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Elongated Celestine

The Mineral celestine




Celestine is an attractive mineral that forms in well-shaped crystals with a distinctive soft blue color. Crystals may be a solid color, but may also have lighter and darker color zones of blue. While pure Celestine is colorless, various impurities give this mineral a wider range of colors, especially the unique blue color. Celestine geodes of large, deep sky-blue crystals are well-known and abundant from Madagascar.

Celestine is isomorphous with Barite, and may partially replace it. One specimen may even be part Barite and part Celestite within a single crystal. Celestine is named from the Latin term caelestis, alluding to it typical celestial sky-blue color.
Chemical Formula SrSO4
Composition Strontium sulfate, sometimes with small amounts of barium
Variable Formula (Sr,Ba)SO4
Color Blue, white, colorless, orange, orange-brown, light brown, yellow, greenish-blue, gray. Crystals may also be slightly multicolored, with light blue on one end and colorless on the other.
Streak White
Hardness 3 - 3.5
Crystal System Orthorhombic
3D Crystal Atlas
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Crystal Forms
and Aggregates
Occurs as prismatic and tabular crystals, and as thin tabular plates. May also occur as thick, pseudohexagonal trillings, as well as dense aggregates of such crystals. Also occurs massive, radiating, grainy, nodular, and botryoidal. May also be as fibrous masses, as dense clusters of tabular crystals, as fragile, elongated crystal clusters, as fillings in geodes, and as cleavage fragments. Crystals are sometimes striated, and occassionally contain phantom growths.
Transparency Transparent to translucent
Specific Gravity 3.9 - 4.0
Luster Vitreous; pearly on cleavage surfaces
Cleavage 1,1 - basal ; 2,1 - prismatic ; 3,1 - pinacoidal
Fracture Uneven
Tenacity Brittle
Other ID Marks 1) Occasionally fluorescent in shortwave ultraviolet light.
2) Sometimes thermoluminescent.
In Group Sulfates; Anhydrous Sulfates
Striking Features Crystal forms, color zoning in some specimens, and hardness.
Environment In sedimentary rock such as limestone. Very rarely in metal ore veins.
Rock Type Sedimentary
Popularity (1-4) 1
Prevalence (1-3) 1
Demand (1-3) 1

Celestine ON EBAY
OTHER NAMES
Celestite

VARIETIES
 -  Celestine with inclusions of sand, causing the specimen to be brown or grayish in color and opaque.

USES
Celestine is the most common mineral containing the element strontium, and is its primary ore. It is a popular mineral among collectors, and the geodes from Madagascar are used as ornamental rocks.

NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES
Fine Celestine specimens have been obtained from many localities worldwide. Blue and white crystals are found in Italy associated with bright yellow Sulfur crystals in the famous Sicilian mines of Cattolico, Agrigento, Floristella, and Caltanissetta. Fine Celestine also associated with Sulfur comes from Poland at the Machow Mine, Tarnobrzeg. There are several excellent Spanish localities for this mineral, especially Puente Tablas, in Andalusia; Tora, in Catalonia; and Arneva, in Alicante. Fine crystals once came from Yate in Gloucester, England. Beineu-Kyr, in Turkmenistan, is an uncommon yet desirable source of this mineral.

Enormous blue Celestine crystals, some in geodes, were found in Madagascar, in Sakoany, Mahajanga Province. Red Celestine which at one time was thought to be Barite comes from the Hammam-Zriba Mine, Tunisia. Other African localities are Jabal Akhdar, Libya; and the Wessels Mine, Hotazel, South Africa.

In Canada, Celestine comes from the Lafarge Quarry, Dundas; and from the Deforest Quarry, Inglewood, both in Ontario. In Mexico, Celestine is found in the Mojina Mine, Ahumada, Chihuahua; and in the Tule Mine, Melchor Múzquiz, Coahuila.

The best specimens of this mineral come from the U.S. The type locality and earliest occurrence is Bell's Mill, Bellwood,  Blair Co.,  Pennsylvania, where it was found in fibrous veins. Another important Pennsylvania locality is the Meckley's Quarry, Mandata, Northumberland Co. A historic occurrence is Lockport, Niagara Co., New York, where this mineral was discovered while digging the Erie Canal. There are several other Celestine localities in central New York, such as Chittenango Falls, in Madison Co; and Walworth, Wayne Co.

The state of Ohio contains perhaps the greatest deposits. Especially of note is South Bass Island in Lake Erie, where giant pale blue crystals were obtained in the hamlet of Put-in-Bay. Also in Ohio are Lime City, Portage, and the Pugh Quarry, all in Wood Co.; and Clay Center, Ottawa Co., where the Celestine occurs with pale brown Calcite and Fluorite.

Michigan contains well-known Celestine deposits in the Scofield Quarry (near Maybee), and Newport Quarry, Monore Co. Other U.S. occurences are the Annabel Lee mine,  Hardin Co., Illinois; Bull Creek, Austin, Travis Co., Texas; and Death Valley, Inyo Co., California, where it occurs as large, colorless crystals associated with Colemanite in geodes.

COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS
Calcite, Barite, Fluorite, Gypsum, Dolomite, Galena, Sphalerite, Strontianite, Pyrite, Colemanite, Halite, Sulfur (Limestone)

DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS
Barite - Very difficult to distinguish without locality information, although Barite is heavier.
Gypsum - Softer (2), sectile, lighter in weight (2.3 - 2.4).
Calcite - Perfect rhombohedral cleavage, lighter in weight (2.7), effervesces in acid.
Feldspars - Harder (6), lighter in weight.
Fluorite - Forms only in isometric crystals, lighter in weight (3.0 - 3.3), has perfect cubic cleavage.
Colemanite - Harder (4 - 4½), lighter in weight (2.4).


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