Gaspeite Gemstone Information
While many people are familiar with gems like diamonds, rubies, and emeralds, many other crystals get overlooked. The gaspeite gemstone isn’t as widely sought as many other gems, which means many people miss out on its unique beauty.
The gaspeite gem has exceptional colour, unlike what you can find in other stones on the market. Plus, it has unique patterning that also helps it stand out from the crowd. If you’re wondering, “What is gaspeite?” here’s a look at the stone’s physical properties, colour, meaning, and more.
The gaspeite stone isn’t technically a gem. Instead, it’s classified as a nickel carbonate mineral and is part of the calcite mineral group. As the description suggests, the gemstone contains nickel. There’s also magnesium and iron in the mix.
The exact composition of gaspeite can vary. The amount of magnesium or iron present may fluctuate, which is part of the reason for slight colour variations and formation differences among several gaspeite gemstones.
When it comes to the sheen, the gaspeite gemstone runs the gamut. Some pieces have a dull lustre, not unlike a leather finish on stones like granite. However, it can also exhibit exceptional shine, creating a vitreous lustre.
As for transparency, there’s significant variety there, as well. Some stones may be generally opaque, often making them good candidates for polishing. In rare cases, gaspeite forms into crystals, ranging from translucent to transparent.
One somewhat uncommon feature of the gaspeite stone is that it effervesces in hydrochloric acid. However, placing the stone in a hazardous material to see it for yourself is not recommended.
Photo: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0
One of the reasons that gaspeite stands out from the crowd is its exceptional colouring. Calling it vibrant feels like an understatement, as the hues are often incredibly strong even when the stone is in its raw form.
Generally, the stone ranges from vivid lime green to bright apple green, though some may lean more into grass green territory. Regardless of the exact hue, the gem is almost universally considered visually striking.
Gaspeite also typically features brown mottling or matrix. The tones can vary from light beige to deep chocolate, creating excellent contrast. Together, the hues give the gaspeite gemstone a very natural vibe. The shades are reminiscent of the trees in spring or summer when leaves are bright and the bark glows in the sunlight.
The History of Gaspeite
Gaspeite was originally discovered in Quebec, Canada, on the Gaspé Peninsula. The stone was named after the region in which it was found, paying homage to the stone’s origins.
Comparatively speaking, gaspeite is a newer discovery. It was initially described in 1966. Since it’s very rare and has a somewhat short history, this gemstone isn’t widely known. That’s one of the reasons it’s a fun option for jewelry and collections. Along with its unique appearance, the lack of familiarity makes gaspeite a conversation starter.
Generally, gaspeite is used for ornamental purposes. It’s particularly popular for jewelry with a Southwest-style flair, often being mounted in silver and alongside other popular stones like turquoise and coral.
Gaspeite is also popular as a lapidary stone. It’s reasonably easy to carve and shape, allowing it to become a work of art. However, some prefer to collect gaspeite in its raw form, as the colouring and formations can be intriguing in their own right.
When it comes to the gaspeite pronunciation, it’s similar to saying “gas-pea-ite.” However, pronunciation can vary depending on a person’s native language, accent, and other factors.
Where Is Gaspeite Found?
In the simplest sense, gaspeite is found in nickel-rich environments, as that is one of the stone’s core components. As mentioned above, gaspeite was initially discovered on the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec, Canada. As a rare stone, this initial location remains one of the primary sources.
Another area of the world where gaspeite is found is Western Australia. While still rare, Australian gaspeite is common enough to make the area a reliable source. Some samples have also been found in Germany and Tasmania, though not in quantities near what you’d find in Canada or Australia.
Generally speaking, you won’t find gaspeite jewelry in chain stores. Besides being rare, the brown mottling and colour variations common with gaspeite make it ill-suited for mass production. Usually, chain stores want pieces to have consistency and to be reasonably available, so they steer clear of gemstones like gaspeite.
However, independent designers have more flexibility. They can create small runs or even single pieces featuring unique stones. Since that’s the case, they’re an excellent resource if you’re seeking out gaspeite jewelry.
When it comes to the types of jewelry you can find, nearly anything is possible. Since gaspeite is reasonably easy to carve and polish, it’s often turned into cabochons. With those, you may find various kinds of gaspeite earrings. Gaspeite rings are another popular option, as well as pendants.
In some cases, the stone is used to create gaspeite beads. Usually, you’ll see beads used to create a strand gaspeite bracelet or necklace.
At times, gaspeite may even make its way into pendulums. With this, it’s typically beads on the strand, though some may have a tumbled stone at the end.
Photo: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0
As with most gems, the gaspeite stone meaning varies depending on a person’s belief system. Due to its colouring, some may feel that the gaspeite metaphysical properties align with the throat chakra, as green is the associated colour.
Others may believe that the gaspeite crystal meaning focuses more on communication, particularly when it comes to healing relationships or connecting with spirit realms. Supporting spiritual awareness is another attribute often associated with the gem. However, many also consider it a grounding stone since its colouring resembles many natural elements, such as trees, grass, and soil.
Many people also consider gaspeite a stone of courage, helping people conquer obstacles or face their fears. It’s also believed to support emotional balance.
When it comes to the gaspeite healing properties, some say it can assist with weight loss. Others believe it can help with heart-related ailments or lung problems. However, there’s no scientific proof supporting any of those claims. As a result, the gaspeite stone healing properties aren’t a substitute for medical care, as there’s no evidence that gaspeite can prevent or treat any condition.
Stones Similar to Gaspeite
Overall, gaspeite is a rare stone that also doesn’t have many potential substitutes. Its strong colouring and distinct mottling make it incredibly unique, preventing other stones from fully matching its appearance.
However, if you want a stone with a similar look, there are a couple of options. While jade and chrysoprase lack the characteristic mottling, they both can come in hues not unlike what you find with gaspeite. Maw sit sit is a mid-toned green stone with black mottling, so there is some resemblance there, too.
Ultimately, no stone is a perfect match for gaspeite. Since the gem is reasonably affordable, most are best served by sticking with genuine gaspeite if they want that specific look.