Astrophyllite Gemstone: Properties, Meanings, Value & More

astrophyllite gemstoneAstrophyllite is a golden to brown or black gemstone often found formed inside other rocks or crystals. It is often cut with the stone it’s formed in. 

The astrophyllite stone joins other rare and exotic gemstones such as hiddenite, larimar, and sphalerite. Collectors love astrophyllite not only for its rarity, but also for its starburst crystal patterns and submetallic glimmer. The gem is similarly popular among crystal healers, who seek it out for its spiritual power. 

If you’re interested in learning more before shopping for some astrophyllite jewelry of your own, stay tuned as we cover all of astrophyllite’s uses, healing properties, history, prices, and more.  

astrophyllite gemstone

What Is An Astrophyllite Crystal?

Astrophyllite is a shimmery semi-precious gemstone and rare collector’s mineral. Some alternate spellings of astrophyllite include:

  • Astrofillite

  • Asterophyllite

  • Aastrophyllite

The stone isn’t a birthstone, but you’ll often see astrophyllite and garnet towers or spheres. These purplish-red and gray swirling treasures are a beautiful and unique option for the traditional January birthstone.

In the astrological realm, astrophyllite is a lucky zodiac stone for the water signs: Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. 

astrophyllite raw crystal with quartz

Astrophyllite Specifications & Characteristics

Astrophyllite is a potassium sodium iron titanium silicate hydroxide with the lengthy chemical formula (K,Na)3(Fe2+,Mn)7Ti2Si8O24(O,OH)7. All that is to say there are quite a few elements, some of them variable, within the stone. Astrophyllite can also be a phyllosilicate, inosilicate, or somewhere in between.

Common impurities in astrophyllite are:

  • Niobium (Nb)

  • Zirconium (Zr)

  • Magnesium (Mg)

  • Tantalum (Ta)

  • Aluminum (Al)

  • Calcium (Ca)

The mineral is part of the eponymous astrophyllite group, along with minerals like bulgakite, zircophyllite, and nalivkinite, to name a few. 

Kupletskite and astrophyllite form an isomorphous mineral series, meaning their formulas and crystal structures are identical or very close. Kupletskite is also similar in color, but the order and arrangement of the chemicals inside are different.

In terms of crystal habits, astrophyllite is known for its golden, bladed crystals that radiate outwards, like a starburst or firework. It can also form tabular crystals, radiating aggregates, or thinly layered (lamellar) masses.

rough astrophyllite crystal starburst pattern

Here are the remaining astrophyllite properties:

  • Mohs hardness: 3

  • Color: Brown, white, golden-brown, golden-yellow, bronze, reddish-brown, green (rarely)

  • Crystal structure: Triclinic

  • Luster: Greasy, pearly, or submetallic

  • Transparency: Translucent to opaque

  • Refractive index: 1.67-1.76

  • Density: 3.2-3.4

  • Cleavage: Perfect on {001}; Poor/Imperfect on {100}

  • Fracture: Irregular/Uneven

  • Streak: Golden

  • Luminescence: None

  • Pleochroism: Present and strong in red-orange, lemon-yellow, and orange-yellow

All these properties can help you identify astrophyllite, especially when coming across similar stones like arfvedsonite. 

Arfvedsonite-sea71a.jpgPictured above: Arfvedsonite (Image credit: Rob Lavinsky, – CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Astrophyllite vs. Arfvedsonite

Astrophyllite is often confused with arfvedsonite. Both are similarly rare and shimmer on their surface. However, there are some key distinctions between astrophyllite vs. arfvedsonite. 

The list below will have each property listed as [astrophyllite’s property] vs. [arfvedsonite’s property]. Let’s take a look:

  • Composition: Potassium sodium iron titanium silicate hydroxide vs. sodium amphibole

  • Mohs hardness: 3 vs. 5 to 6

  • Coloring: Light brown to golden yellow vs. bluish-black to black

  • Shimmer Color: Copper, reddish-brown, or bronze vs. blue

  • Shimmer Pattern: Spots or bars vs. flashes fanning outward

Despite these differences, both stones often combine with other stones like eudialyte or garnet to create gorgeous patterned gems.

