Sarcolite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

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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 Information

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

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.


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.


No known gemstone treatments.


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.


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.

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