Celestite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information
Soft, fragile, and hard to cut, celestite or celestine is seldom seen in gem collections. These gems are usually colorless or pale blue, but rare orange, green, yellow, and red shades have also been found.
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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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What is Celestite?
The minerals barite and celestite form a series. Baryte lies at the barium (Ba) end; celestite at the strontium (Sr) end. Celestite is a major source of strontium. Both celestites and barites form in the orthorhombic crystal system.
Does Celestite Make a Good Jewelry Stone?
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.
Celestites from Madagascar have refractive indices as follows: a = 1.619; γ = 1.631.
Are There Any Synthetic Celestites?
There are no known synthetic celestites.
Blue gems may fade because of heat or light, but irradiation may restore the color.
Where are Celestites Found?
Canada produces rare orange crystals. Tsumeb, Namibia also yields gem-quality material.
Other notable sources include the following:
- United States: California; Colorado; Strontian Islands, Lake Erie, Michigan (gemmy material); Chittenango Falls, New York; Clay Center, Put-in-Bay, Ohio; Lampasas, Texas (gemmy blue material).
- 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).
- Private collection: 2.98 cts (blue, New York)
How to Care for Celestite Jewelry
Clean celestites only with a soft brush, mild detergent, and warm water. Consult our gemstone jewelry cleaning guide for more recommendations.
Joel E. Arem, Ph.D., FGA
Dr. Joel E. Arem has more than 60 years of experience in the world of gems and minerals. After obtaining his Ph.D. in Mineralogy from Harvard University, he has published numerous books that are still among the most widely used references and guidebooks on crystals, gems and minerals in the world.
Co-founder and President of numerous organizations, Dr. Arem has enjoyed a lifelong career in mineralogy and gemology. He has been a Smithsonian scientist and Curator, a consultant to many well-known companies and institutions, and a prolific author and speaker. Although his main activities have been as a gem cutter and dealer, his focus has always been education. joelarem.com
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