Now it’s time to move from mineral to metaphysical as we look at astrophyllite’s spiritual meaning. 

astrophyllite crystal raw with quartz

Astrophyllite Meaning & History

Astrophyllite is a spiritually multidimensional stone, nicknamed “a gateway to the stars.” It represents a connection between the physical realm and other dimensions, realms, or realities. Many spiritual practitioners use the stone to enhance their perception of these otherwise imperceptible realms, often via astral travel.

On a more basic level, astrophyllite is tied to the elements of fire, air, and storms, representing a clean slate and new beginnings. Additionally, it symbolizes acceptance, transformation, and spiritual ascension.


The name “astrophyllite” comes from two Greek terms: astron for “star” and phyllon for “leaf” or “sheet.” The name refers to astrophyllite’s radiating, star-like crystal habit, pearly or metallic luster, and micaceous (splitting off into flakes) cleavage. 

Norwegian mineralogist Paul Christian Weibye discovered astrophyllite in Låven, Norway, in 1844. Later in 1848, Weibye described the stone as a brown, micaceous mineral and dubbed it brauner glimmer (“brown glimmer.”)

In 1854, Norwegian mineralogist and geologist Karl Johann A.T. Scheerer chose the name “astrophyllite.” 

Another Norwegian mineralogist named Waldemar Christofer Brøgger analyzed and published most of the crystal and mineral properties of the stone in 1890. Interestingly, the similar stone kupletskite wouldn’t be discovered until 1956. 

In present-day healing circles, what is an astrophyllite crystal good for? 

astrophyllite healing stone

Astrophyllite Healing Properties

As you know, astrophyllite is highly sought-after by crystal healers. The powers of these healing stones are partly influenced by their coloring.

Like other brown gemstones, brown astrophyllite can bring you grounding, stability, and deeper connection with others, especially in one’s support system like friends and family. The yellow or golden hues evoke the benefits of yellow gemstones, offering greater hope, happiness, and wisdom. 

What about the physical, chakra, and spiritual healing benefits of astrophyllite? 

Physical Healing

Crystal healers use astrophyllite to treat physical issues such as hormonal imbalance, reproductive issues, and pain related to periods or menopause. It’s also believed to protect you against EMF pollution

Chakra Healing

Chakra healing involves identifying negative symptoms, determining which chakra they align to, and using tools like chakra stones to bring that chakra back into balance. The goal is to replace the negative symptoms with the positive symptoms of an open chakra.

Astrophyllite is great for harmonizing all the chakras, enabling the entire system of energy centers to work together so you can function your best. It’s a particularly good chakra stone for the crown chakra as well, helping open this highest energy center so you can access greater perception and spiritual wisdom.

Spiritual Healing

Spiritual practitioners often describe astrophyllite as a “bridge of perception” that can allow you to intuitively sense others' energies. This is helpful for spiritual fields like Reiki, tarot reading, and acupuncture. 

Additionally, the perception-related benefits of astrophyllite extend to its purported ability to open your mind to the wisdom of other realms and deities. During lucid dreaming, astral travel, or out-of-body experiences, astrophyllite is both grounding and encouraging, keeping your physical self in reality while helping you navigate beyond.

Lastly, astrophyllite crystals are said to attract synchronicities, or curious events that urge you to pay attention to messages from the universe. Not only does the crystal purportedly attract these events, it can also help you understand the messages.

orange astrophyllite gemstone faceted

Astrophyllite Gemstone Properties

Experts grade astrophyllite based on its color, cut, and carat weight. Keep in mind that astrophyllite stones often contain other stones mixed in.

First, what color is astrophyllite? 


