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Vesuvianite, also known as Idocrase after its discovery at Mount Vesuvius, has crystals that are prismatic and glassy. It is usually green or chartreuse in color, but may be found in yellow to brown, yellow-green, red, black, blue or purple hues.

Vesuvianite Polished
Vesuvianite Classification
Common Name Vesuvianite
Species Vesuvianite
Vesuvianite Optical Properties
Transparency Translucent-Transparent
Dispersion Strength: Weak Fire Value: 0.019
Refractive Index 1.713-1.718 Tolerance: (+0.003/-0.013)
Birefringence 0.003- 0.006
Optic Character Uniaxial
Optic Sign Positive or Negative
Polariscope Reaction Aggregate (AGG), Doubly Refractive (DR)
Fluorescence SWUV: inert to yellow or orange
LWUV: inert to orange yellow
CCF Reaction None
Pleochroism Dichroic, Un-observable or weak, varying shades of body color
Vesuvianite Characteristic Physical Properties
Hardness 6-7
Streak White
Specific Gravity 3.250-3.500
Toughness Fair
Stability Good
Fracture Conchoidal, Granular, Uneven
Cleavage Poor, in three directions
Vesuvianite Chemistry & Crystallography
Chemical Name calcium magnesium aluminum silicate
Chemical Formula Ca10Mg2Al4(SiO4)5(Si2O7)2(OH)4
Crystal System Tetragonal
Chemistry Classification Silicate

Vesuvianite Colors

  • Yellow Vesuvianite Yellow
  • Green Vesuvianite Green
  • Purple Vesuvianite Purple
  • Red Vesuvianite Red
  • Blue Vesuvianite Blue
  • Brown Vesuvianite Brown

Alternate Names


Countries of Origin

Tanzania, United Republic Of; Afghanistan; United States of America (the); Kenya; Switzerland; India; Canada; Pakistan; Unknown; Norway; Russian Federation (the); Brazil; Italy


Moderately soft, so be mindful of scratching

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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.