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Colourless, shades of ...
Vitreous, Pearly
3 - 3½
Member of:
Originally named fasriger schwerspath by Andreas Gotthelf Schütz in 1791. Renamed schwefelsaurer strontianite aus Pennsylvania by Martin Klaproth in 1797. Renamed by Abraham Gottlieb Werner in 1798 in German zoelestin from the Greek cœlestis for celestial, in allusion to the faint blue color of the original specimen. Renamed Schützit by Dietrich Ludwig Gustav Karsten in 1800. Although far superior celestine crystals were previously known from Sicily, they were thought to be barium-rich as the element strontium was not discovered until the late 1780s and not formally described until 1792.
Baryte Group. Baryte-Celestine Series. The strontium analogue of Baryte.

By far the most common strontium mineral.

Visit for gemological information about Celestine.

Classification of Celestine

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)

7 : SULFATES (selenates, tellurates, chromates, molybdates, wolframates)
A : Sulfates (selenates, etc.) without additional anions, without H2O
D : With only large cations

3 : AXO4

25 : Sulphates
4 : Sulphates of Ca, Sr and Ba

Physical Properties of Celestine

Vitreous, Pearly
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent, Translucent
Colourless, shades of light blue, white, reddish, greenish, brownish, greyish; colourless or lightly tinted in transmitted light
Hardness (Mohs):
3 - 3½
On {001} perfect; on {210} good; on {010} poor. Also reported on {011}
Twin gliding and translation gliding
3.96 - 3.98 g/cm3 (Measured)    3.98 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of Celestine

Biaxial (+)
RI values:
nα = 1.619 - 1.622 nβ = 1.622 - 1.624 nγ = 1.630 - 1.632
Measured: 50° to 51°, Calculated: 54° to 58°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.011
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
moderate r < v
Blue-coloured material: shades of indigo- and lavender-blue, bluish green or violet.

Chemical Properties of Celestine

Elements listed in formula:

Crystallography of Celestine

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Space Group:
Cell Parameters:
a = 8.359 Å, b = 5.352 Å, c = 6.866 Å
a:b:c = 1.562 : 1 : 1.283
Unit Cell Volume:
V 307.17 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Crystals commonly thin to thick tabular {001}, usually with large {210}; tabular {001} and elongated [100] yielding lath-like forms; or elongated [100] with equant cross section. Equant by development of {001}, {011}, {101} of otherwise, less common. Pyramidal {122}; elongated [010] or [001]; tabular {100}, {100} commonly striated [001]. Fibrous veinlets or nodules with parallel or radiated fiber structure; massive granular; lamellar, earthy, rare.
Reported on {210}, {101}, and other planes (doubtful).

Crystallographic forms of Celestine

Crystal Atlas:
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Celestine no.87 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by

Edge Lines | Miller Indicies | Axes

Opaque | Translucent | Transparent

Along a-axis | Along b-axis | Along c-axis | Start rotation | Stop rotation
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
Image Loading

Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.

Occurrences of Celestine

Type Occurrence of Celestine

General Appearance of Type Material:
Fibrous veinlets.
Geological Setting of Type Material:
Sedimentary rocks.

Relationship of Celestine to other Species

Forms a series with Baryte (see here)
Member of:
Other Members of Group:
25.4.2BassaniteCaSO4 · 0.5H2O
25.4.3GypsumCaSO4 · 2H2O
25.4.6EugsteriteNa4Ca(SO4)3 · 2H2O
25.4.7HydroglauberiteNa10Ca3(SO4)8 · 6H2O
25.4.8SyngeniteK2Ca(SO4)2 · H2O
25.4.9GörgeyiteK2Ca5(SO4)6 · H2O
25.4.10PolyhaliteK2Ca2Mg(SO4)4 · 2H2O
25.4.11Koktaite(NH4)2Ca(SO4)2 · H2O
25.4.13EttringiteCa6Al2(SO4)3(OH)12 · 26H2O
25.4.14BentoriteCa6Cr2(SO4)3(OH)12 · 26H2O

Other Names for Celestine

Other Information

Thermal Behaviour:
Inverts at about 1152°C to a hexagonal polymorph. Melting Point = ~1605°C.
Other Information:
Slowly soluble in hot concentrated acids or alkali carbonate solutions. Very slightly soluble in water.
Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

References for Celestine

Reference List:
Schütz, Andreas Gotthelf (1791) Beschr. Nordamer. Foss., Leipzig: 12 (as Fasriger Schwerspath).

