Sarcolite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information


faceted sarcolite - Italy
Sarcolite: Italy (0.33). Photo © Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA. Used with permission.

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

Sarcolite Value

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

Sarcolite Information

DataValue
NameSarcolite
Crystallography Tetragonal. Crystals equant, grains.
Refractive Index 1.604-1.657
Colors Colorless, reddish, rose red, reddish white, "fleshy pink."
Luster Vitreous.
Fracture Conchoidal.
Hardness 6
Specific Gravity 2.92
Birefringence 0.011-0.017
Cleavage None.
Transparency Translucent.
Formula(Ca,Na)4Al3(Al,Si)3Si6O24
Optics o = 1.604-1.640; e = 1.615-1.657. Uniaxial (+).
EtymologyFrom the Greek words for "flesh" and "stone," in allusion to the color.
OccurrenceIn contact metamorphosed limestone-bearing volcanic ejecta.
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.

Synthetics

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.

Enhancements

No known gemstone treatments.

Sources

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.

Care

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.

Consult our gemstone jewelry cleaning guide for more recommendations.