What is Calcite?
- Calcite is a calcium carbonate mineral and a main component of Limestone and Marble.
- Calcite is an abundant mineral that comes in a beautiful array of colours which are created by the minerals and impurities that are present in the location where it was formed.
How is Calcite formed?
- Calcite has a trigonal crystal system and a hardness of Mohs 2.5 - 3.
- Calcite often forms in masses, and it's perfect three way cleavage makes it particularly difficult to cut and carve. Calcite can also form in a vast variety of other shapes including clusters, rhombohedrons and stalactites.
Where is Calcite found around the planet?
- Calcite is found in abundance on every continent.
- Some of the most vibrant Calcite colours such as blue, green, red and orange can be found in Mexico.
- An opaque pale pink Calcite known as Mangano is mainly only found in Peru.
- Clear Calcite was originally found in Iceland but can also now be found in other locations.
What is the history and folklore of Calcite?
- The name Calcite originates from the Greek word Chalix, and it is sometimes referred to as alabaster within the archaeology and it has been used for ornamental purposes throughout antiquity.
- High grade clear Calcite which is also known as Iceland Spar, has been used for hundreds of years for optical purposes and possibly helped the Vikings with their navigation.
- Calcite was considered to have metaphysical qualities and was often used for making ritual artefacts as it was thought to heighten the affect of prayers and offerings.
- In modern times Calcite is used in many different ways, from construction materials to medicines, it is even being experimented with to create a 'cloak of invisibility'!
How do I care for Calcite?
- Calcite is a soft crystal and can be easily scratched by harder stones and materials.
- Polished Calcite can be dusted with a soft cloth and more natural specimens can be cleaned with a very soft brush.
- Do not leave in water.