Hemimorphite Gemstone: Properties, Meanings, Value & More

hemimorphite gemstoneHemimorphite is a rare mineral and popular collector gemstone found worldwide. The mineral occurs in a range of eye-catching hues. Its purest form is colorless to white, gray, or brown. Rarer colors are yellow to bluish-green and variations of bright blue. 

What is hemimorphite used for in terms of healing? All kinds of things! Hemimorphite is believed to support your mind, body, and spirit in various ways, making it a powerful stone for meditation and crystal healing. 

Keen on eclectic treasures you can wear? Aside from its purported metaphysical properties and ornamental uses, hemimorphite jewelry (albeit rare) is a versatile complement to any aesthetic. 

Keep reading to learn all there is to know about hemimorphite's uses, meanings, prices, and more in our Hemimorphite Gemstone Guide.

hemimorphite gemstone

About Hemimorphite Stone

Most crystals look the same at both vertical ends. Hemimorphite is a semi-precious gemstone unique in this aspect. That’s also where the mineral’s name comes from! 

Hemimorphite’s name derives from the Greek hemi meaning "half" and morph for "shape." This is an homage to the gem’s unique shape: one end is rather blunt, dominated by a pedion (single face), while the other is more pointed and pyramidal. It’s such an unusual quality that hemimorphite’s discoverer highlighted it in the mineral’s name. 

While hemimorphite isn’t an official zodiac stone, it’s closely associated with the astrological sign of Libra.

So how do you identify hemimorphite anyway? First, you’ll want to get familiar with its mineral traits! 

hemimorphite gemstone rough specimen

Hemimorphite Specifications & Characteristics

Hemimorphite is a common secondary mineral in weathered rocks surrounding lead and zinc sulfide deposits. The mineral is a minor ore of zinc, containing about 54% of it by weight.

Hemimorphite occurs in a spectrum of colors, but its purest form is colorless to white. It commonly forms in a massive or granular habit, often alongside other minerals such as calcite, smithsonite, or quartz

When distinguishable, its crystals are prismatic, tabular, and asymmetric. When grown into unfilled cavities, hemimorphite crystals can develop into a botryoidal habit or a druse covering the cavity walls. 

This zinc ore is also pyroelectric. When heated, hemimorphite generates positive electrical charges on one end and negative charges on the opposite end, creating its own little forcefield of charge. 

Hemimorphite’s chemical formula is Zn4Si2O7(OH)2•(H2O).

Here’s an overview of hemimorphite’s mineral data:

  • Mineral family: Silicates (Sorosilicates)

  • Composition: Zinc, silicon, hydrogen, oxygen

  • Mohs hardness: 4.5 to 5

  • Tenacity: Brittle

  • Color: Usually colorless, brown, gray, pale yellow, or white; Rarely yellowish-brown, pale blue, robin's egg blue, bright blue, or green

  • Crystal structure: Orthorhombic

  • Luster: Vitreous

  • Transparency: Transparent to translucent

  • Refractive index: 1.61 to 1.64

  • Density: 3.4 to 3.5

  • Cleavage: {110} Perfect

  • Fracture: Conchoidal 

  • Streak: White

  • Luminescence: Weak fluorescence; Yellowish-white to white in LW-UV; Blue to blueish-white to green in SW-UV

  • Pleochroism: Very weak or absent

larimar gemstone - hemimorphite vs larimarPictured above: Larimar

Hemimorphite vs. Larimar

You can easily mistake hemimorphite for other minerals like turquoise or larimar. Some hemimorphites are even marketed as “Chinese larimar" --- even though larimar only comes from the Dominican Republic. Imagine buyers’ confusion when they receive hemimorphite instead of larimar! So what’s the difference?

While they have similar hardness and looks, hemimorphite has a higher density than larimar. Hemimorphite also has an orthorhombic crystal system, while larimar is triclinic.

Now that you know how to tell if a hemimorphite is real, let’s take a moment to peek at some of its history. 

hemimorphite gemstone pendant with cubic zirconia antique style

Hemimorphite Meaning & History

Hemimorphite has been around for ages! In fact, the ancient Roman scholar Pliny the Elder wrote about the mineral in his literature under the name “galmei.”

The stone was named in 1853 by German geologist and mineralogist Adolph Kenngott after its hemimorphic properties.

Before Kenngott, hemimorphite (a zinc silicate) and smithsonite (a zinc carbonate) were believed to be a single mineral species. Both were known as "calamine" until the early 1800s.

