Charoite is a stunning gemstone from Russia that was discovered in the 1940s near the Charo River in the Murun Mountains in Yakutia (Siberia), but was virtually unknown to the outside world until around 1978. The color of this unusual gemstone ranges from opaque lilac to a deep violet with some white translucency. The natural swirling and fibrous pattern of white and black strands characterize this unique stone. In fact, the swirling patterns of interlocking crystals is unlike any other gemstone or minerals. Some of the larger stones show reddish-brown crystals called tinaksite, a natural and relatively rare mineral also found in northern Russia.Some gemologists think It's likely that this incredible stone would have gained much greater popularity over the years if it weren’t so unnaturally beautiful. Its unique color, attractive luster and translucent marbling, led many to believe that Charoite is a lab-grown, synthesized material - but it's not! One resource described it like finding a black flower - so seemingly unnatural in its beauty, it is difficult to explain. Charoite can also be difficult to cut and work with because it tends to break while cutting and polishing. Many of Miriam’s Charoite stones were purchased years ago, when the quality of the Charoite “flames” was at its peak – with rich lilac to violet colorations and a vivid pearl-like chatoyant glow. More recently mined stones, while still very pretty, are not quite as chatoyant or vivid as the original stone cuts. The new stones show more lavenders and lighter lilacs. Some of the newer mined stones, that have more quartz in them, may also be impregnated with a plastic to keep the crystals from breaking. Miriam will distinguish in her necklaces which Charoite is from her original collection, and which are more recently mined. How to care for Charoite: Charoite is heat sensitive and should not be steam cleaned or put into an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner. Like all fine jewelry, all it needs is a soft cloth gently wiped across the surface.