Calcite Gemstone Information
When people think of jewelry-quality gems, the calcite gemstone isn’t typically something that pops into their minds. In many ways, that’s a shame, as calcite can be an incredibly beautiful stone.
If you’d like to learn more about calcite gemstones, you’re in luck. Here is a look at the calcite properties, colors, meaning, history, and more.
When people call calcite a gemstone, that isn’t the most accurate description based on its physical properties. Instead, calcite is a mineral and an incredibly soft one at that.
Overall, calcite is a three on the Mohs scale, which measures hardness. With such a low number, it’s easily powdered, allowing the material to be used in various ways.
When it comes to its appearance, the calcite gemstone usually has some crystal-like qualities, giving it a bit of a luster or shine. It can also range from transparent to opaque. As a result, every piece tends to feel unique.
Like many other kinds of gems, calcite stones can come in a few different colors. In its purest form, you usually get either a clear or a white calcite gemstone. However, if there are any impurities in the stone, you can get a rainbow of colors.
One of the most popular versions is the orange calcite stone. The exact shade can vary from a marigold to a mango hue, usually with a sunny luster.
The blue calcite gemstone is another favorite. Typically, the colors range from a stormy blue-gray to a brighter periwinkle. However, you can find deeper shades, too, coming in closer to a navy.
Plus, those aren’t the only colors available. You can also find various shades of red, yellow, green, violet, and brown calcite. You may even spot a nearly black piece in some cases, though that coloring isn’t as common.
There is also a variant known as rainbow calcite. While you might assume it would contain a full range of colors, that isn’t the case. Instead, these specimens feature bands of colors. Usually, rainbow calcite has a white base with stripes of orange, red, or black, though other hues may also be present.
In some cases, pieces of calcite will also fluoresce. When exposed to UV light, certain samples may seem to glow red, pink, white, green, or orange. At times, the fluorescence aligns with the stone’s primary color, though, in other cases, the glow will be in a different hue.
The History of Calcite
Calcite has a long history. It’s a versatile mineral, allowing it to be used in a variety of ways to address a broad selection of needs. Plus, many stones that feature calcite are commonly used for ornamental purposes.
When it comes to the calcite stone uses, it’s hard to name them all. Calcite plays a role in agriculture, construction, pigment production, pharmaceuticals, and much more. It’s a primary component of limestone in products ranging from concrete to toothpaste to classroom chalk and is also used in its natural state for building. Calcite is also a major component of marble, frequently used for anything from art pieces to countertops.
Calcite also has a place in ecology and pharmaceuticals. It has acid neutralization properties, so it’s commonly added to soil treatments, water treatments, antacids, and more.
In the mining industry, calcite – which is nonflammable – has been used as a safety dust. After being powdered, it’s sprayed onto the walls and ceilings of mining tunnels to prevent coal dust from getting into the air, reducing the risk of explosion.
Since calcite scores low on the Mohs scale, it can make a great addition to abrasive cleansers. While calcite is tougher than dried food and similar debris, it isn’t tough enough to damage materials like porcelain, plastics, or most stone countertops.
Where Is Calcite Found?
Many geologists classify calcite as a “ubiquitous” mineral because it can be found nearly anywhere. It’s one of the most common materials in the Earth’s crust and is present in a wide range of rock types, including igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic.
While you can find calcite almost anywhere, some areas are known for being reliable sources. Brazil, Canada, China, England, Germany, Mexico, Namibia, Russia, and many states in the U.S. have calcite mines. However, those aren’t the only places where calcite may be sourced.
One of the main benefits of the abundance of calcite is that it’s a fairly affordable stone. You won’t typically run into supply issues, so that keeps the cost down.
If you’re looking for calcite jewelry, you probably won’t have much luck in chain stores. While calcite is widely available, it isn’t easy to find enough gemstones with a consistent look to make mass production an option. As a result, you’ll want to seek out independent jewelry designers.
In most cases, independent designers don’t have to worry about producing a specific jewelry piece en masse. This allows them to explore more stone types, as they are more comfortable with doing small runs or having some variability in their creations.
Calcite jewelry can come in a variety of styles. You may find faceted gems, carved stones, or cabochons. Calcite beads are also incredibly popular, especially for bracelets and strand necklaces.
Since calcite tends to be soft, calcite jewelry commonly features treated stones. With the right treatments, the durability of the calcite improves, making it more suitable for wearable items like bracelets, necklaces, rings, and more.
The calcite gemstone meaning can vary depending on a person’s belief system. Additionally, the color of the calcite stone can alter its perceived meaning.
For example, the white calcite meaning tends to focus on purification and cleansing. It’s also associated with new beginnings, spiritual awakening, motivation, and growth.
For the blue calcite gemstone, it’s usually connected with rest and relaxation. It’s considered a soothing and protective stone by many, particularly when it comes to emotions.
When it comes to orange calcite as a healing stone, the meaning tends to focus on energy levels and a sense of connection with the world around you. It’s also tied to motivation, as well as happiness, creativity, and resilience.
However, it’s important to note that while many people believe that holding, wearing, or meditating on calcite can provide health benefits, there isn’t any scientific proof behind that. While possessing calcite isn’t likely to cause harm, you shouldn’t use it – or any gem – as a substitute for medical care.
Stones Similar to Calcite
Since calcite can come in a range of colors, there can be quite a few stones that may be similar. In some cases, quartz can resemble calcite. Both can have a crystal-like structure, though the exact look does vary between the two specimens. Additionally, each is available in a wide range of colors. However, quartz tends to be more durable than calcite.
If you’re looking for a substitute for blue calcite, celestite can look similar. The main issue is that celestite tends to be incredibly fragile and can be damaged easily when handled. Plus, powder from celestite can be hazardous, though the gem itself isn’t considered toxic.
For orange calcite, aragonite is a strong match. The two gems have the same chemical composition, but their crystal structures vary. When compared, aragonite does tend to be more brittle, making it less than ideal for applications like jewelry.
Other colors of calcite may also have lookalikes. If you have a particular hue in mind, you can usually find a suitable match. However, since calcite is widely available and generally affordable, you may be better off sticking with the real thing.