The Gemstone Scapolite

Scapolite Cat's Eye

Scapolite is a common mineral, and its typical habit is in opaque and uninteresting forms. However, several unique localities provide gemmy transparent forms of this mineral, which make a rare and pretty gem. However, despite its lovely colors, Scapolite has been limited from becoming a more mainstream gemstone due to its relatively low hardness.


? White, Colorless, Yellow, Orange, Brown, Pink, Purple


? 5 - 6

Chemical Formula

? (Na,Ca)4(Al,Si)3Si6O24)(Cl,CO3)

Mineral Class

? Scapolite (Marialite / Meionite)

Additional Properties

Crystal System
? Tetragonal
Refractive Index
? 1.54 - 1.58
Double Refraction
? -0.006 to -0.0037
? Transparent to opaque
? 2.5 - 2.8
? Vitreous
Cleavage ? 2,2

All About

Several habits of Scapolite are used as gemstones. The main gemstone color is yellow, followed by purple. Other colors such as pink, brown, and colorless do exist, but these are less common and seldom cut into gemstones. Scapolite often contains dense inclusions of parallel fibers, and when polished produce an excellent cat's eye effect. When cut into cabochons, these Scapolite gemstones make fine cat's eyes. Another gemstone form of Scapolite is an opaque, yellowish or gray opaque Scapolite associated with Diopside. This habit is well-known from an occurrence in Quebec, Canada, and produces a mottled gemstone that is popular for its strong fluorescence in both longwave and shortwave ultraviolet light.


? Scapolite is used mainly a collector and hobbyist gemstone, especially in its yellow and purple colors. Cat's eye Scapolites are also used as minor gemstones and cut into cabochons. The opaque yellow fluorescent variety described above is occasionally also used as a gemstone and mostly cut into cabochons.



Treatments & Enhancements

? Scapolite gemstones are generally natural and not enhanced, though it may be possible for certain forms to turn pink upon heat treatment.

Scapolite Sources

? Gemstone forms of Scapolite come from Tanzania, Madagascar, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, India, China, Burma (Myanmar), Brazil, and Canada.

Similar Gemstones

? Chrysoberyl, Golden Beryl, and Topaz all have a much greater hardness than yellow Scapolite. Amethyst and Tourmaline are harder than purple Scapolite, and are usually more intensely colored. Kunzite has a more distinct pleochroism over Scapolite and is usually more pink than purple.

Scapolite Photos


Scapolite in the Rough Photos



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