A Little About Selenite / Satin Spar

Satin Spar or Selenite is a very interesting mineral, it looks very pretty and can be an amazing addition to a collection, but it can get a bit confusing. Well, first of all, is it Satin Spar or Selenite? Does it really dissolve in water? What is it said to be good for and has it ever been used in a spiritual practice by any cultures that we know of? Let's see!
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So, first of all, what is the difference between Satin Spar and Selenite? What would be the correct term? In short, it's sort of like the difference between Coal and Diamonds - they're almost the same chemically, but structurally they are different. The umbrella term for both would be gypsum, so depending on clarity and formation, we would call it either satin spar if it's a bit on the raw side and see through, or selenite if it's looking more like in the picture below, more milky and silky!
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As far as this minerals' presence in history, we know one thing for sure - the name comes from the Ancient Greek name selēnítēs líthos, which stands for 'Moon Stone' due to its milky colour, luminescence and general resemblance of the Moon. This stone has been associated with the Temple of Poseidon and attributed healing properties, however we have found no scholarly evidence for it ever being used in a ritual practice.
This theory has largely been based on the fact that this crystal has been found in the chambers under some temples, however it is not known if it could originally have been a carved vase, an accessory, or just a personal belonging of the Priest or the servants. Hopefully more evidence emerges soon!
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Another thing that we often hear is that it CANNOT touch water as it can dissolve! Is that true? Well, gypsum is a hydrated calcium sulphate that does dissolve in water. Think of it as a block of Salt. It will survive a wash, but I wouldn't leave it in water for long, as it can get damaged over time. There are other factors too, of course, like what minerals are present in the water, is it salt water, how warm is it, what is the waters pH etc.
Funny enough, there is a selenite mine in Latvia, and they pull out blocks of this mineral covered in clay from... water. So go figure...
It's a soft crystal that can be very fragile, and you can even scratch it with a fingernail, so be careful!
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Thank you for reading! Selenite palmstones are available on our shop!

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