This week we take a look at one of the trendiest gemstones out there right now, sumptuous Selenite! This beauty has risen through the ranks in recent years to become one of the most popular gemstones in the marketplace, especially when it comes to small ornaments and decorative pieces. It has recently been making great strides in the jewellery-making community too, so if you haven’t yet worked with Selenite then read on to find out why we think you should!
Selenite is a family of gemstones that are all a type of Gypsum. The four varieties are: Selenite, Gypsum Flower, Desert Rose and Satin Spar, the latter being the most common. Pure Selenite is fully clear and extremely brittle. If Selenite is cloudy then it contains other minerals. Gypsum Flowers are curved rosettes of fibrous Gypsum crystals. Desert Rose contains sand throughout and is therefore often a sandy shade. Satin Spar is fibrous and silky with an almost pearl-like lustre. This is the most common variety on the market and almost inevitable what you will see used for beads in jewellery-making and small decorative ornaments. Selenite is said to be linked to angels and when you look at the Satin Spar variety it really does have an ethereal feel about it. It can look stunning on a beaded necklace when combined with almost any other gemstone which is why we believe it should be a staple of your stash!
Selenite crystals have been found all over the world, but massive slabs have been found in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Greece, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia and the USA.
Since the 15th Century, the word Selenite has been used to describe the soft mineral form of Gypsum. The name was derived from the Greek “selēnítēs líthos” meaning “Moon Stone”. This is not to be confused with the gemstone Moonstone which is an entirely different gem. People historically believed that Selenite “waxed and waned with the cycles of the Moon”.
Selenite is massively popular right now for small decorative ornaments such as bowls, prisms, obelisks, spheres etc. In fact, Mr and Mrs Charming have a whole shelf of Selenite in their kitchen! It is also one of the most widely used healing stones and is particularly popular as a bedside “aid” to bring calm and help with a good night’s sleep. We could all do with that!
One thing to say about Selenite is that it is a big old softy! It only rates as 2.0 on the MOHs scale and is so soft that you can scratch it with your fingernails! All four crystalline varieties of Selenite are slightly flexible, though will break if bent significantly. They are not elastic, meaning they can be bent, but will not bend back on their own.
Selenite is believed to help one shed one’s anxieties and worries that can weigh down one’s heart. It is said to be a stone that helps one to free oneself from tangled thoughts and helps one to unburden oneself by thinking with crystal-clear clarity. It is thought to help one with skeletal issues and reverse free radical damage to one’s cell structure.