Soft, fragile, and hard to cut, celestite or celestine is seldom seen in gem collections. Large, clean faceted celestites are very rare. These gems are usually colorless or pale blue, but rare orange, green, yellow, and red shades have also been found.
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While transparent crystals aren’t rare per se, facetable gem-quality celestites are quite rare. Regardless, celestites don’t have properties amenable to jewelry use. Their very low hardness (3-3.5), perfect cleavage, and light sensitivity make these stones better collector’s items than jewelry pieces. Faceted gems also show little dispersion.
Use protective settings for any celestites in jewelry, especially as ring stones, and reserve them for occasional use. Celestites also have great heat sensitivity. Since jeweler’s torches can easily exceed 200° C (392° F) and cause this stone’s colors to fade, be wary if you take a jewelry piece to be repaired.
Faceted celestites might appeal to collectors of unusual gemstones as display specimens.
Austria; Egypt; Bristol, England; France; Germany; Italy; Madagascar; San Luis Potosi, Mexico; Russia; Girgenti, Sicily; Switzerland; Tunisia.
Celestite gems, usually colorless or pale blue, typically weigh under three carats and often receive step cuts. However, some gems are known in the 30-carat range. Large, transparent crystals may be found and cut.
Put-in-Bay, Ohio boasts the Crystal Cave, “the world’s largest geode.” Converted into a cave, the 35′ wide geode contains celestite crystals up to 18” across.
Devonian Group (Calgary, Alberta, Canada): 20.1 cts (blue, Madagascar).
National Museums of Canada (Ottawa, Ontario): 3.11 cts (orange step cut, Ontario, Canada).