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Scapolite's name is derived from Greek words meaning "rod" or "shaft" and "stone," which describes the shape of its crystals. Originally discovered in 1913 in the Mogok stone tract of upper Burma, scapolite has been found in many locations. However, it is typically found only in small pockets, leading to its status of rarity in the gemstone world. Scapolite is a mineral group of colorless, or translucent pink, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet or purple gemstones.

Scapolite Polished
Scapolite Classification
Common Name Scapolite
Species Scapolite
Scapolite Optical Properties
Transparency Opaque-Transparent
Dispersion Strength: Moderate Fire Value: 0.017
Refractive Index 1.540-1.579 Tolerance: (+0.015/-0.014)
Birefringence 0.004-0.038
Optic Character Uniaxial
Optic Sign Negative
Polariscope Reaction Doubly Refractive (DR)
Fluorescence SWUV: Inert to strong pink, orange or yellow
LWUV: Inert to strong pink, orange or yellow
CCF Reaction None
Pleochroism Dichroic, moderate to strong, varying shades of body color
Scapolite Characteristic Physical Properties
Hardness 5.5-6
Streak White
Specific Gravity 2.600-2.740 Typical:2.680
Toughness Fair
Inclusions Scapolite often has hollow tubes or needle like crystals.
Luster Vitreous
Fracture Conchoidal, Uneven, Brittle
Cleavage Good, in two directions
Scapolite Chemistry & Crystallography
Chemical Name sodium or calcium aluminum silicate carbonate chloride
Chemical Formula Na4Al3Si9O24Cl to Ca4Al6Si6O24(CO3, SO4)
Crystal System Tetragonal
Chemistry Classification Silicate

Scapolite Colors

  • Blue Scapolite Blue
  • Yellow Scapolite Yellow
  • White Scapolite White
  • Red Scapolite Red
  • Purple Scapolite Purple
  • Pink Scapolite Pink
  • Orange Scapolite Orange
  • Multi-color Scapolite Multi-color
  • Green Scapolite Green
  • Gray Scapolite Gray
  • Colorless Scapolite Colorless
  • Brown Scapolite Brown
  • Black Scapolite Black
  • Bi-color Scapolite Bi-color

Alternate Names

Marialite, Wernerite, Mizzonite, Meionite

Countries of Origin

Tanzania, United Republic Of; Myanmar; Afghanistan; United States of America (the); Sri Lanka; Madagascar; Kenya; Thailand; India; Canada; Pakistan; Unknown; Norway; Russian Federation (the); Brazil; Mexico


Normal, gentle handling. Avoid jeweler's torch. Treated stones when exposed to bright light color may fade.

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Optical Phenomena

Tenebrescent Scapolite

Tenebrescent Scapolite is known to come from Afghanistan. The stones are colorless in daylight. They fluoresce yellow when exposed to long wave ultraviolet light and then glows violet for a short time after UV exposure.

Tenebrescent Scapolite Scapolite
Tenebrescent Scapolite Classification
Common Name Tenebrescent Scapolite
Tenebrescent Scapolite Characteristic Physical properties
Toughness Fair

Cat's-Eye Scapolite

The chatoyancy in cat's-eye scapolites can be caused by hollow tubes or rod-like needles that run parallel to the optic axis. Cat’s-Eye stones can be found Madagascar, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania.

Cat's-Eye Scapolite Scapolite
Cat's-Eye Scapolite Classification
Common Name Cat's-Eye Scapolite
Cat's-Eye Scapolite Characteristic Physical properties
Specific Gravity 2.60
Toughness Fair
Inclusions The eye in cat's-eye scapolite is distinct and sharp. White, pink or violet material appears fibrous because hollow tubes create the chatoyancy. The cats-eye in reddish brown and brown material is caused by black and orange-red needle like crystals, elongated platelets, or dendritic inclusions. Madagascan material contains needles, hollow channels, and liquid-filled channels. Myanmar material has rod-like cavities or needles. Sri Lankan stones have parallel fibers or channels. Tanzanian material contains iron oxides and filled growth tubes.

Iridescent Scapolite

Iridescent Scapolite also known as “Rainbow Scapolite” was first reported in 2013. The iridescence is cause by stringers of Magnetite. Due to the presence of magnetite the stones are magnetic. The stones can be found in India.

Iridescent Scapolite Scapolite
Iridescent Scapolite Classification
Common Name Iridescent Scapolite
Iridescent Scapolite Optical Properties
Refractive Index 1.55
Fluorescence Inert
Iridescent Scapolite Characteristic Physical properties
Toughness Fair
Tim Matthews


Tim Matthews

Tim Matthews is President and Chief Executive Officer of Jewelry Television® (JTV), as well as a member of the company's Board of Directors. He oversees and leads all aspects of the company's powerful omni-digital retail platform that uniquely specializes in fine jewelry and gemstones. His passion for business and gemstones has led him to become a recognized expert in the field of gemology. He is a life member of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) and has earned Gem-A's highest degrees, the Gemmology (FGA) and Diamond (DGA) diplomas. He is also a Graduate Gemologist (GG) of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and has also completed GIA's Graduate Diplomas in Diamonds, Colored Stones and Pearls. Under his leadership, JTV has become the leader in the sourcing and selling of color gemstones and jewelry.

This page was created on June 27, 2014.

This page was last edited on October 24, 2019.