Angelite Gemstone Information
While many people aren’t familiar with Angelite, that doesn’t mean it’s a stone that you should overlook. The Angelite gemstone has an ethereal beauty, making it an excellent option for jewelry pieces and gem collections. Along with unique colouring and intriguing patterning, it has an airy quality you don’t find in many other stones.
If you’re curious about the Angelite stone, including where it’s from, its appearance, and its properties, here’s what you need to know.
While many people call it an Angelite crystal, the gem is technically a mineral. Chemically, the Angelite stone is incredibly similar to gypsum, though it doesn’t contain any water. In fact, it’s possible to convert gypsum to Angelite. If the stone is sufficiently heated, the water within a piece of gypsum can evaporate, leaving Angelite in its place.
Angelite – which is actually a trade name for anhydrite – is an evaporite mineral. It forms when large volumes of water evaporate in sedimentary basins and is often found embedded in various rocks. As a result, it’s most commonly found along coastlines or in tidal flats.
However, you can also find the anhydrite crystal within veins in hydrothermal deposits. In either case, Angelite is often found alongside gypsum, though it can cooccur with other stones, too.
The anhydrite crystal has a distinct shimmer in its raw form, not unlike quartz. The surface is described as sugary due to the formation of the crystals.
In many cases, distinguishing the Angelite gemstone from some other gems is incredibly challenging at a glance, mainly because the appearances are so similar. Along with gypsum, both calcite and halite resemble anhydrite.
Angelite primarily comes in one colour, blue. However, blue Angelite may come in a range of shades. Generally, they tend to be pale, coming in light sky, glacier, or powder blues. In some cases, the gem is also tinged with gray, making the blue hue a bit steely. Blue anhydrite can also lean into periwinkle territory, depending on the specimen.
While the blue Angelite stone is the most common version, it can come in other colours. Along with violet, there are white, pink, gray, and brown Angelite crystals. However, those other hues result from impurities that impact the gem’s colouring.
Angelite tends to be translucent in many cases, though some pieces may be closer to transparent, while others can seem opaquer, typically after being cut and polished. The overall natural lustre is typically pearly, though it can also take on a nice shine during polishing.
The History of Angelite
As mentioned above, Angelite is a trade name for anhydrite. The name anhydrite is derived from “anhydrous,” a Greek term that means “without water.” This is a nod to the chemical composition of the stone, as it’s essentially the same makeup of gypsum, minus the water.
When it comes to how Angelite is used, it’s mainly an ornamental stone. However, there are situations where anhydrite is used as a gypsum substitute in soil treatments. Angelite contains a lot of calcium, making it an easy way to introduce a critical nutrient to the soil.
Angelite is also found in paints, varnishes, and plasters in some cases. It might also be found in joint compounds or sheetrock, increasing its prevalence in the construction industry. On occasions, Angelite crystals are also stand-ins for sulphur during the creation of sulfuric acid, though this is a less common application.
Where Is Angelite Found?
As mentioned previously, Angelite is usually found near coastlines and tidal flats. Since those occur all around the globe, reliable sources of anhydrite happen in many spots on the planet.
The United States has Angelite in many areas, including parts of Arizona, California, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, and New York. It’s also found in many parts of Europe – including Austria, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland – as well as in Brazil, Mexico, and Canada.
While Angelite isn’t as widely known as many other gems, that doesn’t mean finding Angelite jewelry is a challenge. While it’s true that you won’t find pieces featuring the stone in chain jewelry stores, simply because it isn’t a major draw and inconsistencies in the gem’s appearance make it hard to use for mass-produced products, it’s widely used by independent designers.
Independent designers can embrace the unique characteristics of anhydrite crystals. Plus, they can create small runs of pieces, allowing them to use stones that won’t work well when mass production is the goal. As a result, you can find plenty of Angelite jewelry options.
Typically, Angelite isn’t faceted. Instead, you’ll find it turned into cabochons or beads more often than not, and you may see natural tumbled stones in some cases. Beads are popular for creating an Angelite bracelet, while cabochons work well for pendants.
Angelite crystals are also a favourite for pendulums. It allows people to embrace the Angelite metaphysical properties in a new way, making it a favourite among those who enjoy that form of divination.
When it comes to the Angelite meaning, it can vary a bit depending on a person’s belief system. Due to its colouring, some view Angelite as a calming stone. It’s said to have a peaceful, relaxing energy, one that it could potentially imbue in the person holding or wearing the stone.
Others feel that Angelite can help connect people to the divine. It’s said to have a strong association with several chakras, specifically the throat, third eye, and crown. As a result, some feel it can assist with communication in several ways, including receiving guidance from the universe, turning inward to hear your deepest desires, or reaching out to those around you to promote better relationships.
As for the Angelite healing properties, it’s said to assist with reducing negative emotions and thought patterns, leading to improved mental wellness. Some believe that Angelite benefits the circulatory system or that it could help with specific ailments, particularly those involving the throat.
Others feel that the healing properties of Angelite focus on the thyroid gland. In some cases, it’s even been associated with supporting weight loss.
However, it’s important to remember that holding, wearing, or meditating on a stone isn’t a substitute for medical care. While possessing Angelite isn’t likely to cause harm, if you’re experiencing a health-related issue, speaking with a trained medical professional is essential. That way, you can get proper treatment.
Stones Similar to Angelite
Angelite has a fairly unique look, so there aren’t many stones that resemble it closely. However, some can have a few matching characteristics. For example, blue jadeite can come in a light bluish-gray hue, not entirely unlike Angelite. However, it may feature yellowish tints in the colouring, setting it apart. Additionally, jadeite is incredibly rare, making it a costly stand-in for anhydrite.
Larimar also comes in light blue shades, though hue tends to be more vibrant, and many pieces feature more white than you’d find in most Angelite stones. Like jadeite, larimar is also relatively rare, which might make it a less-than-ideal substitute.
The same goes for smithsonite. While it comes in light blue shades, it’s rarer than Angelite, making it more expensive. Additionally, smithsonite has striations, which you don’t see in anhydrite.
In some cases, blue opal might resemble Angelite. However, you’d have to find a piece without opalescence. Otherwise, the appearances of the two gems are dramatically different.