Vauquelin, Louis N. (1792) Du sulfate de strontiane. Observations sur la Physique, sur l’Histoire Naturelle et sur les Arts: 46: 150-152.

Klaproth, Martin (1797) Beitr.: 2: 92 (as Schwefelsaurer Strontianit aus Pennsylvanien).

Dolomieu, Deodat (1798) Journal des Phys.: 46: 203 (as Strontiane sulfatée).

Werner, Abraham Gottlieb (1798) (as Cœlestin) {published in L. A. Emmerling, Lehrbuch der Mineralogie}.
Lenz, D. G. (1800) Versuch einer vollständigen Anleitung zur Kenntniss der Mineralien, System: 233 (as Cœlestin; Sicilianite).

Karsten, D. L .G. (1800) Tabellarische Uebersicht der mineralogisch - einfachen Fossilien. Mineralogische Tabellen, Berlin. First edition: 75 (as Cœlestine).

Karsten, D. L .G. (1808) Mineralogische Tabellen, Berlin, second edition: 54, 95 as Cœlestin).

Thomson, Thomas (1836) Outlines of Mineralogy, Geology, and Mineral Analysis. 2 volumes, London: 1: 111 (Barytosulfate of Strontian).

Lévy, A. (1837) Description d’une collection de minéraux formée par M. Henri Heuland, et appartenant à M. Ch. H. Turner, de Rooksnest, dans le comté de Surrey en Angleterre. 3 volumes and atlas of 85 plates, London: 1: 224 (as Eschwegite).

Glocker, E. F. (1839) Handbuch der Mineralogie, 2nd. edition, Nürnberg: 634 (as Barytocölestin).

Wicke (1860) Arch. Pharm.: 152: 32.

Dana, J.D. (1868) System of Mineralogy, 5th. Edition, New York: 620.

Auerbach (1869) Konigliche Akademie der Wissenschaften, Sitzber., Vienna, Abt. I: 59: 549.

Negri (1887) Revista minera, metalúrgica y de ingenieria, Madrid: 1: 33.

Bettanini (1888) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 14: 507.

Williams (1890) American Journal of Science: 39: 183.

Dana, E.S. (1892) System of Mineralogy, 6th. Edition, New York: 905.

Arzruni and Thaddéeff (1895) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 25: 38.

Volney (1898) Journal of the American Chemical Society: 21: 386.

Termier (1902) Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 25: 173.

Kraus (1904) American Journal of Science: 18: 30.

Kraus (1905) American Journal of Science: 19: 286.

Sidorenko (1905) Mém. Soc. nat. Nouv. Russie: 27: 1.

Surganoff (1905) Moskovskoe Obshchestvo Ispytatelei Prirody (Société impériale des naturalists de Moscou): 18: 435.

Kraus and Hunt (1906) American Journal of Science: 21: 237.

Sidorenko (1907) Jb. Min.: II: 377.

Barker (1908) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 45: 14.

Samoiloff (1908) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 45: 113.

Gaubert (1909) Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 32: 139.

Lacroix, A. (1910) Minéralogie de la France et des ses colonies, Paris. 5 volumes, vol. 4: 103.

Henglein (1911) Centralblatt für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie, Stuttgart: 692.

Kolb (1911) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 49: 14.

Goldschmidt, V. (1913) Atlas der Krystallformen. 9 volumes, atlas, and text, vol. 2: 163.

Kreutz (1915) Ak. Krakau, Abh.: 55: 1.

Dravert (1916) Ann. géol. min. Russie: 17: 75.

Di Franco (1918) I st. Min. Vulc. Univ. Catania, Mem.: 19.

Grahmann (1920) Jb. Min.: I: 1.

Kemter (1921) Ak. Sächs., Verh.: 72: 56.

Ranfaldi (1922) Reale academia nazionale dei Lincet, atti: rendiconti, Rome: 31: 430, 468, 506.

Mellor, J.W. (1923) A Comprehensive Treatise on Inorganic and Theoretical Chemistry. 16 volumes, London: 3: 763.

Giuşcă (1924) Ac. Roumaine, Sect. Sc. Bull.: 9: 25.

Onorato (1924) Reale accademia nazionale dei Lincei, Rome, Att.: 33: 259.

Quercigh (1924) Reale academia nazionale dei Lincet, atti: rendiconti, Rome: 33: 262.

