faceted sarcolite - Italy
faceted sarcolite - Italy

Sarcolite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

Sarcolite is an extremely rare mineral. Tiny, colorless to “fleshy pink” gems have been cut only from material from one locality: Mount Vesuvius.

1 Minute Read

Sarcolite is an extremely rare mineral. Tiny, colorless to “fleshy pink” gems have been cut only from material from one locality: Mount Vesuvius.

faceted sarcolite - Italy
Sarcolite: Italy (0.33). Photo © Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA. Used with permission.
Sarcolite crystal. Collected from Mount Vesuvius, Italy by William Thomson. From the collection of the National Museum of Scotland. Photo by Geni. Licensed under CC By-SA 3.0.

Does Sarcolite Make a Good Jewelry Stone?

You'll likely find sarcolites only in very complete mineral collections, if at all. Although this stone has a mid-range Mohs hardness of 6 and no cleavage, it also has "very brittle" tenacity. This means sarcolite has greater susceptibility to damage from blows than most other gemstones, common or rare. If worn as jewelry, make sure these stones have protective settings and reserve them for occasional wear.

Is There Any Synthetic Sarcolite?

Researchers have synthesized sarcolites with the same chemical formula and tetragonal crystal structure as their natural counterparts. However, this lab-created material has different optical properties: o = 1.631; e = 1.615; uniaxial (-). There is no known jewelry use for this synthetic material.

There are no known gemstone treatments for sarcolites.

Where is Sarcolite Found?

Sarcolite's type locality is the volcanic rock of Mt. Vesuvius(Monte Somma) in the region of Campania in southern Italy. Other Italian sources include Rome and the province of Trentino in northern Italy.

Connecticut and Nevada in the United States also produce sarcolite.

Stone Sizes

All faceted stones weigh 1-2 carats or less.

How to Care for Sarcolites

Use a soft brush, mild detergent, and warm water for cleaning sarcolites. Consult our gemstone jewelry cleaning guide for more 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. joelarem.com

International Gem Society

Never Stop Learning

When you join the IGS community, you get trusted diamond & gemstone information when you need it.

Become a Member

Get Gemology Insights

Get started with the International Gem Society’s free guide to gemstone identification. Join our weekly newsletter & get a free copy of the Gem ID Checklist!