The mineral whose chemical formula is SrSO4 is known as celestine.
Celestine consists of the chemical elements strontium, sulphur and oxygen arranged in the orthorhombic system of crystal symmetry. This system of crystal symmetry includes three axes that are at right-angles to each other and of different lengths.
Crystals celestine may be either tabular or prismatic (similar to baryte - see below). Fibrous and granular forms are also found.
The name 'celestine' is derived from the
latin word 'celestis', which means 'celestial'.
This choice of name is generally attributed to the pale
(sky) blue colour of many crystals of celestine.
Other similar minerals:
The mineral BaSO4 (Barium Sulphate) is known as baryte, and is very similar to celestine, both in terms of physical appearance, and also in terms of its chemistry and chemical properties. The difference between these substances is that where the strontium atoms are located in celestine, there are barium atoms in baryte. This results in only subtle differences in chemistry and appearance because strontium and barium are similar elements in many respects. However, unlike celestine, baryte is not usually associated with metaphysical properties, or listed in books concerned with the metaphysical properties and associations of minerals.
Structures of Celestine
Celestine and baryte have similar chemical compositions, the difference being the presence of the element strontium or barium.
The chemical formula for celestine is SrSO4 .
The chemical formula for baryte is BaSO4 .
Distinguishing features of celestine
How to tell if a crystal is celestine: All of the following apply to celestine.
- High specific gravity (very similar to baryte, distinguished from baryte by slightly lower specific gravity of celestine)
- Perfect cleavage of basal forms and good cleavage of prismatic forms
- Flame test results in crimson colour
- Hardness 3 to 3.5
Associations of Celestine
Celestine has various metaphysical associations, including:
- Use to aid mental activities and processes, integrating conciousness with instinct
- Facilitating balance in a wide range of situations
- Use to aid astral travel and dream recall
- Bringing brightened hopes and cheerful disposition - including calm, and harmony
- Pursuits involving music and delicate arts such as detailed drawing and painting
- As a gift in the spirit of love, light and blessing
- As a healing stone
Colours of Celestine
The most popular and well-known shades of blue celestine range from colourless through a faint bluish-white to sky-blue. Some texts mention other colours of celestine, including "reddish" (in The Hamlyn Guide to Minerals, Rocks and Fossils) and yellow, orange, red and red-brown (in Love is in the Earth; A Kaleidoscope of Crystals).
The two samples of blue celestine shown below are from Madagascar (see also health news Madagascar).
Above: Blue celestine plates. The image on the left is a geode and the one on the right a curved plate.