Celestite - Mineral and Healing Properties

Chemistry: SrSO4, Strontium Sulfate

Class: Sulfates

Group: Barite

Uses: Ore of strontium

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Celestite is a favorite among mineral collectors. Its sky blue (or celestial) color is very pretty, and is unique in the mineral kingdom. Celestite also forms with other colorful minerals, making very nice combinations. Blue Celestite with bright yellow sulfur is one of the most famous colorful combinations of minerals.

Celestite has the same structure as Barite (BaSO4), and forms very similar crystals. The two may seem identical by ordinary methods, but a flame test can distinguish them. By scraping the dust of the crystals into a gas flame, the color of the flame will confirm the identity of the crystal. If the flame is a pale green, it is barite, but if the flame is red, it is celestite. The flame test works because the elements barium (Ba) and strontium (Sr) react with the flame and produce those colors.

Normally barite is not blue, but many specimens of blue barite are often misidentified as celestite. The nice crystals, good luster and attractive blue color make fine specimens of celestite an outstanding mineral for someone's cabinet or display case.

Origin Of The Name

The name Celestite comes from the Latin word "Caelestis" which means "of the sky".

Interesting Facts

Celestite(strontium sulphate) is used in fireworks, because of its ability to burn with a bright red flame. The beautiful red color of most fireworks is caused by adding a strontium compound to the pyrotechnic mixture.

The largest known celestine geode is located near the village of Put-in-Bay, Ohio on South Bass Island in Lake Erie. The geode is 35 feet in diameter at its widest point. It has been converted into a viewing cave, and the crystals which once composed the floor of the geode have been removed. The Crystal Cave has celestine crystals as wide as 18 inches across and weighing up to an estimated 300 lb.

The mineral is also known as Celestine and is named for its occasional delicate blue color.

Where Is It Found

Celestite is only rarely an accessory mineral of ore veins which were formed from warm solutions. It is usually found in sedimentary rocks. The best occurrences are in cavities in sandstone or in limestone. The crystals usually form in the cavities and as geodes.

In the United States large crystals were found in a large limestone quarry. On Kelley Island, Lake Erie region of Ohio. Celestite was also found in Kansas, Michigan, New York and the Glen Rose Formation in Texas. Its color in these occurrences is very often the characteristic blue. Fine blue crystals are found near Manitou, Colorado, and blue radiating columnar crystal intergrowths are found at Cripple Creek, Colorado, in the gold mines. A blue fibrous vein material from Beliwood, Blair County, Pennsylvania, described in 1791, was the original celestite, the first discovery of this mineral. Clay Center, Ohio is another limestone quarry, where pockets are filled with fine blue-to-white bladed celestite, associated with a brown fluorite and yellowish calcite. Colorless transparent crystals occur with the colemanite in geodes of the Death Valley area. Reddish cloudy crystals are found near Toronto, Canada. In the Sicilian sulfur mines, fine white elongated square crystals, an inch or so in length are associated with sulfur. Geodes with large blue crystals much like those from Kelley Island are found in Madagascar.

What Do We Do With It

Celestite's popular sky blue color makes it a wonderful mineral specimen. It is also used as an ore of strontium.

Strontium also has uses in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Like barite, celestites heavy specific gravity makes it useful in rotary drilling mud.

Strontium is also widely used to manufacture glass for use in video displays like television sets. Almost all of the strontium used in this type of glass is imported, mostly from Mexico, in the form of the mineral celestite. Strontium is nontoxic and provides a dense glass that shields viewers from X-rays generated by the high voltage of cathode ray tubes. Because strontium is much less toxic than either lead or barium, it is now used almost exclusively for cathode ray tubes in televisions and computers.

Metaphysical Uses

Celestite, also known as Celestine, is revered for its high frequency and Divine energies, and is known as a powerful healing crystal. Celestite has been called a teacher for the New Age, as it will connect one with the Angelic realms, allowing for the free-flow of these higher frequencies into the Crown and Third-Eye Chakras, and also down into the Throat Chakra for expression. Bringing mental calm and clarity in the midst of any chaotic circumstance, Celestite can allow one to easily flow through a traumatic period and still come out on top.

Celestite can relieve stress, anxiety and obsessive behaviors. It is a perfect piece to carry for those who are singers, actors or speakers, as the energy will alleviate any type of stage fright or nervousness. Celestite gives courage to those who suffer from agoraphobia (fear of crowds) or public speaking. It can be beneficial for shy or timid children to try new experiences. Celestite brings harmony and balance, and will assist the holder in finding and maintaining inner peace. Its ability to heighten divine intuition makes Celestite especially useful for Reiki practice. A stone for peace and harmony, Celestite has the potential to bring these qualities into daily living. Celestite is a great facilitator for deep states of meditation, helping to calm the mind and open it to communication from the higher realms. Celestite is a perfect companion to use during dream time. It will assist in recalling not only the dream, but also the specific details of the dream. Information imparted during the dream state will also be recalled with perfect clarity.

Physically, Celestite sends energy to the organs of the higher chakras, aiding the healing of disorders such as brain imbalances, cellular disorders, and ailments of eyes, ears, nose, and throat. Celestite can also act as a detoxifier and pain reliever.

Physical Characteristics

Color: Usually blue but can also be colorless, yellow and tints of red, green and brown.

Luster: Vitreous

Transparency: Crystals are transparent to translucent.

Crystal System: Orthorhombic; 2/m 2/m 2/m

Crystal Habits: Bladed crystals that are dominated by two large pinacoid faces top and bottom and small prism faces forming a jutting angle on every side. There are many variations of these faces but the flattened blades and tabular crystals are the most common. If the pinacoid faces become diminished or are absent, the resulting prismatic crystal has a rhombic cross section. This habit is rather common in specimens from Madagascar. Also nodular, fibrous or granular.

Cleavage: Perfect in one direction, less so in another direction.

Fracture: Conchoidal

Hardness: 3 - 3.5

Specific Gravity: Approximately 3.9+ (above average for translucent minerals)

Streak: White

Associated Minerals: Calcite, gypsum, strontianite, sulfur and fluorite.

Other Characteristics: Red color in flame test (see above), some specimens fluoresce under UV light.

Best Field Indicators: Crystal habit, color and flame test.

Educational Videos

Celestite Geode

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