Ceruleite Gemstone: Properties, Meanings, Value & More

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Ceruleite (pronounced sur-ROO-lee-eyet) is a commonly sky-blue gemstone aptly named for its coloring. The stone isn’t well-known to the public but is known among collectors of rare gems.

Is ceruleite rare? Yes. It’s a relatively rare mineral and very rare gemstone, only found as gem-quality, cuttable material in a few places.

As such, you’ll mostly find ceruleite in collections rather than jewelry stores.

Intrigued yet? Then stay tuned to find out all of ceruleite’s mineral and gemstone properties, along with its prices, history, spiritual benefits, and more!

ceruleite gemstoneImage credit: JSJ geology

What Is Ceruleite?

Ceruleite is a rare semi-precious gemstone known for its array of blue colors, including cerulean blue. Alternative spellings for ceruleite are céruléite and coerulite.

This gem bears a strong resemblance to turquoise. Turquoise is a hydrated copper aluminum phosphate while ceruleite is a hydrated copper aluminum arsenate.

Although turquoise is easier to find, you can substitute ceruleite for turquoise as a December birthstone or traditional 11th wedding anniversary gem.

Astrologically, ceruleite is beneficial to Taurus signs.

Ceruleite Specifications & Characteristics

A hydrous copper aluminum arsenate, ceruleite’s formula is written as:

  • Cu2Al7(AsO4)4(OH)13 or

  • Cu2Al7(AsO4)4(OH)13 · 11.5H2O or

  • CuAl4(AsO4)2(OH)8(H2O)4

The last formula listed above is the one approved by the International Mineralogical Association (IMA).

Most ceruleites are found as compact, clay-like, and polycrystalline masses made up of very small rod-like crystals in random orientations. The mineral can also form spherical or botryoidal aggregates.

You may also see small macro crystals of ceruleite as incrustations on other rocks or minerals, similar to druzy or geodes.

Chemically, ceruleite has a structure consisting of aluminum oxide hydroxide — Al(O,OH)6 — octahedra forming rhombus-shaped tetramers (molecules with four subunits).

Corners of the rhombi are connected to arsenic oxide (AsO4) tetrahedra, forming an open framework with larger pores (mesoporous). This framework also includes channels containing hydrous copper hydroxide — Cu(OH)2(H2O)2 — and water molecules.

Ceruleite properties listed:

  • Mohs hardness: 5-6

  • Color: Pale to vibrant blue or greenish-blue

  • Crystal structure: Triclinic

  • Luster: Earthy, dull, vitreous, or waxy

  • Transparency: Translucent to opaque

  • Refractive index: 1.60

  • Density: 2.70-2.80; Plastic-impregnated material - 2.58

  • Cleavage: None

  • Fracture: Irregular/uneven

  • Streak: Pale blue to bluish-white

  • Luminescence: None

  • Pleochroism: None

  • Birefringence: None

  • Dispersion: Weak

Shifting from mineralogical to metaphysical, what does ceruleite symbolize?

close up of ceruleite and schlossmacherite rough specimenPictured above: Close-up of green schlossmacherite associated to blue ceruleite from the type locality (El Guanaco Mine, Guanaco, Santa Catalina, Antofagasta Region, Chile) | Image credit: David Hospital, CC-BY-SA-4.0

Ceruleite Meaning & History

The sky blue ceruleite symbolizes serenity, reflection, and expansion. Others interpret ceruleite to represent the heavens or the heaven-on-earth feeling of relaxing while gazing at the sea and sky.

Spiritual practitioners tout ceruleite as a crystal of communication, good luck, and stability.

History

Ceruleite was first discovered in the Emma Luise Mine of Antofagasta, Chile. More specifically, ceruleite was in the oxidized zone of an arsenic-rich polymetallic mineral deposit at the mine.

French crystallographer Henri (M.H.) Dufet wrote the first description of ceruleite in 1900. Because of its turquoise-like color, Dufet named it “céruléite” from the Latin caerulea or caeruleus, meaning “sky blue.”