What triggered the distinction between the two? It started during early studies on the minerals’  pyroelectricity. Both French mineralogist René Just Haüy and English chemist James Smithson observed that while some “calamine” specimens exhibited strong piezoelectric properties, others didn’t. 

Smithsonite eventually earned its mineral classification in 1832, but what about the remaining “calamine” mineral?  

Kenngott unofficially renamed calamine “hemimorphite” in 1853, but the mineral name  “calamine” remained widely used until about the 1930s. 

It wasn’t until the 1960s that mineralogists finally determined hemimorphite’s chemical composition and formally accepted its new name.

But what’s in a name? By any other name, hemimorphite would still look just as sweet. 

Okay, enough poetry puns. Ready to dive into the metaphysical? 

light blue hemimorphite healing crystal

Hemimorphite Healing Properties

You can harness the energy and vibrations of most crystals to use them as healing stones that support your physical, emotional, and spiritual self. 

In addition to being a beautiful crystal to display, hemimorphite uses its energy to deliver wellness to your body at all levels. 

Physically, what is hemimorphite gemstone used for?

Physical Healing

Hemimorphite is believed to produce physical healing throughout the entire body.

This stone may help treat:

  • STDs

  • Warts

  • Ulcerative disorders

  • Hormonal imbalances

  • Burns

  • Restless leg syndrome

  • Hormone-related headaches

  • PMS symptoms

The mineral is said to support weight loss, pain relief, blood disorders, cardiovascular conditions, cellular memory, and cellular structures. 

Emotional Healing

Emotionally, hemimorphite is a crystal known as the “Stone of Empathy,” inspiring selflessness and compassion. It amplifies positive emotions, elevates your mood, and boosts energy and enthusiasm.  

The mineral is thought to have a light-hearted and jovial presence known for sparking passion, creativity, gratitude, and happiness. 

Spiritual Healing 

Ever wish you had a better way to connect to higher spiritual realms? 

The hemimorphite spiritual meaning is one of heightened awareness and intuition. Meditating with hemimorphite may enhance psychic visions or awaken empathic abilities you didn’t even know you had. 

The gem is also known as a chakra stone attuned to the four highest chakras (or energy points):

  • Crown (Sahasrara): Higher Spiritual Connections and Expanded Consciousness

  • Third Eye (Ajna): Intuition, Introspection, and Psychic Ability

  • Throat (Vishuddha): Communication and Emotional Intelligence

  • Heart (Anahata): Relationships, Self-Love, and Healing

Hemimorphite activates and balances these chakral points, keeping them in harmony. 

Phew! That’s one transformative gem! Next, what is hemimorphite worth? 

bright blue hemimorphite gemstone faceted

Hemimorphite Gemstone Properties

Every gem has unique characteristics that help experts determine its value. For hemimorphite, it comes down to color, cut, clarity, and size. 


In its purest form, hemimorphite is white or colorless. More rarely, it can appear blue, green, amber, and gray. These shade variations result from impurities of copper and iron. 

Specimens with bright, saturated colors, especially bright blue (similar to paraiba tourmaline), are more expensive and sought-after. 


Due to its brittle tenacity, perfect cleavage, and resistance to polish, hemimorphite can be a difficult stone for lapidaries to work with.

Hemimorphite is usually sold rough (or uncut). When cut, it’s typically done so for collector gems. 

The crystal’s moderate hardness, perfect cleavage, and maze of hairline fractures make faceted cuts difficult and rare. 

You’re more likely to find hemimorphite cut as cabochons to maximize the most carat weight, typically ovals, pears, or cushions. 

hemimorphite gemstone cabochon


Gem-quality hemimorphite is transparent to translucent. Lower-grade gems are more opaque, decreasing in worth. 

Most hemimorphite exhibit some mottling and blue-white banding. Some gems are included with a dark matrix. 

Carat Weight

Gem-quality hemimorphite is scarce. 

Finished gems are typically quite large, often weighing about 5 carats or more.


Although hemimorphite is rarely enhanced, it’s sometimes impregnated to improve its stability. The stone is immersed in permeable colorless glue to fill its hairline fractures. Not only does this strengthen the gem, but it simultaneously improves transparency and allows sellers to produce larger sizes. 

Fake Hemimorphite

In terms of fake hemimorphite, blue specimens are notorious for being replicated. Scrupulous sellers commonly dye aragonite (often with phthalocyanine) and try to pass it as blue hemimorphite.

