of the most attractive of all opaque or translucent gem materials. It is a bit too soft for average wear, but its distinctive color is worthy of jewelry. Cancrinite may be tricky to cut because it often contains numerous hard inclusions. Faceted gems even as small as 1 carat are considered great rarities.

Cancrinite Value

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

Cancrinite Information

DataValue
NameCancrinite
Crystallography Hexagonal. Crystals prismatic, but rare; usually massive.
Colors Colorless, white, yellow, orange, pink, to reddish, pale blue, bluish gray.
Luster Vitreous; pearly on cleavage; greasy
Fracture Fracture uneven. Brittle.
Hardness 5-6
Specific Gravity 2.42-2.51; Vishnevite: 2.3.
Birefringence 0.022 (cancrinite); 0.002-0.012 (vishnevite).
Cleavage Perfect 1 direction.
Dispersion Weak
Stone SizesMasses occur up to several pounds, but Cancrinite is usually in veins a few inches across. It is usually cut as cabochons and beads. The Canadian material is orangy yellow in color, with a greasy luster. Faceted stones are exceedingly rare and always less than 1-2 carats.
Luminescence None in UV.
Spectral Not diagnostic.
Formula(Na,K, Ca)6-8(Al, Si)12O24(CO3,SO4,Cl)1-2 · nH2O.

OPTICS:

o= 1.507-1.528; e = 1.495 -1.503 (cancrinite)

o= 1.490-1.507; e = 1.488 -1.495 (vishnevite)

Uniaxial (-), chlorine-rich variety (microsommite) is optically (+)

OCCURRENCE: Primarily in alkali-rich rocks; also as an alternation product of nepheline.

Iron Hill, Colorado; Kennebec County, Maine

Norway; Rumania; Finland; USSR; Korea; China; Zaire; India; Uganda; Kenya

Bancroft District, Ontario, Canada: fine gemmy material.

COMMENTS: Cancrinite is one of the most attractive of all opaque or translucent gem materials. It is a bit too soft for average wear, but its distinctive color is worthy of jewelry. Cancrinite may be tricky to cut because it often contains numerous hard inclusions. Faceted gems even as small as 1 carat are considered great rarities.

NAME:  After Count Cancrin, Finance Minister of Russia.