What is Celestite?
- Celestite is a transparent to translucent sulphate mineral that is also known as Celestine.
- Celestite comes in a variety of colours such as grey, white, pale green and brown, but it's name derives from it's blue form.
How is Celestite formed?
- Celestite is composed of strontium sulphate and is formed at very high temperatures in hydrothermal veins and also in sedimentary and igneous rocks.
- Celestite forms in tabular and prismatic crystals.
- Celestite has an orthorhombic crystal system and has a hardness of Mohs 3-3.5.
Where is Celestite found around the planet?
- Celestite is found around the planet, but generally in small quantities.
- Some of the finest Celestite has been found in Sicily, Madagascar, Tunisia, England and North America.
- Golden Celestite from Eastern Europe was very popular in the 1990's but is now very hard to find.
- There is a crystal cave located on South Bass Island in Lake Erie where Celestite crystals with a width of 1 meter (3 feet) can be found.
What is the history and folklore of Celestite?
- The name Celestite or Celestine comes from the Latin words caelestis and caelum meaning celestial and heaven due to it's sometimes bluish colouring.
- Celestite is the principle source for the element strontium. Strontium is utilised in a variety of ways from firework and signal flare manufacturing to being used as an additive in the production of lead battery acid, rubber, paint and ceramics to name a few.
- Shamans would throw Celestite into sacred fires, as the strontium it contains would turn the flames deep red.
How do I care for Celestite?
- Celestite is soft, fragile and can be easily scratched so care must be taken when cleaning. Use a very soft bristled brush to clean geodes.
- Avoid water.
- Celestite is a heavy crystal and geodes will scratch other surfaces so take care with where and on what you place it.