GRADING OF CHAROITE
Because of its complicated structure and lots of inclusions, the grade of charoite can vary from the best, jewelry grade, to the material which almost has no purple color, just within one block. From all material which is mined less than 10% usually appears to be jewelry (AAA) grade, the rest can be divided in AA, A and B grades.
Charoite AAA grade – material of good purple color, with minimum inclusions. Some parts have a nice “feather” or “parkett” pattern, which looks especially good in cabochons or jewelry. More solid areas with less pattern are good for making beads.
Charoite AA grade – material of good purple color, with some inclusions of aegirine, tinaksite or feldspar. Parts of is are good for making cabs or beads, the rest will make nice spheres or carvings.
Charoite A grade – usually this material has more inclusions than AA grade, or its color could be pale purple, purple-to-pink, or purple-to brown. This material is good for large variety of products such as spheres, pyramids, carvings, tiles and many others.
Charoite B grade – is a mixture of purple, black, yellow and brown zones. It is the ideal material for inexpensive products such as tumbled stones, small tumbled pendants and others. Even from the B-grade material some part is good to make cabochons.