Duvet also noted the ceruleite specimens he studied contained “numerous strips of gold… lying parallel in certain shots that cross it.”

The second deposit of ceruleite discovered was Cornwall, England. The description of ceruleite from this locality was given in 1955 by the former Keeper of Mineralogy and Director of the British Museum of Natural History Gordon Frank Claringbull and British mineralogist Sir Arthur Russell.

However, gem-quality ceruleite wasn’t uncovered until it was reported from Bolivia in 1978. Soon after in 1983, gem-quality ceruleite from Chile was reported.

In 2007, the IMA discredited the spelling céruléite in favor of ceruleite.

Ceruleite Healing Properties

As a blue healing stone, ceruleite’s metaphysical properties reflect those of other blue gemstones, offering peace and insight.

Important note: Do NOT ingest any crystal potions or elixirs containing ceruleite.

Physical Healing

Physically, ceruleite is believed to help with:

  • Muscle weakness

  • Dehydration

  • Mobility

  • Immune system function

Emotional Healing

Crystal healers recommend ceruleite for:

  • Attracting good luck

  • Fostering healthy communication

  • Boosting self-confidence

  • Facilitating self-reflection

  • Increasing patience & compassion

  • Helping you conquer fears of drowning

  • Stimulating spiritual awakening

  • Supporting rational thought

Chakra Healing

Chakra healing involves opening or balancing energy centers (chakras) that are blocked, allowing energy to flow freely throughout the entire system.

Ceruleite crystals are used as throat chakra stones. Opening your throat chakra allows you to understand your truest self and express it to the world with confidence.

blue ceruleite with green schlossmacherite rough specimenPictured above: Green schlossmacherite associated to blue ceruleite from the type locality (El Guanaco Mine, Guanaco, Santa Catalina, Antofagasta Region, Chile) | Image credit: David Hospital, CC-BY-SA-4.0

Ceruleite Gemstone Properties

Besides rarity, ceruleite’s value also depends on its color, cut, clarity, transparency, carat weight, and treatments.

Color

Ceruleite’s blue shades range from very pale bluish-white to vibrant blue, along with greenish-blue hues. Polishing ceruleite material can bring out a deeper blue color, so don’t discredit seemingly paler rough!

Specimens with brighter, more uniform coloring may be more valuable.

Cut

Cuttable ceruleite material of good quality is quite rare, making any cut ceruleites valuable.

Most often, ceruleite is cut into cabochons, sometimes with unique freeform shapes or combined with minerals like pistachio-green schlossmacherite. Very rarely, ceruleite is faceted, and these scarce gems may be sought-after by collectors.

Clarity & Transparency

Clarity describes the degree of visible inclusions or impurities in a gem, which can lower its transparency and value.

Ceruleite is commonly opaque, so translucent specimens are more valuable. Even on opaque ceruleites, though, impurities are still commonly visible.

These specimens often have brown, green, and/or white areas or veining. The areas may correspond to a brown iron-stained matrix and green schlossmacherite.

Rare specimens with uniform coloring and no visible impurities or inclusions are valuable.

Carat Weight & Size

Ceruleite nodules are only large enough to be cut into small cabochons. Extremely rare faceted ceruleite gems are also small, usually under 2 carats.

Though distinct crystals are uncommon, the largest ceruleite crystals come from the Cap Garonne mine in France.

Treatments

Many ceruleites are treated with plastic impregnation, where a polymer is infused into ceruleite’s porous surface, or stabilization, where an adhesive (often plastic) agent is introduced into the ceruleite.

These treatments make the stone more durable, but stabilization is more long-lasting.

sky blue ceruleite crystal specimenImage credit: Geology Science

Ceruleite Formation & Sources

Ceruleite is often a secondary post-mining mineral, meaning it forms when mining introduces conditions like oxidation to buried minerals, altering the original (primary) minerals.

The stone is found in oxidized zones of arsenic-rich copper mineral deposits.

Commonly associated minerals include:

Mining Locations

Where is ceruleite mined? The best source for ceruleite gem material is Chile, with Bolivia as a close second.

