Charoite Cabochon Wire Wrap Pendant Wrapped in 14kt rolled gold 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 mineral of rare occurrence, 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 is known for its forbidding climate and terrain and as a traditional place of exile for political prisoners. 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.