What is Scapolite

24/08/2018 573 0 1


Scapolite is fairly unknown to jewellery makers,  despite it having good
design  potential. It can be used as a transparent faceted stone or as a transulcent cabochon and is becoming more widely available.


The name scapolite derives from the Greek words for "stone" and "rod" which in simple terms describes the shape of the scapolite crystals. Scapolite is also called "wernerite", named after the German geologist A.G.Werner.


Scapolite can be found in Brazil, Kenya, Canada, Myanmar,  Madagascar, Russia, and Tanzania

Above - L to R: Scapolite ring, and orange and violet scapolite , the centre stone has been treated


Scapolite material is generally colourless, or has a gold yellow, blue-grey, light red, violet or
orange hue. The colours reflect the variation in composition of the material's crystal impurities
from calcium rich to sodium rich. It has a vitreous glassy lustre and can have tubelike or dark 
mineral inclusions. Translucent cats- eye scapolite can be found in orange, pink, white-grey
 violet and light red. The cat's-eye effect (chatoyancy) can range from good to excellent, with a
sharp, white-silver eye visible down the centre of the stone. Scapolite is quite durable and can
be found as a faceted transparent gemstone or as a translucent to opaque cats eye cabochon.


Scapolite can be treated to change or improve the colour., However this is limited because
the gemstone has yet to be commercially produced in large amounts. Apart from the occasional
heating of yellow Scapolite to become violet, there is Brazilian Scapolite available which has been
treated to give an intense orange pink and raspberry pink colour.

Faceted yellow scapolite can resemble other gemstones such as chrysobel, beryl , and citrine.
Purple scapolite can be mistaken for amethyst, particularly as it has properties that are very close
to quartz. Pink scapolite is similar to rose quartz in hue, but rose quartz does not exhibit chatoyancy.



Scapolite is not a particularly expensive stone. The availabilty of Scapolite is increasing and this should be 
reflected in reductions in price of the material. The value of Scapolite is related to the colour or depth of the colour.
Pink chatoyant material with a beige-brown tint will be worth less than a stone with a clean, pure, pink colour.
Violet scapolite can range from a delicate lilac, to a deeper blackberry colour. Lower quality scapolite tends to 
be grey in tone or very dark. Faceted scapolite in yellow is cheaper than violet as it is more common.