Selenite & the Gypsum Family | Gemmology Lesson

Selenite & the Gypsum Family | Gemmology Lesson

By Marie Chalmers 

Let’s talk about Selenite!

Selenite is part of the Gypsum family, and Gypsum is a Mineral that forms in various ways. So, the Selenite we know and love, like the Hearts below, is your traditional white fibrous formation. This Mineral is called Satin Spar, but its trade name is Selenite, which many people recognise as Selenite.

Selenite Hand-Carved Heart

It is a form of Gypsum; it grows in a white opaque to a transparent formation with lots and lots of fibres, it is perfect if you place a light underneath. It acts like a fibre optic, and it carries the light right out of the top.

Also, that fibrous structure can create a Chatoyant effect on a piece. So, it will create a Catseye-like effect when you move it due to all those tiny fibres living close together.

Gypsum also grows in many other forms. So the other one which is quite famous is Desert Rose. As you can see in the video below, the Desert Rose is a lot of different Crystals growing in the shape of roses, and it also grows with sand, so you get this very unusual formation. We love it here at Chalmers Gems HQ!

It is a very special Stone due to its unique look, and it has been used for many years for healing purposes. People believe this Stone helps bring peace and calmness in life. So, if you ever feel like you need some tranquillity, perhaps Desert Rose is the perfect Crystal for you!

Selenite actually forms as a transparent material. Historically it was used as glass and window panes. This material is called Maria Glass. It has an unusual formation and is very fragile. If dropped, it will split into little rhombus shapes, so it easily cleaves. It is lovely, clear, shiny, and grows thinly. This is officially Selenite, but still part of the Gypsum family.

It is said that Selenite doesn’t like water. Now that is true to a certain degree, it won’t dissolve if you drop it in water, but it doesn’t like living in a humid climate, and it doesn’t like being subjected to a lot of water. So if you’re going to use an ornamental piece, don’t keep it in the bathroom or use it as part of a water feature. Just be really conscious that it doesn’t particularly get on with water. But it won’t dissolve right in front of you.

Selenite is a delicate Crystal so handle it with care. When cleaning your Selenite, using a Chalmers Gems Soft Cleaning Cloth is best.

Selenite is a really important material in the world of Crystal Healing. It is said to cleanse the Gemstones, but also it’s a really affordable material – a great Collector’s piece.  It’s also a great Stone to work with in meditation, helping to create clarity and bringing peace. So it’s a great addition to any Collection. Its fibre-optic properties make it really quite unique. And although we don’t call it by its correct name, we love it still. It is loved by Crystal Healers and Gem enthusiasts alike.

Chalmers Gems stock a huge variety of Selenite, from Tumbles to Lamps to Bracelets; there is a piece of this marvellous Gemstone for everyone!  Take a look at our Collection today and start building your own unique Gemstone or Crystal Healing Collection.

Happy Collecting!


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