rectangular step-cut chiolite - Greenlandrectangular step-cut chiolite - Greenland

Chiolite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Chiolite makes a challenging gem. It's difficult to cut, extremely rare, and has little appeal. It's solely a curiosity in the gem world.

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Chiolite makes a challenging gem. It’s difficult to cut, extremely rare, and has little appeal. It’s solely a curiosity in the gem world.

rectangular step-cut chiolite - Greenland
Rectangular step-cut chiolite, 1.04 cts, 6.9 x 5.6 mm, Ivigtut, Greenland. © The Gem Trader. Used with permission.

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Chiolite Value

Chiolite: Greenland (1.1). Photo © Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA. Used with permission.


Less than two dozen or so cut chiolites may exist. This gem combines a very low hardness (3.5-4) and perfect cleavage with a lack of appealing colors. The stones are usually small and nondescript. However, chiolite has joined the ranks of minerals cut by faceters who must try their hand at everything clean enough to cut. Thus, a cut stone would make quite a specimen for a gem collection.

This nondescript gem also has a very similar name to cryolite, a similar, related mineral. Cryolite means "ice stone," while chiolite means "snow stone." Like their namesakes, they're sometimes found together. However, chiolites are rarer.


No known synthetics or treatments.


The mineral itself is quite rare. Ivigtut, Greenland, is the principal source of gem-quality material, where it occurs in association with cryolite. Other gem-quality sources include Miask, in the Urals region of Russia, where it's found in a cryolite pegmatite.

chiolite - Urals
Chiolite specimen from Miask, Ural, Russia, on display at the Mineralogical Museum, Bonn, Germany. Photo by Ra'ike. Licensed under CC By-SA 3.0.

Stone Sizes

Always tiny, 1-2 carat range, if clean. Large, clean fragments for cutting do not exist.


A knife could scratch this stone. Store any chiolites separately from other more common, harder jewelry stones, such as quartz or topaz. See our Gemstone Jewelry Cleaning Guide for care recommendations.

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.

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