Idocrase/ Vesuvianite Gemstone

Idocrase/ Vesuvianite Gemstone

Idocrase is derived from the Greek words EIDOS Form and KRASIS Mixture, meaning Mixed Form. This is in reference to its crystals showing a mixture of other mineral forms. The mineral was first identified in 1975 by the German gemologist Abraham Gottlob Werner, teacher of Friedrich Mohs, inventor of the Mohs scale of mineral hardness.

Idocrase belongs to the silicate group of minerals and is of a calcium magnesium iron aluminum silicate hydroxide chemical composition. Its specific gravity is the same as Tanzanite, being of 3.32 to 3.47. Idocrase is a little bit softer than quartz, having a hardness of 6.5 on the Mohs scale. It is transparent, translucent, and opaque.

Idocrase is a rare mineral, the transparent gemstone quality specimen that can be faceted is extremely rare. The Idocrase that is used in jewelry is the opaque type that looks similar to Jade.

The opaque Idocrase has a greasy or resinous luster whereas the transparent gemstone specimen has a glass-like luster.

Idocrase is the name given to the gemstone quality specimens. However, it is usually known as Vesuvianite, a name derived from Mount Vesuvius volcano where the first sample was found.

Idocrase is a rare gemstone that occurs in a tetragonal, thick columnar crystals structure.

Idocrase for the most part will occur from dark green to green-brown and yellow-green to olive green. Extremely rare materials come in pale-blue to lilac colors. Others may occur bicolored and multicolored with random spotting and streaking.

Idocrase or Vesuvianite deposits can be found in Mount Vesuvius in Italy, Quebec in Canada, the Ural Mountains of Russia, Switzerland, Kenya and Tanzania. The transparent gemstone quality Idocrase still being scarce and rare. Other notable sources include China, Norway, Pakistan, Sweden, and the United States.

Californite or California Jade is the misleading name given to the cabochon grade material of Vesuvianite.

The Idocrase that is heavily included with Grossular Garnet is referred to as Grossular Vesuvianite. This Idocrase appears so similar to grossular garnet that it is very difficult to distinguish them apart. The thing that distinguishes them, however, is their hardness level; Grossular Garnet has a Mohs hardness of 7.0 to 7.5 and has crystals that is true dodecahedral rather than tetragonal crystals as is found in Vesuvianite. This variety of Idocrase that is heavily included with Grossular Garnet is often carved into ornamental objects.

The Jeffrey Mine in Quebec, Canada produces gemstone quality emerald-green, yellow green, violet to lilac which are extremely rare variety of Idocrase.

Chrome Vesuvianite is the chromium-rich Idocrase.

Cyprine is the rare blue colored Idocrase.

Mangan Vesuvianite is the manganese-rich Idocrase that is of a reddish to purple color.

Transparent gemstone quality Idocrase usually is faceted. It is often cut into round, marquise, octagon (emerald) cut, trillion, oval, cushion and pear shapes.

Idocrase is not known to be treated or enhanced in any way.

Idocrase looks similar to and therefore can often be confused with the following gemstones: Jade, Zircon, Tourmaline, Peridot and Garnet.

In crystal healing the preferred term is Vesuvianite instead of Idocrase; maybe because the name "I-do-crazy" is distracting to the mind especially in a healing field.

Vesuvianite is associated with the signs Sagittarius and Capricorn.

Crystal healers use Vesuvianite to cleanse stagnant negative energy from places. It is also believed to clear negative thoughts, anger, depression and fear.
It also gives power, valor and courage, and calmness even in the face of an oncoming battle. It improves cooperation in business also in the family unit.

As with most green gemstones, Vesuvianite also gives good luck, wealth, abundance, prosperity and is a highly spiritual stone.

The fact that Idocrase lacks cleavage makes it durable and suitable for earrings, pendants, bracelets and necklaces and rings. However, it is recommended that rings be set in a protective setting.

When cleaning your gorgeous Idocrase, simply use warm water and a soft cloth. If soapy water is used, remember to rinse well and remove all residue remaining in your lovely gemstone.