Brucite is a translucent magnesium gemstone in various colors, but usually found as colorless, milky blue, or pale green. Recently discovered lemon-yellow stones found in Pakistan are valuable and highly sought-after collector’s items.
Is brucite rare? Brucite minerals are common, but attractive crystals or gem-quality specimens are rare.
There are many fascinating brucite properties, but it’s mostly known for its unique internal crystal structure (though the structure also makes it very fragile).
Ready to dig in? This guide will break down everything on brucite gemstone uses, healing properties, history, prices, and more!
The stone has gone by many names, including:
Hydrate of magnesia
Amianthus (now used for byssolite)
Shepardite (now used for enstatite)
The number of brucite uses (outside the gemstone realm) is similar in length:
Significant source of magnesium
Fire retardant (it releases water when heated)
Refractory insulator (synthetic brucite acts as a heat barrier in kilns & furnaces)
Ingredient in laxatives & antacids like milk of magnesia (reduces iron and folic acid absorption)
(For reference: The term “magnesia” is used for magnesium-rich products and as a synonym for magnesium hydroxide.)
Gypsum is a mineral with similar uses, hardness, and colors to brucite. Brucite has a slightly higher Mohs hardness, density, and refractive index, but gypsum is more common for gemstone or ornamental use.
As a magnesium hydroxide mineral, brucite’s chemical formula is Mg(OH)2. Manganese and iron are common impurities. The original mineral description recorded 70 percent magnesium.
Brucite also lends its name to the brucite mineral group, which includes similar hydroxides like pyrochroite (manganese hydroxide), portlandite (calcium hydroxide) and theophrastite (nickel hydroxide).
Individually, how do you identify brucite? The easiest method is a scratch test on an inconspicuous area with a coin, which should leave a scratch. It’s also pyroelectric, so it’ll temporarily generate an electrical charge when heated.
Remember that unique internal structure we mentioned? It comes down to the chemical bonds holding it together. Because the atoms don’t have a charge, the layers of magnesium hydroxide sheets are very weakly held together. Therefore, the stone splits easily.
Here are all the brucite mineral properties:
Mohs hardness: 2.5-3
Color: White, colorless, light green, light blue, gray (brucite); Yellowish-white (nemalite); Brownish-red, yellow, brown, or pink (manganoan brucite)
Crystal structure: Trigonal (hexagonal sub-type)
Luster: Waxy or vitreous (glassy), pearly on cleavages; Silky (nemalite)
Transparency: Transparent to translucent
Refractive index: 1.56 to 1.60
Cleavage: Perfect basal, 1-direction on 
Fracture: Fibrous, micaceous, or irregular/uneven
Luminescence: Fluorescence present - light green or blue
The brucite mineral comes in many forms. Crystals are usually small but wide, flat, and table-like (sometimes terminated, but rarely). Some locales produce rounded brucite crystals. More often, it forms in layered, fibrous masses. It can also appear as layers among clay or chlorite minerals.
Brucite also comes in specific, distinct varieties:
Manganoan Brucite (Manganbrucite): Yellow, brown, red, or pink variety rich in manganese (up to 17 percent)
Nemalite: Yellowish-white, fibrous variety with separable, elastic fibers and sometimes contains iron oxide
Brucite Marble: Type of marble (metamorphic rock) with bands of brucite
With the scientific meanings covered, let’s shift over into brucite’s spiritual meaning!
Brucite stones symbolize intellect, purpose, and willpower. It also represents fairness, cooperation, and understanding.
In the ancient energy-balancing art of Feng Shui, the yellow brucite meaning (applied to all yellow gemstones) ties to the fire element. As a fire stone, yellow brucite reignites lost passion, inspires creativity, and fills the space with warmth.
American mineralogist Archibald Bruce first discovered brucite in Hoboken, New Jersey, USA. Bruce called it “native magnesia” and published a description in 1810 beside the first description of zincite, another mineral he discovered in New Jersey.
He put both descriptions in his newly established American Mineralogical Journal, the first purely scientific American periodical. Despite the journal’s significant historical impact on the scientific community, it only ran until 1814. Soon after, Bruce passed away in 1818 at only 41 years old.
In 1824, French mineralogist François Sulpice Beudant honored Bruce’s legacy by renaming the stone “brucite.”
However, from 1819 to 1824, the mineral now named chondrodite had been named “brucite” by another American mineralogist, George Gibbs. After 1824, “brucite” only officially applied to the manganese hydroxide mineral, though French mineralogist Pierre-Armand Dufrénoy tried to name zincite “brucite” in 1847.
More American deposits that are now significant brucite sources popped up later: Pennsylvania in 1857, Nevada in 1927, and the famous Franklin and Sterling Hill mines of New Jersey in 1930.
