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Appearance, Uses and History
Celestite is a blue mineral, often crystalline. It is also referred to as Celestine.
It is used as an ore for the element Strontium, used in the production of fireworks and pyrotechnics, as well as various alloys of other metals.
There is a cave in Ohio that has become somewhat of a tourist attraction due to its Celestite crystals; the cave measures 10 metres deep and contains crystals up to 1 meter wide!
Excellent specimens of Celestine can be found in various countries, including Austria, France, Germany, Libya, Madagascar, Mexico, Morocco, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Tajikistan, and Turkey.
Most Eurasian countries have Celestite occurrences – sometimes in pale colours, sometimes with unusual colours – yellow, green, red.
A specific density test is another good option and non-destructive.
Photos of Celestite / Celestine
Hazards and Warnings
Celestite is comprised of Strontium, which sounds scary – but it isn’t harmful in this form – unless ingested or inhaled.
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.
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