You are here:

Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals/identifying selenite



I would like to know if this is Clear Selenite? I am pretty sure that is what it is. But I need an expert opinion or someone who knows better than me. You may have to enlarge the pictures and I have more pieces too of the same thing. The other pieces look like they are pink. But I am not sure. I read about Peach and Gold Selenite.  

Thanks I will be grateful for any information!
         Thanks, Mitzie Capone Fisher


Sorry that it took me so long to get back to your question. I thought that I had already answered it. Apparently, I did not. So, here it goes:

While it is always difficult to identify minerals from pictures, I can often offer a good educated guess. From the appearance of the pictures it looks like you have indeed the mineral selenite, the crystalline variety of gypsum (CaSO4 * 2H2O). A simple hardness test will confirm this suspicion. Selenite is rather soft, with a MOHS hardness of only 2 (on a scale from 1 to 10). Your natural fingernail has a hardness of 2.5. Take your specimen and see if you can scratch one of the crystals with your fingernail. Do so in a sideways motion as if trying to make a thin grove and do not be too timid. You should leave a visible scratch on the mineral surface if your specimen is truly selenite.

If you can not leave a scratch with your fingernail, then your specimen is something different. You might then try a vinegar test. Use some strong, undiluted, high percentage vinegar and place one drop on a crystal surface. Does the drop start to fizz or bubble? If so then you have the mineral calcite (CaCO3) which reacts with the vinegar acid. Gypsum or selenite would not react with acid.

Hope this helps with you identification.  

Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Uwe Richard Kackstaetter, Ph.D. (Dr.K)


I can answer questions concerning minerals, mineralogy, gems, metals, and anything that has to do with geology. However, I am NOT a jeweler. Questions about values, settings, gem stone cuts and appraisals are best directed to other experts on this site. I can however aide in the identification of unknown mineral materials. As a public service and part as training for new geoscientists, our university department provides FREE mineral identification for individuals. Please contact me for details or go to for details..


I am a professor of applied geology and mineralogy with many hours of field experience. Furthermore, I enjoy recreational gold prospecting and mineral collecting. As a professor I am engaged in research concerning minerals and their occurrence.

Member of the GPAA (Gold Prospectors Association of America) as well as the Association of Environmental Geochemists. Member of the GSA (Geologic Society of America) Member of the AIPG (American Institute of Professional Geologists)

Here is a small sampling: Mineral-rock handbook: Rapid-easy mineral-rock determination : written for anyone interested in minerals and rocks - Proctor, Peterson, and Kackstaetter;Macmillan Pub. Co. (New York and Toronto and New York) Physical Geology Laboratory e-Manual [CD-ROM], Kackstaetter, Earth Science Education LLC Colorado Front Range Self-guided Geology Field Trips, Kackstaetter,

Ph.D. in Applied Geology and Mineralogy. I am actively teaching courses in mineralogy and a variety of field courses with mineral collecting opportunities. Background in precious metal exploration.

Past/Present Clients

©2016 All rights reserved.