Rock Type: Metamorphic Major Minerals: Scapolite (white Minor Minerals: Thulite (pink)
Color: White with pink spots Gravity: 2.5-3.4 Hardness: 5-6 Luminescence: Blue and Pink, strong Texture: Prophyritic Transparency: Opaque
Where does Cinabrite come from?
The only known deposit for Cinabrite is located in Peru.
What is Cinabrite?
Cinabrite is a combination of two distinct silicate minerals, Scapolite and Thulite (Pink Epidot). Silicate minerals are the largest family of minerals, including more than 25% of all known minerals and 40% of all common minerals. In addition to being a major part of the Earth’s crust, Silicate minerals have also been found on the moon and in meteorites. Silicates are minerals which contain the elements Silicon (a light gray shiny metal) and Oxygen (a colorless gas). Together, these two elements form a tetrahedron – a shape similar to a pyramid – with a Silicon atom in the center and Oxygen atoms at each of the four corners. These tetrahedra connect with other chemical structures, in six different ways, to form various minerals and rocks. Because Cinabrite is a combination of two minerals, it is more properly considered a “rock.” An easy way to understand the difference is that rocks are like cookies and minerals are ingredients like flour or sugar. Many different minerals are used to create a rock!
Cinabrite is a contact metamorphic rock. Contact metamorphism is the process by which a rock is changed by the pressure and extreme heat caused by a body of intruding magma. This interaction between the rock and magma often results in the formation of valuable minerals, such as Garnets and Zeolites, as well as Tanzanite, Scolecite, and Stilbite. In the case of Cinabrite, the original rock was most likely a Limestone (sedimentary rock) rich in the white mineral Scapolite. During the metamorphic process, Thulite, (pink Epidot), was created within the Limestone and combined with the Scapolite to produce Cinabrite. In the picture to the right, Cinabrite would most likely be formed in the purple belt, since Thulite is a type of Zeolite, which is closely related to Garnet.
Where is Cinabrite mined?
Because Cinabrite is so new to the market (it has been available in small quantities since 2012), little is known about the mining practices used to produce it. Considering its mineral family and formation, it is most likely a byproduct of the Calcite or Garnet mining industry in Peru.
All Cinabrites are natural, enhanced only by tumbling, cutting, and polishing.
Julie Abouzelof is the owner of Moonrise Crystals and an advocate for responsibly sourced gems and minerals. Her first career was in education teaching history, geology and anthropology, as well as working with special-needs students. She is now a heart-centered entrepreneur who encourages mindfulness and positive action to heal ourselves and the world. Julie lives in Hawaii with her lover and a little parrot named Darwin.