Scapolite

Chemical Formula (Na,Ca)4(Al,Si)3Si6O24)(Cl,CO3)
Color White, Colorless, Yellow, Orange, Brown, Pink, Purple
Hardness 5 – 6
Crystal System Tetragonal
Refractive Index 1.54 – 1.58
SG 2.5 – 2.8
Transparency Transparent to opaque
Double Refraction -0.006 to -0.0037
Luster Vitreous
Cleavage 2,2
Mineral Class Scapolite (Marialite / Meionite)
ALL ABOUT

Several habits of Scapolite are used as gemstones. The main gemstone color is yellow, followed by purple. Other colors such as pink, brown, and colorless do exist, but these are less common and seldom cut into gemstones. Scapolite often contains dense inclusions of parallel fibers, and when polished produce an excellent cat’s eye effect. When cut into cabochons, these Scapolite gemstones make fine cat’s eyes. Another gemstone form of Scapolite is an opaque, yellowish or gray opaque Scapolite associated with Diopside. This habit is well-known from an occurrence in Quebec, Canada, and produces a mottled gemstone that is popular for its strong fluorescence in both longwave and shortwave ultraviolet light.

USES

Scapolite is used mainly a collector and hobbyist gemstone, especially in its yellow and purple colors. Cat’s eye Scapolites are also used as minor gemstones and cut into cabochons. The opaque yellow fluorescent variety described above is occasionally also used as a gemstone and mostly cut into cabochons.

VARIETIES

Petschite – Trade name for purple Scapolite from Tanzania.Scapolite gemstones are generally natural and not enhanced, though it may be possible for certain forms to turn pink upon heat treatment.Gemstone forms of Scapolite come from Tanzania, Madagascar, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, India, China, Burma (Myanmar), Brazil, and Canada.Chrysoberyl, Golden Beryl, and Topaz all have a much greater hardness than yellow Scapolite. Amethyst and Tourmaline are harder than purple Scapolite, and are usually more intensely colored. Kunzite has a more distinct pleochroism over Scapolite and is usually more pink than purple. Smoky Quartz is the brown “smoky” variety of Quartz. It ranges in color from light grayish-brown to deep black. Smoky Quartz can be opaque, but is almost always transparent to translucent, even when in its darkest color shade. Smoky Quartz is very common and was never an historically important gemstone. Only in very recent times has it become a popular gemstone.
SIMILAR GEMSTONES
Scapolite SOURCES
Scapolite TREATMENTS AND ENHANCEMENTS

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