Selenite VS Satin Spar

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There has been some debate in regards to Satin Spar and Selenite. Are they they same? How do they differ? What do you need to look for to know which one you have? In this article and video I am going to teach you more about the differences and visually show you side by side these crystals so that you can easily tell which on you have in your collection.




MOH’s Hardness
Selenite: 2
Satin Spar: 2

Streak:
Selenite: White.
Satin Spar: White.

Color and Mineral Content:
Selenite: Selenite is a transparent and colorless (or very lightly colored) variety of Gypsum that forms in distinct crystals. (source: minerals.net) The name ‘Selenite’ is mostly synonymous with Gypsum but has been used historically to describe the transparent variety, as opposed to Satin Spar Gypsum for the fibrous variety and Alabaster for the fine-grained massive form. (source: mindat.com) Selenite can be found as colorless, white, gray, brown, beige, orange, pink, yellow, light red, green. Selenite has the chemical composition CaSO4 · 2H2O (Hydrous calcium sulfate). (Click here to read more about Selenite/Satin Spar.)

Satin Spar: Satin Spar is a fibrous form of Gypsum. It is generally white, silky and translucent with pearly or milky appearance although you can also find peach/orange commonly sold as well. The name Satin Spar was first used for a variety of Calcite (Satin Spar Calcite). It has since been used to cover varieties of Aragonite and Selenite. It is best to use this name as an adjective in conjunction with a mineral name rather than as a specific variety name of its own (ie: Satin Spar Selenite). Satin Spar has the chemical composition of CaSO4 · 2H2O (Hydrous calcium sulfate). (Click here to read more about Selenite/Satin Spar.)

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