Additional sources worth noting:

  • Australia

  • France

  • Greece

  • Namibia

  • Portugal

  • South Africa

  • UK (England)

  • USA (Arizona, Idaho, Utah)

pastel blue ceruleite druzy on limonite specimenPictured above: Fine, needle-like, pastel blue ceruleite dense carpeting on limonite vug | Image credit: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0

Ceruleite Price & Value

Faceted ceruleite gems, the hardest type to find, tend to be priciest at around $30 per carat or roughly $170 total.

Ceruleite cabochons range from about $7 to $12.50 per carat or roughly $10 to $70 total, with some reaching $330.

Most rough specimens are around $20 to $35, though some large, high-quality pieces can reach $250.

Price ranges for ceruleite jewelry are:

  • Rings: $15 to $275; Average $90

  • Pendants: $15 to $200; Average $60

  • Beaded Strands: $35 to $790; Average $330

  • Cuff Bracelets: $40 to $120; Average $80

  • Earrings: $30 to $90; Average $70

Ceruleite Care and Maintenance

First, know that ceruleite’s arsenic and copper content poses a high toxicity risk. The main safety tips for ceruleite:

  • Don’t inhale its dust (mostly for lapidarists)

  • Don’t put it in your mouth

  • Wash your hands after handling it or wear gloves while handling it

  • Store it away from pets, children, and other stones

Because its hardness is only mid-range, we recommend keeping ceruleite for display or only wearing ceruleite jewelry (with protective settings) occasionally. Necklaces or earrings are safer than ceruleite rings.

For gemstone care, keep ceruleite away from acids and mechanical cleaning systems. Only clean it with warm water, mild soap, and a soft toothbrush, or wipe it with a damp cloth. Don’t soak ceruleite stones.

Keep impregnated ceruleite stones away from heat.

Charmed by Ceruleite Yet?

If ceruleite was more abundant, it would give turquoise a run for its money. But ceruleite’s rarity is part of its allure, making this unusual, gorgeous blue stone a must-have for rare gem collections!

Buy ceruleite and other rare gemstones today!

Ceruleite (pronounced sur-ROO-lee-eyet) is a commonly sky-blue gemstone aptly named for its coloring. The stone isn’t well-known to the public but is known among collectors of rare gems.

Is ceruleite rare? Yes. It’s a relatively rare mineral and very rare gemstone, only found as gem-quality, cuttable material in a few places.

As such, you’ll mostly find ceruleite in collections rather than jewelry stores.

Intrigued yet? Then stay tuned to find out all of ceruleite’s mineral and gemstone properties, along with its prices, history, spiritual benefits, and more!

ceruleite gemstoneImage credit: JSJ geology

What Is Ceruleite?

Ceruleite is a rare semi-precious gemstone known for its array of blue colors, including cerulean blue. Alternative spellings for ceruleite are céruléite and coerulite.

This gem bears a strong resemblance to turquoise. Turquoise is a hydrated copper aluminum phosphate while ceruleite is a hydrated copper aluminum arsenate.

Although turquoise is easier to find, you can substitute ceruleite for turquoise as a December birthstone or traditional 11th wedding anniversary gem.

Astrologically, ceruleite is beneficial to Taurus signs.

Ceruleite Specifications & Characteristics

A hydrous copper aluminum arsenate, ceruleite’s formula is written as:

  • Cu2Al7(AsO4)4(OH)13 or

  • Cu2Al7(AsO4)4(OH)13 · 11.5H2O or

  • CuAl4(AsO4)2(OH)8(H2O)4

The last formula listed above is the one approved by the International Mineralogical Association (IMA).

Most ceruleites are found as compact, clay-like, and polycrystalline masses made up of very small rod-like crystals in random orientations. The mineral can also form spherical or botryoidal aggregates.

You may also see small macro crystals of ceruleite as incrustations on other rocks or minerals, similar to druzy or geodes.

Chemically, ceruleite has a structure consisting of aluminum oxide hydroxide — Al(O,OH)6 — octahedra forming rhombus-shaped tetramers (molecules with four subunits).

