Celestite Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

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Custom cushion-cut celestite, 5.12 cts, 10.6 x 8.9 mm, Madagascar. © The Gem Trader. Used with permission.

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.

Celestite Value

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Celestite Information

Data Value
Name Celestite
Crystallography Orthorhombic, Crystals common, usually tabular; also nodules, earthy, massive.
Crystallographic Forms
Refractive Index 1.622-1.635
Colors Colorless, white, gray, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red shades.
Luster Vitreous; pearly on cleavage.
Hardness 3-3.5
Fracture Uneven
Specific Gravity 3.97-4.00
Birefringence 0.009-0.012
Cleavage Perfect 1 direction, good 1 direction
Dispersion 0.014
Heat Sensitivity Yes
Luminescence Blue in SW. Blue or dull yellow in LW. May phosphoresce blue-white.
Luminescence Present Yes
Luminescence Type Fluorescent, Phosphorescent, UV-Long, UV-Short
Transparency Transparent
Absorption Spectrum Not diagnostic
Formula SrSO4
Pleochroism Weak, in shades of indigo blue, blueish green, and violet.
Optics a = 1.622 – 1.625; β = 1.624; γ = 1.631 -1.635. Biaxial (+), 2V = 50°
Optic Sign Biaxial +
Etymology From the Latin coelestis for “celestial,” in allusion to the delicate and lovely pale blue color often displayed by this mineral.
Occurrence Celestite occurs in sedimentary rocks, especially limestones; it is also found in hydrothermal vein deposits, sometimes in igneous rocks.
Inclusions Single phase, liquid inclusions; partially healed fractures.
celestites in geode

Celestites in a geode, Sakoany deposit, Katsepy Commune, Mitsinjo District, Boeny Region, Mahajanga Province, Madagascar. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

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.

orthorhombic crystal

Celestite showing orthorhombic crystal structure. Photo © Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA. Used with permission.

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.

celestite - Madagascar

Celestite: Madagascar (7.75). Photo © Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA. Used with permission.

Identifying Characteristics

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.

celestite - Canada faceted gem

Celestite: Canada (1.5). Photo © Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA. Used with permission.

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).
celestine crystal - Texas

Celestine crystal (celestite), Bull Creek, near Austin, Travis County, Texas, USA. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

  • Austria; Egypt; Bristol, England; France; Germany; Italy; Madagascar; San Luis Potosi, Mexico; Russia; Girgenti, Sicily; Switzerland; Tunisia.

Stone Sizes

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)
celestite crystals - Crystal Cave, Ohio

Celestite crystals, Crystal Cave, Put-in-Bay, Ohio. Photo by James St. John. Licensed under CC By 2.0.

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.

celestite - Madagascar faceted gem

Celestite: Madagascar (16.3). Photo © Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA. Used with permission.

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