Charoite is a mineral in the monoclinic crystal system, appearing as an opaque gemstone with a wild, swirling pattern of interlocking crystals. The colors in each piece of charoite range from bright lavender, violet and lilac to dark purple, with white, gray and black veining. It is an unusual, rare mineral, found in the mountainous region near the Chara River in Russia, for which it might have been named (it also could have been named for the impression that it gives, as the Russian word chary means "charms" or "magic"). This part of Russia, known for its forbidding climate and terrain, is where many political prisoners have been sent into exile. The Russians first discovered charoite in 1947, but it was not known in the West until 1978. Warm soapy water is the safest cleanser for this gemstone. We have also seen "Chinese charoite" which is paler, and generally has longer stripes. (It is usually opaque fluorite with a variety of inclusions.)

Some believe that putting charoite under your pillow, will release the fears that surface in your dreams. Yoga afficionados claim that working with charoite fosters a synthesis between the heart and crown chakra, helps you walk your spiritual path with awareness, and manifests your soul's wisdom and light in daily life.

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