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>> Group(s) : sulfates
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The exact origin of his name still appears uncertain. The Greek word "gypsos", meaning "plaster", and would decompose into "ge" for “ stone “, and "Ipson" for “burn”. The origin of the word would rather be Semitic. In Latin, gypsum, in old French was called gip. This is the plaster stone, heated gypsum becomes plaster, which mixed with sand had formed the first mortars used for the Egyptian pyramids. The fibrous form, called selenite, presents a chatoyancy effect. Gypsum is the standard hardness 2 on the Mohs hardness scale ranging from 1 (talc) to 10 (diamond).

Exploited sites

Mineral spread worldwide.
In France the quarries of Montmartre in Paris produced enormous amount of gypsum. The quarry of Caress - Cassaber in the Pyrenees produced crystals more than 1 meter long( 1Mt = 1.09 Yds ).
The record being held by the giant crystals of the Naica Mine, Chihuahua, Mexico: they exceed 10 meters (10.9 Yds)

See pictures of the mines / other pictures

Use in jewelry

collection stone, heat sensitive and very fragile

Looking alike stones

anhydrite , aragonite , calcite , dolomite , magnesite

Historical healing properties

Its variety called "spearhead" has long been compared to the shape of a compass needle and it was awarded the power to help navigation and find the way. The fibrous gypsum, it would help to follow this path. In general, the gypsum is related to the root chakra and would help to refocus energies.

Chemical characteristics
Ca[SO4] - 2H2O

hydrated calcium sulfate

Physical characteristics

Main color : colourless

Other colors : white, blue, brown, grey, pink, green

Color of streak : white

Luster : vitreous, pearly

Hardness : 2.0

Density : 2.20 to 2.40

Cleavage : perfect

Fracture : splintery, uneven

cleaves in sheets, strips

Optical properties

Transparency : transparent, translucent

often completely transparent

Refractive Index : 1.520 - 1.530

Double refraction : 0.009

Weak, biaxial (+)

visible double refraction : no

Dispersion : 0.035 (0.010)

Pleochroism : very weak

Number of colors : 1

Fluorescence : variable

Yellow, orange, greenish

Inclusions : liquid inclusions


May exceed 10 meters, often twinned, spearheaded ...


Crystal system : monoclinic

Other informations

Astrological sign : Taurus, Libra

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