Angelite

A gorgeous light blue mineral, commonly sold tumbled or carved into decorative objects. It is also found rough quite often, but rarely used for jewellery.

Angelite is a form of Anhydrite and is very water soluble.

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Appearance, Uses and History

Angelite is a commonly used trade name for Blue Anhydrite, which is a fairly uncommon mineral that is similar to Gypsum. Anhydrite actually changes to Gypsum in water, which is why this stone is relatively uncommon – this is reversible with a fairly small amount of heat in certain circumstances.

Due to its Calcium content, this stone can be ground up and used as a soil treatment and it is used in construction and building materials like plaster, along with Gypsum. Synthetic Anhydrite is actually a side product of the production of Hydrofluoric Acid, although this is far more likely to be used in construction materials than tumbled!

It is found in a range of places, especially in arid climates, where water has not turned the stone into Gypsum – Mexico produces some excellent specimens with good blue colours.

It is a relatively soft stone and is not often used for jewellery for that reason. It is usually found tumbled, or carved into decorative objects, or cabochons for wirewrapping. In rare cases there may be small pieces with the clarity to be faceted.


Locales

Angelite is specifically a term used to refer to decorative blue Anhydrite from Peru. However, sellers online may refer to any blue Anhydrite as Angelite.
Anhydrite occurs around the world, with deposits in Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, the UK, the USA and Vietnam. However, not all of these specimens will be blue Anhydrite.


Mineralogy

Chemistry
A form of Anhydrite, which is an anhydrous Calcium sulphate with the formula CaSO4.
Colours and Variations
Angelite is always a pale blue. Anhydrite can occur in several colours, including colourless, blue, blue-grey, red, white, pink, brownish, reddish, grey.
Streak
White, off-white, grey
Luster
Vitreous, greasy, sometimes pearly.
Fracture
Uneven
Transparency
Blue Angelite is often opaque, Anhydrite is sometimes translucent and rarely transparent.
Crystal habit
Often massive, grainy, fibrous. Crystals can be tabular or prismatic but are not common.
Mohs hardness
3.0 – 3.5
Specific Gravity
2.90-3.00
Fluorescence
Occasional, but varies based on location.
Easiest testing method
Can be somewhat difficult to distinguish from Celestite, unfortunately.
Common Treatments

Photos of Angelite

Angelit, anhydryt, celestyt - Lima, Peru.

Photos of Anhydrite

Anhydrite-217321
Anhydrite-217328
Anhydrite-308132

Hazards and Warnings

Almost all rocks, minerals (and, frankly, almost all other substances on earth) can produce toxic dust when cutting, which can cause serious respiratory conditions including silicosis.

When cutting or polishing rocks, minerals, shells, etc, all work should be done wet to minimise the dust, and a suitable respirator or extraction system should be used.


Translations

As ‘Angelite’ is a trade name clearly intended for English language use, the mineral name ‘Anhydrite’ has been used for these translations.

 

Arabic:

  • الأنهيدريت (anhydrite)

Hindi:

Portuguese:

  • anidrita (anhydrite)

Bengali:

  • অ্যানহাইড্রাইট (anhydrite)

Indonesian:

Punjabi:

English:

  • angelite
  • anhydrite

Italian:

  • anidrite

Russian:

  • ангидрит

French:

Japanese:

  • 硬石膏

Spanish:

  • anhidrita

German:

  • Anhydrit

Korean:

  • 경석고

Thai:

  • แอนไฮไดรต์

Gujurati:

Mandarin and Traditional Chinese:

  • 硬石膏
  • 硬石膏

Urdu:


Further Reading / External Links