More recently, miners discovered yellow brucites in Pakistan in 2017, now known as the most valuable brucite specimens. In 2020, the Russian Mining Chemical Company (RMCC) established the development process for allegedly the largest known brucite deposit on Earth.
All varieties and colors of brucite can function as different healing stones. The common white brucite, among other white gems, is used for cleansing, purification, and spiritual ascension. Gray crystals like gray brucite are popular for encouraging self-reliance.
For physical and emotional healing, what is brucite used for?
Physically, brucite crystals are believed to help:
Regulate body temperature
Treat blocked arteries or intestines
Increase muscle flexibility
Relieve joint or nerve pain
If you feel lost in life, you’re not alone — and brucite can help! The most widely believed benefits of brucite are helping you make wiser decisions, boosting confidence, and pushing you toward your goals.
Some purported benefits related to these properties include reducing anxiety and increasing willpower. Crystal healers use the stone to support identifying your overall goals and creating intentional steps to achieve them.
Rarity is the most crucial factor to brucite’s value. The other determining properties are its color, cut, transparency, and carat weight.
Brucite’s color is usually white, gray, light green, or light blue. Manganoan brucite shows warmer red, brown, or honey hues. Impurities of iron, manganese, or calcium are behind which hue shows up.
The rare yellow brucite specimens range from pastel to vibrant lemon-yellow, the latter being the rarest. It’s not yet clear what causes this yellow coloring.
Though brucite’s internal structure is unique, it also makes it extremely fragile and tricky to cut. Most specimens don’t have the right form or quality to become gemstones, but the high-quality brucites (often yellow) are sometimes faceted for collectors.
Brucite is usually translucent in crystal form. Unfortunately, the crystal form is rare. The only faceted stones, which carry high value, are translucent or semi-transparent.
The majority of faceted brucite gems are only 0.5 ct to 1 ct. Quality rough from Canada has yielded faceted gems above 1 ct. The largest known faceted brucite is a colorless, 20.18-carat gem from Russia.
The since-closed Pennsylvania mine once produced the largest brucite crystals, with recorded measurements at almost 8 in (20.32 cm) in length. Canada has also produced iron-rich brucite crystals that are 20 in (50.8 cm) long.
Speaking of raw crystals, how is brucite formed anyway?
Brucite forms when magnesium-rich minerals like periclase or olivine go through low-grade metamorphism (transformation at low pressure and temperatures around 200 to 320°C). This process usually happens in marble rocks.
The mineral can also form when water gets inside minerals within peridotite, changing the rock into serpentinite and leaving behind new minerals (like brucite).
Where is brucite found in nature?
Usually, miners find brucite in marbles, phyllite, altered limestone, or dolomite schists.
In 2016, scientists found a high-pressure version of brucite 400-600 km into Earth’s mantle that was carrying water. They previously didn’t think the mineral could be stable that deep underground, but the discovery proved this wrong. More importantly, it revealed that there is water much deeper in the Earth than we’d thought.
The top current sources for brucite are the USA, Pakistan and Russia.
The yellow brucite rough from Pakistan comes from mountainous areas and forms gorgeous spherical shapes. Some estimate Russia’s Savinsky deposit is the largest brucite deposit in the world.
More sources for brucite include:
Sweden (manganoan brucite)
USA — California, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas)
For interested buyers, what is brucite worth?
Despite its rarity, most brucite for sale is yellow, as these are the best quality. However, their prices vary broadly.
At wholesale, faceted brucite starts at $3 per carat and reaches $190 per carat. Rough brucite is much lower, from $0.02 to $0.40 per carat for paler yellow specimens and $0.27 to $1 per carat for brighter yellow ones.
Before we wrap up, let’s discuss how to care for your gemstone!
Brucite’s very low hardness, perfect cleavage, and weak bonding makes it incredibly fragile. You have to be gentle and cautious when handling it, as even a coin could scratch it.
One aspect to be aware of is that brucite’s luster and sometimes color somewhat diminishes with air exposure, so it’s best to keep it in an airtight display (or storage) container. Keep brucite away from acids.
To clean brucite, mix warm water and mild soap, then dip a soft toothbrush in the solution and gently scrub the stone. Rinse the stone in warm water after and carefully dry it with a lint-free, soft cloth.
From new geological discoveries involving brucite in 2016 to new brucite colors in 2017, this mineral is far from done revealing all its secrets. Who knows what the future holds for new brucite revelations?
On an individual level, though, brucite’s gorgeous hues evoke empowerment and positivity, encouraging you to step out of your comfort zone to find success and purpose.
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