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>> Group(s) : silicates
See the pictures :

Its name comes from the Vesuvius (Italy) where it was discovered, it is also called vesuvienne, idocrase, wiluite (form the Wilui River in Yakutia, Russia).
The californite variety, discovered in 1963 by the famous mineralogist Kunz, is a massive, persistent and green variety of vesuvianite typical of United States, sometimes also called "California jade", found in the Siskiyou Mountains.Of a solid color, with white spots, it is translucent to opaque and resembles nephritis (but its refractive index is higher) and grossular with which it can mix ...
A rare bluish copper variety, is called " cyprine " after the island of Cyprus, although mainly found in Telemark (Norway). A manganese rich variety, of a beautiful pink color, was discovered in Canada.
There is also an emerald green chrome variety that also comes from Canada, in Jeffrey Mine, at Asbestos, Quebec.
Gemologists call it vesuvianite but mineralogists continue to call it idocrase, name given by René-Just Haüy, which comes from the Greek "idos " and "krasis" meaning that the crystals have shapes similar to many other minerals.

Exploited sites

It is found in France, at Peguères (Hautes Pyrenees), at Anglas (Pyrénées Atlantiques), in Canari (Corsica), Brazil, Kenya, Mexico, Russia, Sri Lanka, Switzerland. The californite comes from United States as its name suggests, (only deposit).
A purplish pink manganese rich variety, comes from Jeffrey Mine, at Asbestos, in the Quebec province, Canada.

See pictures of the mines / other pictures

Use in jewelry

It is rarely faceted, sometimes cut into cabochons, mainly for small decorative objects (californite).
The gem varieties come mainly from Kenya and Russia.

Daily care and precautions

sensitive to shocks

Looking alike stones

andradite , diopside , epidote , grossular , jade , peridot , serpentine , sinhalite , tourmaline , zircon , zoisite

Historical healing properties

For healers, it can be used on various chakras depending on its shade. Placed on the solar plexus of men, it would increase lung capacity and blood oxygenation. Placed on the women sex chakra, it would increase their fertility and for men, would give energy to spermatozoids.
Green in color, it would facilitate the kidney and bladder activity.

Imitations and treatments

To date no synthesis.

Chemical characteristics
(Ca,Mg,Al,...) (SiO7)4(SiO4)10 (OH,F,O)10

calcium, magnesium, aluminum, silicate

Physical characteristics

Main color : green

Other colors : blue, brown, colourless, yellow, pink, purple

typical intense olive green

Color of streak : white

Luster : vitreous, resinous

Hardness : 6.5

Density : 3.30 to 3.50

Cleavage : none

Fracture : conchoidal, uneven

Optical properties

Transparency : transparent, translucent, opaque

Refractive Index : 1.700 - 1.724

Double refraction : 0.004

Weak uniaxial (+/- )

visible double refraction : no

Dispersion : 0.020 (0.014)

Pleochroism : weak

Number of colors : 2

Changing shades

Absorption spectrum : 461

For the green one. 584 for the brown one. 465 for the yellow one

dark vesuvianite spectrum system

dark vesuvianite spectrum system

light vesuvianite spectrum system

light vesuvianite spectrum system

Fluorescence : none

Inclusions : crystalline needles


Both prismatic very elongated but also massive


Crystal system : tetragonal

Other informations

Astrological sign : Aries, Leo, Pisces