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Calcite Mineral: History, Property, Uses & More

calcite stoneMeet the calcite stone, aka the world’s most versatile mineral! Calcite is a multifaceted carbonate variety used for making everything from highways to kitchen decor to medicine—calcite lives all around us, whether we notice it or not. But there’s more to this dynamic stone than function: calcite is a stunning jewelry gemstone! 

Calcite properties and uses don’t stop there. These breathtaking jewels come in various colors, adding a pop of color to your home and accessories. Holistically, people use calcite stones to achieve a higher vibrational pattern with the universe. If you’re looking to tap into your highest self, we’ll share how to use calcite for meditation and spiritual healing.

Are you ready to learn about the calcite stone’s various properties and discover why this mineral is so magnificent? Then keep on reading.

calcite gemstone

What is Calcite?

Calcite is one of the most abundant carbonate minerals in the world, forming in volcanic rocks and oceans. Did you know that calcite is the primary mineral in marble and limestone, too?

One of the most notable types of calcite stone is called the Iceland Spar, or Optical Calcite. What makes this clear crystal so phenomenal is that it refracts light twice. What does that mean? Any objects placed beneath this stone appear to be in two places at once. Neat trick, right? With this unique mineral, you’re sure to be endlessly enchanted and turn heads wherever you go!

Is calcite used in jewelry? Absolutely! These stones are often worn as eye-catching earrings and pendants. Best of all, calcite is budget-friendly. You can buy calcite jewelry without breaking the bank. 

We’ll share more popular calcite uses next.

Calcite Stone Uses

Because of its abundance, calcite is one of the most widely used minerals on the planet. Just what is calcite used for? Here are just some of its many applications and uses:

  • Jewelry and gemstones, of course!

  • Home and kitchen decor

  • Construction materials like cement

  • Decorative objects like vases and lamps

  • Metal, glass, and rubber production

  • Acid neutralizer in the chemical industry

  • Chalk (as the main ingredient, actually!)

What makes this gemstone so diverse? We’ll have to take a look at the gem’s geological properties to answer that question.

calcite gemstone

Calcite Specifications and Characteristics

Calcite is a chemical compound called calcium carbonate (yes, the same stuff in dairy products). As a soft stone, it ranks 3 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. For reference, pennies are tougher than calcite! So, while this gem is used in industrious ways, it’s not as durable as other popular gemstones.

Even so, calcites make fabulous jewelry pieces, but they do need a protective setting to resist impact and tarnishing from daily wear and tear.

Calcite Stone Properties

  • Color: colorless/white, yellow, red, orange, blue, green, pink, gray, brown, and more!

  • Crystal structure: trigonal

  • Luster: vitreous to pearly

  • Transparency: transparent to translucent

  • Refractive index: 1.486-1.740

  • Density: 2.71

  • Cleavage: perfect rhombohedral (3 directions)

Earlier, we mentioned that calcite makes for popular jewelry. But what about that low durability and hardness factor? And on that subject: what factors should you keep an eye out for when shopping for calcite earrings or pendants? 

Calcite Gemstone Properties

There is more to consider when buying gemstones than appearance and aesthetics. When assessing gemstone properties, jewelers look at cut, color, clarity, and carat weight, and this is important information for buyers to keep in mind while shopping. 

Together, these qualities make up the “four Cs” and can help you pick out the perfect calcite jewelry. 

Cut

When it comes to cutting, calcite is a particular case. The calcite stone is a perfect rhombohedral, which means it’s naturally shaped like a slanted cube made up of rhombi. To refresh your memory of math class, a rhombus has four equal sides. Although similar to a square, only its opposite angles are equal.

Since they’re rhombohedral in shape, calcite stones are more prone to breaking off than other minerals. As a result, a cut calcite stone may end up much smaller than raw calcite specimens.

To preserve as much material as possible, calcites are often cut into octagon, oval, and cushion shapes. More intricate cuts like heart cuts are rarer because the demand for calcite jewelry isn’t super high.

However, calcite cabochons are prized and popular, thanks to the striking colors and patterns revealed from smoothing and polishing the stones.

