Celestine - Occurrence, Properties, and Distribution

Celestine is a strontium sulfate mineral. It was first discovered in 1791 on Kelley Island, Lake Erie. It belongs to the barite group of minerals. It was named after the Latin word for celestial, in allusion to the bluish color of the mineral.

Properties of Celestine

The following are the key properties of Celestine:

  • Cell Data
    • Space Group: Pnma
    • a = 8.359
    • b = 5.352
    • c = 6.866
    • Z = 4
  • Crystal Data
    • Orthorhombic
    • Point Group: 2/m 2/m 2/m
    • Well-formed crystals are common; typically thin to thick tabular on {001} with large {210}; tabular on {001} or {100}, lath-like or with equant cross-sections; also elongated along [010] or [001], to 45cm; may be equant with equal {001}, {011}, {101} or pyramidal with {122}, {011}, {102}. Also fibrous, lamellar, earthy, massive granular
    • X-ray Powder Pattern: 2.972 (100), 3.295 (98), 2.731 (63), 3.177 (59), 2.041 (57), 2.045 (55), 2.674 (49)
  • Chemical Composition
    Elements Content 1 Content 2
    SrO 56.2 56.41
    SO3 43.4 43.59
    CaO 0.4 -
    Total 100 100
  • Optical Properties
    • Optical Class: Biaxial (+)
    • Pleochroism: Weak; if blue, indigo-blue, lavender-blue, violet
    • Orientation: X = c; Y = b; Z = a
    • Dispersion: r < v, moderate
    • Absorption: Z > Y > X
    • α = 1.619–1.622
    • β = 1.622–1.624
    • γ = 1.630–1.632
    • 2V(meas.) = 50°
  • Estimated Properties
    Electron density Bulk density (electron density)=3.70 g/cm3
    note: Specific gravity of Celestine =3.95 g/cm3
    Photoelectric PECelestine = 54.93 barns/electron
    U= PECelestine x ρElectron density= 203.17 barns/cm3
    Fermion index Fermion index = 0.03
    Boson index = 0.97
    Celestine is not radioactive

How to Identify Celestine

Celestine is often a colorless mineral, but it can appear green, gray, brown, or blue in color. It exhibits vitreous luster, white streak, and perfect cleavage. It also has a transparent to subtranslucent appearance, brittle fractures, and fluorescent luminescence.

It can be formed as massive granular crystals. The average density of celestine is 3.95 g/cm3, and its hardness ranges from 3 to 3.5.

Global Distribution

Celestine is distributed in the following places:

  • Bellwood, Blair Co. Pennsylvania
  • Crystal Cave, Put-in-Bay, South Bass Island, and at Clay Center, Ottawa Co. Ohio
  • Cave-in-Rock, Hardin Co. Illinois; at the Scofield quarry, Maybee, Monroe Co. Michigan
  • Adamsville, Lampasas Co. Texas
  • Dundas, Ontario, Canada
  • Matehuela, San Luis Potosi, and at Musquiz and Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila, Mexico
  • Girgenti, Caltanissetta, and elsewhere in Sicily, Italy
  • Konrad mine, near Salzgitter, Lower Saxony, Germany
  • Yate, near Bristol, England. From Bamle, Norway
  • Jebel Mokattem, near Cairo, Egypt
  • Sakoany, near Mahajanga (Majunga), Madagascar

Occurrence of Celestine and Useful Mineral Association

Celestine occurs in primary sedimentary origin, diagenetic, or, typically, as fissure and cavity fillings; precipitated by migrating strontium-bearing ground water, or basinal brines in carbonate rocks, concretions, and nodules.

It can also be found in mafic volcanic rocks, and hydrothermal veins. The mineral is closely related to celadonite, hydroxyapophyllite, natrolite, analcime, fluorite, gypsum, anhydrite, dolomite, calcite, strontianite, and sulfur.


Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this article?

Leave your feedback