Astrophyllite is usually golden-yellow to brown, though it may be greenish, reddish, white, gray, or orange. Because it’s cut with other stones, you’ll often see multiple colors in one astrophyllite gem. 

The most common mixture is a creamy white or light gray nepheline syenite matrix containing golden, radiating astrophyllite starbursts. This creates a stunning color contrast. 

Inside a translucent astrophyllite stone, you may see shimmering bars or spots seemingly suspended inside. These shapes are usually copper, reddish-brown, or bronze. It may also have golden flecks on its surface. 


Collectors often buy astrophyllite uncut as rough specimens, as these raw crystals can show beautiful starry designs.

Part of the reason astrophyllite is usually cut with the other stones around it (sometimes called “in situ”) is that its perfect cleavage makes trying to cut it out individually (intact) extremely tricky.

That said, astrophyllite gems are usually cut as cabochons or tumbled stones. It may also be carved into decor like an astrophyllite tower or sphere. Given its strong dispersion (or fire), the right cut can make it truly shine. 


Given its rarity, astrophyllite in larger sizes is generally more expensive than smaller crystals or stones. This mostly applies to astrophyllite that isn’t mixed with other gemstone or rock materials, however. 

Speaking of, what type of rock is astrophyllite found in?

white and gold astrophyllite gemstone rough specimen

Astrophyllite Formation & Sources

Astrophyllite is found mostly in the crevices and fissures of igneous rocks like pegmatites, nepheline syenites, and alkali granites. 

Common stones found alongside astrophyllite are:

With that in mind, where is astrophyllite found around the world? 

Mining Locations

Astrophyllite’s rarity ties to its limited sources. Much of the high-quality astrophyllite gem material comes from remote arctic areas in northern Russia. 

The other sources of astrophyllite are:

  • Canada

  • Colorado, USA

  • Greenland

  • Maine, USA

  • Norway

  • Kola Peninsula, Russia

Finally, let’s discuss what to expect in terms of cost when shopping for astrophyllite gems.

astrophyllite gemstone faceted

Astrophyllite Price & Value

Astrophyllite can be fairly expensive, but it also comes at very affordable prices. It all depends on the quality and the seller. For reference, most astrophyllite is roughly twice to 4-times the price of arfvedsonite. 

Raw astrophyllite mineral specimens are quite affordable, from $0.40-$1.50 per carat at wholesale prices. In total cost, these range from around $30 to $400 each. 

Cabochons and carvings (like an astrophyllite sphere or tower) are a bit pricier, starting at $15 and reaching $500 each. Some exquisite specimens can even fetch almost $1,700! 

Before we wrap up, let’s discuss proper gemstone care practices for astrophyllite. 

Astrophyllite Care and Maintenance

Astrophyllite has a brittle tenacity and perfect cleavage, so it’s important to handle this gem carefully and gently. If you’ve wondered, is astrophyllite toxic? — don’t worry, astrophyllite is non-toxic and safe to handle. 

We recommend getting astrophyllite jewelry with protective settings to help prevent scratches, breaks, or flaking. Given its low hardness, it’s better to choose jewelry like necklaces, brooches, and earrings over more vulnerable options like bracelets and rings. 

You can safely clean astrophyllite by placing it in a bowl of lukewarm water mixed with mild soap. Use a soft toothbrush to very gently scrub away dirt or debris, then rinse the stone in water after. Cloths with dust can contain quartz, which will scratch astrophyllite, so either dry the stone with a dust-free cloth or let it air-dry. 

astrophyllite gemstone cabochon druzy

Reach for the Stars with Astrophyllite!

Astrophyllite’s gorgeous star-like shapes attract scientists, collectors, and crystal healers alike. The earthy hue and celestial form of the stone reflect its spiritual properties of keeping you grounded while helping you navigate worlds beyond. 

If you’re ready to expand your perspective and reach out into other realms, astrophyllite is the perfect companion for your journey!

Buy astrophyllite gemstones today!

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