Published January 2021  •  Updated July 2022  •  Read Time: 6 minutes
Idocrase is a synonym for the mineral Vesuvianite.  While Vesuvianite is the more proper name scientifically, Idocrase is often used in the jewelry and metaphysical industry to refer to the gemmy translucent crystals.  The crystal can be formed in metamorphic or igneous rocks, but it is famous for its close ties to volcanos.  The gem was first seen on Mount Vesuvius, a volcano which towers above Naples, Italy.  This is one of the most active and dangerous volcanoes to humans and was responsible for burying the ancient Roman city of Pompaii.  Idocrase is a stone of harmony and balance.  It helps us to know what words and actions will serve the Highest Good.

Idocrase idocrase meaning

Idocrase Meaning

Spiritual Healing Properties

Idocrase brings balance and harmony to our mind, heart, and body, allowing our spirit to be blissfully free and able to manifest our true desires. It aligns our thoughts, words, actions, and even our conscious and subconscious beliefs with whatever most supports our Highest Good. Idocrase supports deep transformational work, and is an excellent tool for both Lightworkers supporting transition as well as their clients making the actual changes. Idocrase increases clairsentience and empathy, helping us to be more compassionate and wise in all our dealings.

Metaphysical Properties Idocrase
Chakra All
Element Earth
Numerology 2 and 3
Zodiac Sagittarius and Capricorn

Emotional Healing Properties

Idocrase helps us feel safe and grounded enough to feel all the emotions that course through us, without becoming overwhelmed by them. In particular, it helps us to pay better attention to the link between our physical body and our emotional body. Reminding us that taking care of our body, through healthy eating habits, exercise, sleep, etc…is good for our mental and emotional health. Likewise, when we have good emotional habits, by having healthy boundaries, regular social interaction, access to nature, etc…our physical bodies reap the benefits. Idocrase is a stone of courage, inviting us to change ourselves and to shake up our world. It dares us to become the best version of ourselves.

Mental Healing Properties

Idocrase heightens our analytical skills for self-exploration and understanding others. It helps us to stop and question negative thoughts and patterns and to focus instead on problem-solving and creating lasting joy and peace. In particular, Idocrase can help us to explore our basic response mechanisms to negative situations; “fight, flight, freeze, or fawn,” and learn why we respond the way we do to situations and whether or not we need to change our responses. Anyone who needs to make a major life decision, whether about a relationship, career, or habit will strongly benefit from working with Idocrase. It is a highly creative stone as well, making it an excellent talisman for inventors and artists.

Physical Healing Properties

Idocrase is said to strengthen the physical body, either to heal it after sickness or injury, as well as to bring it into peak condition during training. Metaphysical healers most often use it to treat the legs and feet, as well as to restore or strengthen our sense of smell. It is also believed to help reduce varicose veins and promote young and healthy skin, as well as whiter teeth.

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Idocrase Mineralogy

Where does Idocrase come from?

Gemstone-quality Idocrase is found in Canada, Italy, Russia and the United States (California, Maine, New Jersey and New York.)

Mining and Treatments

Idocrase is mined in its primary deposit, usually in association with Calcite, Grossular Garnets, and Diopside.

All Idocrase are fully natural and have been enhanced only by tumbling, cutting, and polishing. Because of their color, they are sometimes used as substitutes for Emerald and Jade.

Idocrase Placeholder

Mineral Family

Idocrase is a synonym for a mineral properly known as Vesuvianite, but it is often used to denote the translucent gem-variety. Idocrase/Vesuvianite is a Sorosilicate mineral. 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. There are six main groups of Silicate minerals, and these main groups are further subdivided into secondary subdivisions, such as Quartz and Feldspar. Danburite belongs to the sorosilicate family, in which two tetrahedral groups share a single oxygen molecule.

Danburite’s energy works well with its family – other sorosilicate minerals.  Try it in combination with Danburite, Dragonstone, Epidote, Tanzanite, Thulite, and Zoisite.

Idocrase Formation and Crystal Associates

Idocrase is formed by the contract metamorphism of limestone, and is typically found in Marble. It can also be found in igneous rocks such as Granite, Nepheline, and Syenite.

Idocrase’s energy works well with its “friends” – crystal associates formed in the same geological environment.  Try it in combination with Grossular Garnet, Diopside, Kammererite, and Seraphinite

Mineralogy Idocrase
Chemical Formula Ca10(Mg, Fe)2Al4 (SiO2O7)2(OH,F)4
Cleavage Poor
Color Green, yellow
Crystal System Tetragonal or monoclinic
Form/Habit Prismatic
Fracture Subconchoidal to uneven, brittle
Hardness – Mohs Scale 6.5
Luminescence Orangey-yellow (long wave) / Yellow (short wave)
Luster Vitreous to resinous
Mineral Family Sorosilicates
Specific Gravity 3.4
Streak White to pale greenish-brown
Transparency Translucent to Opaque

History of Idocrase

Idocrase is a synonym for the mineral Vesuvianite.  Vesuvianite is the official scientific name, but in popular use Idocrase is used if the mineral forms translucent crystals, while Vesuvianite is used if the mineral is opaque.  The reason there are two competing names is because two different mineralogists identified the stone in the late 1790s within just a few months of each other, and it was several years before anyone realized they were actually the same stone.

Vesuvianite was named first, in 1795 by Abraham Gottlob Werner (1749-1817), a German mineralogist.  Because he named it first, Vesuvianite is recognized as the official name.  The original specimen had come from Mt Vesuvius, a volcano in Italy.  Idocrase was named the next year by French mineralogists, Rene Just Hauy (1743-1822).  His specimen was also from Mt Vesuvius, and he came up with the name Idocrase by combining the Greek words eidos (form) and krater (mouth of a volcano).  Mt Vesuvius is one of the most dangerous volcanos in the world because 3 million people live near enough to be affected by an eruption, with the city of Naples and 600,000 people directing in the danger zone.

Vesuvius, idocrase, vesuvianite

Mt Vesuvius, Naples, Italy

Mt Vesuvius famously erupted during the Roman Empire in 79, burying the city of Pompeii, as well the nearby cities of Herculaneum, Oplontis and Stabiae.  One of the many victims of the eruption was Pliny the Elder (23-79), the author of the oldest lapidary that describes gemstones and their powers.  Pliny was stationed in the Roman Navy during the eruption and led a rescue mission to the city Stabiae.  As they approached the city, ash and pumice from the eruption began to fall on the ships.  The helmsman said they should turn back, but Pliny replied, “Fortune favors the bold.”  The ships successfully landed and they found survivors.  But the winds were not in their favor and they couldn’t sail away in time.  While they waited, Pliny died.  Perhaps because he breathed in toxic gases and suffocated, perhaps he had an ill-timed heart-attack.  His crew and some of the city’s survivors were able to escape the worst of the danger.