Ruiz (1924) Reale academia nazionale dei Lincet, atti: rendiconti, Rome: 267.

Szadecsky-Kardoss (1924) Földt. Közl.: 53: 94.

James, Wood (1925) Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: 109A: 598.

Basche, Mark (1926) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 64: 1.

Lambert, Hume-Rothery (1926) Journal of the Chemical Society, London: 2637.

Linck (1926) Chemie der Erde, Jena: 2: 481.

Doelter, C. (1927) Handbuch der Mineral-chemie (in 4 volumes divided into parts): 4 [2]: 205..

Honess, A.P. (1927) The Nature, Origin and Interpretation of the Etch Figures on Crystals. 171pp., New York: 124.

Fairbairn (1929) American Mineralogist: 14: 286.

Hintze, C. (1929) Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1(3B): 3905.

Landes (1929) American Mineralogist: 14: 408.

Solignac (1931) Bulletin de la Société française de Minéralogie: 54: 64.

Heide (1931) Zeitschrift für Kristallographie, Mineralogie und Petrographie, Leipzig: 78: 257.

Krieger (1933) American Mineralogist: 18: 345.

Schilly (1933) Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geologie und Paleontologie, Heidelberg, Beil.-Bd., Stuttgart: 67: 323.

Morrison (1935) American Mineralogist: 21: 780.

Thibault (1935) American Mineralogist: 20: 147.

Friend and Allchin (1939) Nature: 144: 633.

Jayaraman (1940) Quarterly Journal of the Indian Institute of Science: 3: 11.

Miropolsky (1941) Comptes rendus de l’académie des sciences de l’U.R.S.S., n.s.: 33: 64.

Miropolsky (1942) Comptes rendus de l’académie des sciences de l’U.R.S.S.: 34, 114.

Kesler (1944) Economic Geology: 39: 287.

Mellis (1947) Bull. Comm.. géol. Finlande, no. 140: 239.

Murdoch, Webb (1948) California State Division of Mines, Bull. 136: 87.

Serdyuchenko (1948) Comptes rendus de l’académie des sciences de l’U.R.S.S.: 60: 433.

Palache, C., Berman, H., Frondel, C. (1951) The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged: 415-420.

Garske, D., Peacor, D.R. (1965) Refinement of the structure of celestite SrSO4. Zeitschrift für Kristallographie: 121: 204-210:

Blount, C.W. (1974) Synthesis of barite, celestite, anglesite, witherite, and strontianite from aqueous solutions. American Mineralogist: 59: 1209-1219.

Miyake, M., Minato, I., Morikawa, H., Iwai, S.I. (1978) Crystal structure and sulphate force constants of barite, celesite, and anglesite. American Mineralogist: 63: 506-510.

Franzini, M., Troysi, M., Cecchini, A. (1983) La microdurezza della celestina. Atti Soc. Tosc. Sc. Nat.,Mem. Serie A, 89, 145-153.

Brigatti, F., Galli, E., Medici, L. (1997) Ba-rich celestine: new data and crystal structure refinement. Mineralogical Magazine: 61: 447-451

Jacobsen, S.D., Smyth, J.R., Swope, R.J., Downs, R.T. (1998) Rigid-body character of the SO4 groups in celestine, anglesite and barite. The Canadian Mineralogist: 36: 1053-1060.

Hanor, J.S. (2000) Barite–celestine geochemistry and environments of formation. Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry: 40: 193-275.

Majzlan, J., Navrotsky, A., Neil, J.M. (2002) Energetics of anhydrite, barite, celestine, and anglesite: a high-temperature and differential scanning calorimetry study. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta: 66: 1839-1850.

Anthony, J.W., Bideaux, R.A., Bladh, K.W., Nichols, M.C. (2003) Handbook of Mineralogy, Volume V. Borates, Carbonates, Sulfates. Mineral Data Publishing, Tucson, AZ, 813pp.: 122.

Jehlička, J., Vítek, P., Edwards, H.G.M., Hargreaves, M.D., Čapoun, T. (2009) Fast detection of sulphate minerals (gypsum, anglesite, baryte) by a portable Raman spectrometer. Journal of Raman Spectroscopy: 40: 1082-1086.

Antao, S.M. (2012) Structural trends for celestite (SrSO4), anglesite (PbSO4), and barite (BaSO4): confirmation of expected variations within SO4 groups. American Mineralogist: 97: 661-665.

Internet Links for Celestine URL:
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Localities for Celestine

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