Mineral Class: Sulfate
Crystal System: Monoclinic
Diaphaneity: Transparent to Translucent
Colors: White, Colorless, Orange
Source: Brazil, Mexico, Morocco, and USA
Selenite is also known as Satin Spar, Desert Rose or Gypsum Flower and is a variety of gypsum. Selenite is made up of calcium sulfate and contains no significant traces of selenium. These names are connected only in their etymology, of Ancient Greek, meaning moon. The moon is a symbol of time, admiration, and mystery. Selenite is an ancient stone that is most often transparent and colorless known as white Selenite but it can also be found in an orange color as well.
Selenite crystals can be found both attached to a matrix or base rock, but can commonly be found as entire free-floating crystals, often in clay beds. The main distinguishing characteristics of crystalline gypsum are its softness, as they are a 2 on the Mohs scale, soft enough to scratch with a fingernail, and its three unequal cleavages. Other distinguishing characteristics include its crystal habits, pearly and vitreous luster, easy fusibility with loss of water, and solubility in hot dilute hydrochloric acid.