Corners of the rhombi are connected to arsenic oxide (AsO4) tetrahedra, forming an open framework with larger pores (mesoporous). This framework also includes channels containing hydrous copper hydroxide — Cu(OH)2(H2O)2 — and water molecules.

Ceruleite properties listed:

  • Mohs hardness: 5-6

  • Color: Pale to vibrant blue or greenish-blue

  • Crystal structure: Triclinic

  • Luster: Earthy, dull, vitreous, or waxy

  • Transparency: Translucent to opaque

  • Refractive index: 1.60

  • Density: 2.70-2.80; Plastic-impregnated material - 2.58

  • Cleavage: None

  • Fracture: Irregular/uneven

  • Streak: Pale blue to bluish-white

  • Luminescence: None

  • Pleochroism: None

  • Birefringence: None

  • Dispersion: Weak

Shifting from mineralogical to metaphysical, what does ceruleite symbolize?

close up of ceruleite and schlossmacherite rough specimenPictured above: Close-up of green schlossmacherite associated to blue ceruleite from the type locality (El Guanaco Mine, Guanaco, Santa Catalina, Antofagasta Region, Chile) | Image credit: David Hospital, CC-BY-SA-4.0

Ceruleite Meaning & History

The sky blue ceruleite symbolizes serenity, reflection, and expansion. Others interpret ceruleite to represent the heavens or the heaven-on-earth feeling of relaxing while gazing at the sea and sky.

Spiritual practitioners tout ceruleite as a crystal of communication, good luck, and stability.

History

Ceruleite was first discovered in the Emma Luise Mine of Antofagasta, Chile. More specifically, ceruleite was in the oxidized zone of an arsenic-rich polymetallic mineral deposit at the mine.

French crystallographer Henri (M.H.) Dufet wrote the first description of ceruleite in 1900. Because of its turquoise-like color, Dufet named it “céruléite” from the Latin caerulea or caeruleus, meaning “sky blue.”

Duvet also noted the ceruleite specimens he studied contained “numerous strips of gold… lying parallel in certain shots that cross it.”

The second deposit of ceruleite discovered was Cornwall, England. The description of ceruleite from this locality was given in 1955 by the former Keeper of Mineralogy and Director of the British Museum of Natural History Gordon Frank Claringbull and British mineralogist Sir Arthur Russell.

However, gem-quality ceruleite wasn’t uncovered until it was reported from Bolivia in 1978. Soon after in 1983, gem-quality ceruleite from Chile was reported.

In 2007, the IMA discredited the spelling céruléite in favor of ceruleite.

Ceruleite Healing Properties

As a blue healing stone, ceruleite’s metaphysical properties reflect those of other blue gemstones, offering peace and insight.

Important note: Do NOT ingest any crystal potions or elixirs containing ceruleite.

Physical Healing

Physically, ceruleite is believed to help with:

  • Muscle weakness

  • Dehydration

  • Mobility

  • Immune system function

Emotional Healing

Crystal healers recommend ceruleite for:

  • Attracting good luck

  • Fostering healthy communication

  • Boosting self-confidence

  • Facilitating self-reflection

  • Increasing patience & compassion

  • Helping you conquer fears of drowning

  • Stimulating spiritual awakening

  • Supporting rational thought

Chakra Healing

Chakra healing involves opening or balancing energy centers (chakras) that are blocked, allowing energy to flow freely throughout the entire system.

Ceruleite crystals are used as throat chakra stones. Opening your throat chakra allows you to understand your truest self and express it to the world with confidence.

blue ceruleite with green schlossmacherite rough specimenPictured above: Green schlossmacherite associated to blue ceruleite from the type locality (El Guanaco Mine, Guanaco, Santa Catalina, Antofagasta Region, Chile) | Image credit: David Hospital, CC-BY-SA-4.0

Ceruleite Gemstone Properties

Besides rarity, ceruleite’s value also depends on its color, cut, clarity, transparency, carat weight, and treatments.

