Chemical Composition and Formation Process

Vesuvianite, also known as idocrase, is a complex calcium aluminum silicate mineral with the formula Ca₁₉(Al,Mg)₁₃(B,Al,Fe,Si)₁₈O₆₈(OH,F)₁₀. It forms in skarn deposits, which are calcium-rich metamorphic rocks that form at the contact zones between igneous intrusions and carbonate sedimentary rocks. The mineral crystallizes in the tetragonal system and is commonly found in granitic and other igneous rocks. Vesuvianite’s color can vary widely, including green, brown, yellow, and blue, depending on the presence of various trace elements such as iron, manganese, and chromium.


The name “Vesuvianite” is derived from Mount Vesuvius in Italy, where the mineral was first discovered. The alternative name “idocrase” comes from the Greek words “idos,” meaning “form,” and “krasis,” meaning “mixture,” referring to the mineral’s varied composition and morphology.

Mythology and Legends

Discovered near Mount Vesuvius (Italy), it was believed to hold the fiery energy of the volcano, granting its bearer strength and courage. During the Victorian era, vesuvianite was popular in jewelry, symbolizing spiritual growth and personal evolution.

Electric Cosmology

Mining, Production and Use

Vesuvianite was first discovered at Mount Vesuvius in Italy in 1795. Historically, it has been found in several European locations, including Norway, Switzerland, and Russia, often in conjunction with garnet and other metamorphic minerals.
Today, vesuvianite is mined in various parts of the world, including Italy, Canada (notably Quebec), the United States (California), Kenya, and Pakistan. It is typically extracted from skarn deposits and contact metamorphic zones. Mining involves both open-pit and underground methods, depending on the location and depth of the deposits.

Once mined, vesuvianite is cleaned and sorted based on color and clarity. High-quality specimens are cut and polished for use in jewelry. Lower-quality stones may be used for ornamental carvings and decorative objects. Vesuvianite is used in a variety of jewelry pieces, including rings, pendants, earrings, and bracelets. Its diverse color range makes it a versatile gemstone.