… drumroll please… they are both… GYPSUM!
Gypsum in all its forms is very soft, able to be scratched with your fingernail. It is a 2 on the Moh’s scale of hardness.
Gypsum forms in 4 different ways:
- Selenite gypsum is clear or mostly clear, and forms in plates and crystals;
- Satin spar gypsum, which is striated (many lines running parallel through the mineral), is not clear but opaque when viewed from most angles, and resembles the look of fibre optic cable;
- Desert rose gypsum exhibits bladed star shapes and forms when the selenite crystal mixes with sand particles and is opaque with little to no translucency;
- Alabaster gypsum is when gypsum forms en masse, or in a massive deposit. It does not have a crystal shape at all. Fine alabaster is sculpted in Italy (and other countries), but most alabaster is ground up and used to make drywall panels!
On the market, I was confused by everyone selling satin spar and calling it selenite. In fact, no one was even mentioning the name satin spar. I knew this wasn’t right, and I could not understand what was really going on. I discussed the issue with two other vendors, one of whom is a geologist. Guess what – they both laughed at and ridiculed me when I asked why they were labelling it as selenite and not satin spar. They actually thought that the satin spar gypsum they were selling WAS selenite. Can you believe it? Just another reason why vendors did not like me asking questions, and basically challenging their mislabelled items. I am doing what I do for YOUR benefit, you the customer/collector/healer. I got into this business to pay my cost of living and to provide for YOU. You deserve to know what you are buying, and you deserve to be buying from people who know what they are selling.
Here are some photos for you to visually understand how to tell the difference. Simply remember what I have stated above about the basic qualities of each form of gypsum:
I do have a bowl made of alabaster gypsum and will try to get it posted this week (I only had videos and am teaching a grid workshop tomorrow)
ADDITIONAL POINTS TO CONSIDER
MYTH #1: Getting selenite wet – so this was another fallacy that everyone was telling everyone else with great ominous tones. Sorry, but I have washed my selenite, scrubbed it gently (gypsum is soft – a 2 on Moh’s scale of hardness), and it is not affected. Satin spar, on the other hand, IS affected by water in this way: I used hard water, and it lost its sheen. I think it is because the water deposited the hard minerals along all of the millions of strands of crystal. The satin spar gypsum DID NOT dissolve or fall apart. Only the clarity of the sheen was affected.
MYTH #2: I never have to cleanse my selenite: This was a touchy subject/still is a touchy subject. For this reason, I encourage you to sign up for my classes starting in autumn of 2021 and I will talk all about the differences between selenite and satin spar, and the best ways you can utilize them both.
I look forward to teaching you more about selenite, satin spar, and so many more stones and healing crystals in my upcoming First Class Crystals Course starting in autumn of 2021. Get on the notification list to find out when early registration opens for early gem pricing!