Color

Ceruleite’s blue shades range from very pale bluish-white to vibrant blue, along with greenish-blue hues. Polishing ceruleite material can bring out a deeper blue color, so don’t discredit seemingly paler rough!

Specimens with brighter, more uniform coloring may be more valuable.

Cut

Cuttable ceruleite material of good quality is quite rare, making any cut ceruleites valuable.

Most often, ceruleite is cut into cabochons, sometimes with unique freeform shapes or combined with minerals like pistachio-green schlossmacherite. Very rarely, ceruleite is faceted, and these scarce gems may be sought-after by collectors.

Clarity & Transparency

Clarity describes the degree of visible inclusions or impurities in a gem, which can lower its transparency and value.

Ceruleite is commonly opaque, so translucent specimens are more valuable. Even on opaque ceruleites, though, impurities are still commonly visible.

These specimens often have brown, green, and/or white areas or veining. The areas may correspond to a brown iron-stained matrix and green schlossmacherite.

Rare specimens with uniform coloring and no visible impurities or inclusions are valuable.

Carat Weight & Size

Ceruleite nodules are only large enough to be cut into small cabochons. Extremely rare faceted ceruleite gems are also small, usually under 2 carats.

Though distinct crystals are uncommon, the largest ceruleite crystals come from the Cap Garonne mine in France.

Treatments

Many ceruleites are treated with plastic impregnation, where a polymer is infused into ceruleite’s porous surface, or stabilization, where an adhesive (often plastic) agent is introduced into the ceruleite.

These treatments make the stone more durable, but stabilization is more long-lasting.

sky blue ceruleite crystal specimenImage credit: Geology Science

Ceruleite Formation & Sources

Ceruleite is often a secondary post-mining mineral, meaning it forms when mining introduces conditions like oxidation to buried minerals, altering the original (primary) minerals.

The stone is found in oxidized zones of arsenic-rich copper mineral deposits.

Commonly associated minerals include:

Mining Locations

Where is ceruleite mined? The best source for ceruleite gem material is Chile, with Bolivia as a close second.

Additional sources worth noting:

  • Australia

  • France

  • Greece

  • Namibia

  • Portugal

  • South Africa

  • UK (England)

  • USA (Arizona, Idaho, Utah)

pastel blue ceruleite druzy on limonite specimenPictured above: Fine, needle-like, pastel blue ceruleite dense carpeting on limonite vug | Image credit: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0

Ceruleite Price & Value

Faceted ceruleite gems, the hardest type to find, tend to be priciest at around $30 per carat or roughly $170 total.

Ceruleite cabochons range from about $7 to $12.50 per carat or roughly $10 to $70 total, with some reaching $330.

Most rough specimens are around $20 to $35, though some large, high-quality pieces can reach $250.

Price ranges for ceruleite jewelry are:

  • Rings: $15 to $275; Average $90

  • Pendants: $15 to $200; Average $60

  • Beaded Strands: $35 to $790; Average $330

  • Cuff Bracelets: $40 to $120; Average $80

  • Earrings: $30 to $90; Average $70

Ceruleite Care and Maintenance

First, know that ceruleite’s arsenic and copper content poses a high toxicity risk. The main safety tips for ceruleite:

  • Don’t inhale its dust (mostly for lapidarists)

  • Don’t put it in your mouth

  • Wash your hands after handling it or wear gloves while handling it

  • Store it away from pets, children, and other stones

Because its hardness is only mid-range, we recommend keeping ceruleite for display or only wearing ceruleite jewelry (with protective settings) occasionally. Necklaces or earrings are safer than ceruleite rings.

For gemstone care, keep ceruleite away from acids and mechanical cleaning systems. Only clean it with warm water, mild soap, and a soft toothbrush, or wipe it with a damp cloth. Don’t soak ceruleite stones.

Keep impregnated ceruleite stones away from heat.

Charmed by Ceruleite Yet?

If ceruleite was more abundant, it would give turquoise a run for its money. But ceruleite’s rarity is part of its allure, making this unusual, gorgeous blue stone a must-have for rare gem collections!

Buy ceruleite and other rare gemstones today!

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