Speaking of colors and patterns...

Color

While pure calcite stones are colorless, mineral impurities can transform these stones into a rainbow of colors. These include blue, green, white, pink, yellow, orange, brown, gray, red, and black. With so many different options, you’re bound to find a calcite stone in your favorite color!

What are some of the ingredients that cause calcite to gain these brilliant hues? Trace elements of iron, zinc, cobalt, manganese, and magnesium all have a hand in shaping a calcite’s unique color. As an abundant mineral, it’s no wonder that the calcite stone interacts with so many different elements to produce various colors and patterns.

Unlike popular gemstones like diamonds and sapphires, calcite clarity is less brilliant.

pear calcite gemstone

Clarity

Calcites can be transparent or translucent, meaning they may or may not be eye-clean. With transparent calcites, light passes through them with little diffusion. This means that they are eye-clean. Translucent gems, on the other hand, will sometimes have inclusions.

Generally speaking, eye-clean gemstones are more valuable and desirable. That said, inclusions can give calcite stone specimens intricate patterns and texture, offering a novel, earthy aesthetic. 

Carat Weight

Most gemstones weigh under two to three carats. Although calcite is incredibly abundant, you’re not likely to find large pieces of gem-quality jewels. Since calcite stones can easily break when they’re cut, polished gemstones usually won’t exceed 50 carats. And even so, larger gems will typically fetch higher prices.

Of course, this mainly applies to jewelry gemstones. As we’ve mentioned earlier, calcite is a highly diverse mineral with many forms and varieties. Regarding limestone and marble, for example, calcite weight is calculated using different measurements like kilograms. 

Because calcite isn’t a famous center stone for jewelry, it’s used more frequently as beads and accent stones, which has been the case for thousands of years.

Let’s switch gears to discover calcite meanings, history, and origins. 

Calcite History and Meaning

The name calcite originates from the Latin word calx, which means “lime.” It’s quite fitting, considering how calcite is the primary ingredient in limestone.

Speaking of limestone, it served as one of the building blocks for the ancient Egyptian pyramids! Long before we used calcite stones in jewelry and home decor, the ancients used them to build their early cities and societies. 

The Great Pyramid of Giza was initially encased in 5.5 million tons of gleaming white limestone.

As mentioned earlier, calcite is the prime ingredient in marble. And what do we know about marble? If it was good enough for Michelangelo’s voluptuous sculptures, it was good enough for the ancient Greeks and Romans, too. These early peoples used marble to construct breathtaking structures and sleek tiled floors. As a testament to its legacy, marble remains a popular choice for construction and interior design to this day.

Hello, ultra-refined marble countertops!

Remember the Iceland Spar from our earlier discussion? Well, these crystals can do far more than dazzle the eye. They’ve served as potent devices and instruments throughout history.

Viking sailors used these stones as optical aids to help them locate the sun during cloudy weather. Centuries later, during WWII, high-grade Iceland Spar was used to sight guns, bombs, and other non-aircraft weaponry. 

As you can see, calcite is more than just eye candy, but a treasured navigational tool, industrial material, and commercial material.

Is there a material as dynamic as calcite? Perhaps. But the secret to calcites commercialism lies in its formation process. How is calcite formed? Let’s dig into the stone’s origins.

rough calcite stone

Calcite Stone Origins and Sources

With how abundant it is, it’s no surprise that calcite stone forms in many different places. Calcite crystallizes in sedimentary rock – limestone in particular – and volcanic rock. It forms in metamorphic rock as well, which is how we get marble!

If you’ve ever ventured into caves (or taken the Stagecoach ride at Knott’s Berry Farm), you’ve likely come across stalactites and stalagmites. Well, these are calcium-rich mineral formations that extend from cavern ceilings and floors.

Calcite stones form in mineral deposits near hot springs and grow in vein-like crystallized minerals running through host rocks. Vein minerals are some of nature’s most stunning treasures. 

However, the earth isn’t the only wellspring for calcite to grow; it hails from deep within the ocean, too! Calcite makes up the shells of many different marine organisms, including plankton, algae, and sea sponges. If you’ve ever picked up a gorgeous seashell on the beach, you have calcite to thank!

