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Charoite - "The Queen's Mainsail"

Charoite was discovered in the late 1970s in Siberia, in the cliffs along the Chara River from which it gets its name. To say that this region is remote is an understatement. There are no roads into our out of the place where charoite is mined. Most of it is carried out in backpacks or on horseback.

In the ancient world, purple was the color worn by Roman Emperors and magistrates, and later by Roman Catholic bishops. Since that time, purple has been commonly associated with royalty and piety.

Beginning in about 1500 BC, the citizens of Sidon and Tyre, two cities on the coast of Ancient Phoenicia, began to exploit a remarkable new source of purple—a sea snail called the spiny dye-murex. The deep, rich purple dye made from this snail became known as Tyrian purple, or imperial purple.

Empresses gave birth in the Purple Chamber, and the Emperors born there were known as "born to the purple," to separate them from Emperors who won or seized the title through political intrigue or military force.

In western Europe, the Emperor Charlemagne was crowned in 800 wearing a mantle of Tyrian purple, and was buried in 814 in a shroud of the same color, which still exists.

Charlemagne's shroud

In the 18th century, purple was still worn on occasion by Catherine the Great and other rulers.

In the 20th century, purple retained its historic connection with royalty; George VI (1896–1952), wore purple in his official portrait, and it was prominent in every feature of the coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953, from the invitations to the stage design inside Westminster Abbey.

"The Queen's Mainsail "

PRICE RANGE:  $300.00 to 380.00

(Depending on size and wire selection)


The set pictured includes a large freeform cabochon cut in the shape of the mainsail of an America's Cup yacht, wrapped in sterling silver wire sculpture, and enhanced with amethyst, clear, and tanzanite-colored Swarovski crystals evoking a fireworks display.

Because of the price of the charoite, we don't stock many finished pieces. This is something we custom-make for discerning clients. See How We Work With Clients for a more detailed explanation of this process.


Mystical properties

Charoite is a soul stone with deep physical and emotional healing energies. It is a stone of transformation, is used to overcome fears, and stimulate one’s inner vision. It can be used to overcome obsessions and compulsions, ground the spiritual self, and to open and balance the crown chakra.

Charoite is reputed to lift energy when the body is exhausted, regulate blood pressure, and assist with deep sleep and powerful dreams. It is recommended to put charoite beneath your pillow, especially if you are prone to disturbed sleep or fears which surface in dreams. In combination with amethyst, it will help to release these fears.