Vesuvianite (Idocrase)

Vesuvianite is named after the Mount Vesuvius, where it was first discovered in 1795.

It is also called Idocrase (Greek - mixed form) with reference to the fact that its crystals usually combine the forms of other minerals.

Vesuvianite can be faceted or used in its massive form as a substitute for jade.

Vesuvianite Gemstones by Colour

This table shows the variety of hues this gemstone can be found in. Click on a photo for more information.
 
 
 
 
 

Vesuvianite Gemstones by Size

This table shows distribution of Vesuvianite gemstone sizes that are listed on this site. This can give a good indication as to the general availability of this gemstone in different sizes.
Contributed photos
Lightest:0.32 cts
Heaviest: 8.27 cts
Average:1.93 cts
Total photos:39
Do you have a larger Vesuvianite? Why not upload a photo?
0.32ct to 1.12ct1.12ct to 1.91ct1.91ct to 2.71ct2.71ct to 3.50ct3.50ct to 4.30ct4.30ct to 5.09ct5.09ct to 5.89ct5.89ct to 6.68ct6.68ct to 7.48ct7.48ct to 8.27ct
General Information
Varieties/Types:
Californite - A compact green jade-like variety of Vesuvianite.
Cyprine (of Berzelius) - A blue variety of Vesuvianite coloured by traces of copper.
Other Names/Trade Names:
Chemical Formula
Ca
 
10
Mg
 
2
Al
 
4
(SiO
 
4
)
 
5
(Si
 
2
O
 
7
)
 
2
(OH)
 
4
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
More from other references
Photos of natural/un-cut material from mindat.org
Physical Properties of Vesuvianite
Mohs Hardness6.5 to 0
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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Specific Gravity3.25 to 3.50
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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TenacityBrittle
Anthony et al, Handbook of mineralogy (2001)
Cleavage QualityIndistinct
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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FractureUneven,Splintery
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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Optical Properties of Vesuvianite
Refractive Index1.700 to 1.725
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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Optical CharacterUniaxial/+,-
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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Birefringence0.002 to 0.012
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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PleochroismOrange/brown vesuvianite - weak: light body color - dark body color; Green - weak: yellow-green - yellow-brown; Yellow - weak: colorless - yellow
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
Dispersion0.019 to 0.025
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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ChatoyancyRare
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
Colour
Colour (General)Yellowish-green, green, yellowish-brown, violet
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
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Causes of ColourGreen, Fe3+ in octahedral coordination; with possible influence of Fe2+Fe3+ charge transfer. Yellow, O2-Fe2+ charge transfer. Brown, Fe2+Ti4+ charge transfer
W. William Hanneman, Pragmatic Spectroscopy For Gemologists (2011)
TransparencyTransparent,Translucent
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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LustreGreasy
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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Fluorescence & other light emissions
Fluorescence (General)None
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
Crystallography of Vesuvianite
Crystal SystemTetragonal
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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HabitThick columnar crystals
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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Geological Environment
Where found:Vesuvianite occurs in skarns formed during contact or regional metamorphism of limestones in serpentines and ultramafic rock
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
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Inclusions in Vesuvianite
Swirly appearance, rounded crystal inclusions, healing planes - Gemmological Tables, Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, 2004, p 20
Further Information
Mineral information:Vesuvianite information at mindat.org
Significant Gem Localities
Canada
 
  • Québec
    • Estrie
      • Les Sources RCM
        • Asbestos
Norway
 
  • Telemark
    • Hjartdal
      • Sauland
        • Kleppan
[var: Cyprine (of Berzelius)] Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
USA
 
  • California
    • Riverside Co.
      • Crestmore
    • Siskiyou Co.
      • Klamath Mts
        • Happy Camp
          • Greens Bar placer
MacFall, 1951. Gem Hunter's Guide, 1st ed.
        • Preston Peak
Gems & Minerals (1963): July: 20-22; USGS (2005), Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS): U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, loc. file ID #10286810.
Copyright © Jolyon & Katya Ralph 1993-2019. Site Map. Locality, gem & photograph data are the copyright of the individuals who submitted them. For more information please contact the . Gemdat.org is an online information resource dedicated to providing free gemmological information to all.