Where is calcite found and sourced? Calcite mines exist all over the world. Popular locations include Mexico, the US, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Iceland, Belgium, and Great Britain. Italy, in particular, supplies high-quality marble and calcite crystals.

While calcite stone is scattered worldwide, this beautiful stone can help you turn inwards and self-reflect with its holistic properties.

Calcite Meaning and Significance

Calcite stones are the ultimate symbol of personal enrichment and self-growth. If you’re feeling physically and spiritually stagnant, calcites are like vitamins that can boost your energy. You’ll feel a fire burning inside you again, rekindling a desire for change and growth.

Need a creative boost? Calcite stone can give you a fresh perspective that helps you convert abstract ideas into concrete action, transforming your dreams into reality.

Calcite significance extends to stability and self-trust. You’ll become steady and strong in yourself, fostering faith in your abilities and instincts. 

Does calcite have healing properties? You bet!

calcite healing stones

Calcite Spiritual and Healing Properties

What does calcite do for the body? Many things, actually! For starters, calcite can strengthen your bones and teeth and alleviate blood clotting. Calcite is often used in medicinal tablets to neutralize stomach acid.

When it comes to spiritual healing, calcite connects to the seven chakras. These sacred energy points are responsible for governing your overall health and wellbeing. Chakras form a line running from the base of your spine to the crown of your head. 

When blocked, the chakras can cause physical and emotional pain. Thankfully, the many calcite properties work to restore the chakras by acting as a powerful healing crystal, especially when placed directly on your body. 

Calcite Care and Maintenance

As wonderful as they are, calcite stones are fragile and should be treated with care. Here are some pointers to keep your calcite safe for the long-haul:

  • Store your calcite jewelry away from other gemstones to prevent scratches from interacting with harder substances like metals and other gemstones. Instead, wrap them in a soft cloth and tuck them inside a fabric-lined jewelry container.

  • Remove jewelry before engaging in rigorous physical activity like sports or exercise. Again, you don’t want to accidentally scratch these beautiful gems! Best to remove them before cleaning, washing dishes, swimming, and showering, too.

  • Avoid harsh cleaning agents like bleach and acid, as calcite is highly reactive to those. Be sure to stay away from ultrasonic cleaners and steamers as well.

So, how should you clean your calcite jewelry? Easy: all you need is a bowl, warm water, mild soap, and a soft brush.

  • Carefully lather and scrub your stones with mild detergent to remove any dirt and grime.

  • Rinse with warm water and gently pat dry with a soft microfiber towel.

And just a few minutes later, you’re done! Now your jewelry is just as sparkling and spotless as the day you bought it. Just clean your gems as needed, and they’ll be good to go!

With all that we’ve covered so far, we’re now facing the elephant in the room: calcite stone prices. Just what is calcite worth, and how much should you expect to pay?

loose calcite cabochon stones

Calcite Stone Prices and Value

Because it’s so abundant, calcite is a relatively affordable gem. What is the value of calcite?

As we’ve pointed out earlier, keep in mind that gemstone size and clarity influence the stone’s price. Again, larger, eye-clean stones are usually more valuable. Calcite stone is sometimes sold in tons instead of individual stones. In these cases, calcite can easily cost thousands, as you’ll likely have to purchase several units at once.

For individual calcite stones, prices range anywhere from $5-1.7k per piece. Calcites are diverse minerals through and through; even their prices cater to different budgets. Another factor when buying calcite gemstones online is if it’s set in jewelry. When accompanied by fine materials like high purity gold or precious gems, the prices will increase.

Your best bet is to buy loose calcite stones and have them set into custom jewelry pieces.

Looking to Buy Calcite? 

Bottom line: calcites have it all: style, color, versatility, and affordability. 

From glimmering jewelry to powerful healing stones to the foundation of our cities, calcites have diverse uses and properties. Best of all, adding calcite to your jewelry and gemstone collection is an affordable and worthwhile investment.

Looking to buy calcite stones? Shop for loose calcite stones today!

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