Is hemimorphite the same as blue aragonite? While they can share some visible resemblances, hemimorphite and aragonite are very different gems. For one, hemimorphite is harder and tougher than aragonite. It’s also water-bearing, while aragonite reacts with dilute acids.

Before hemimorphite makes it to grading, the mineral has to form.

hemimorphite crystal rough specimen

Hemimorphite Origin & Sources

Hemimorphite typically occurs in veins and beds of stratified calcareous (or layered, calcium-rich) rocks. It’s mined from the upper parts of zinc and lead ores. 

Hemimorphite is a weathering product of zinc-carrying stones, having undergone natural processes that altered their chemical structures. In other words, it’s a secondary mineral.

Geographically, where does hemimorphite occur?

Mining Locations

Hemimorphite occurs all over the world, but few localities produce gem-quality specimens.

The most notable deposit is the Baita mining district at Rézbánya, Bihor, Romania. Other significant deposits are from Vieille Montagne, Belgium, and Aachen, Germany.

Well-crystallized, facetable, and completely transparent hemimorphite occurs at two localities in Mexico (Mapimi, Durango; and Santa Eulalia, Chihuahua). 

Most recently, highly-desired, vibrant blue gem-quality hemimorphite was discovered in the southern Congo. These specimens weighed between 10-20 kgs. (22-44 lbs.), but only small portions were suitable for cabochons. 

Other noteworthy localities include:

  • Algeria

  • Australia

  • Austria

  • England

  • Italy

  • Poland

  • Russia (Siberia)

  • Thailand

  • Namibia

  • Madagascar

  • United States (Pennsylvania, Montana, Colorado, and New Mexico)

…to name a few.

Mining locations? Check. Now let’s talk price! 

swiss blue hemimorphite gemstone faceted round

Hemimorphite Price & Value

In terms of cost, hemimorphite tends to fall somewhere in the middle between less expensive gems to much pricier ones.  

Some collectors seek out specimens that will cover the full range of hemimorphite colors. As such, these gems will typically fetch higher prices. 

Nonetheless, there are options for almost every price point. 

Rough hemimorphite generally costs between $0.05 to $0.15 per carat. Higher-quality specimens can run you between $0.30 to $0.50 per carat.

Due to their rarity and delicacy, faceted hemimorphite fetches higher prices costing anywhere between $20 to $120 per carat.

Cabochons are more common and typically vary between $0.40 to $5 per carat. Higher-end pieces can garner prices as high as $12.50 to $20 per carat.

You’re more likely to find hemimorphite jewelry from independent sellers and designers versus chain stores or mass-market retailers. As far as pricing goes, it usually varies on what alloys and other gems are incorporated within designs. 

Low to mid-end rings generally cost around $30 to $70. Higher-quality pieces can cost anywhere between $100 to $300. However, some pieces have garnered prices as high as $4000 and even $11000. 

Beaded bracelets typically run you anywhere between $8 to $110.

Pendants generally vary in price between $10 to $120.

Now that you know where hemimorphite falls in your budget, let’s master caring for your gemstones

Hemimorphite Care and Maintenance

Hemimorphite is quite delicate, so attention to care is crucial.

To clean your hemimorphite, use warm water, mild detergent, and a soft-bristled brush. Dry it thoroughly and store it in a soft pouch or fabric-lined box to prevent scratches or breakage. Never leave your hemimorphite submerged in water as it may fade or dissolve. 

Keep hemimorphite from coming into contact with:

  • Steam or ultrasonic cleaners

  • Household chemicals

  • Harsh detergents

  • Perfumes

  • Hairspray

Opt for hemimorphite jewelry with protective settings, and remember to remove it before exercising, playing sports, or performing household chores.

Is hemimorphite toxic? It’s generally safe to handle. Breaking or burning gems, however, could release dust and particles in the air that are unsafe to breathe in and ingest.

hemimorphite gemstone carved earring beads parcel

Magnify the Positive Vibrations with Hemimorphite!

With all life's stresses, it can be hard to remember to focus on all the good. Hemimorphite delivers a gentle nudge in a positive direction — reminding you to ground yourself in gratitude, empathy, and joy. 

The mineral’s transcendent abilities are matched by its exterior beauty, beloved by jewelers, gem collectors, and crystal healers alike. Ready to give hemimorphite a home in your crystal collection and experience its awe for yourself? 

Buy hemimorphite gemstones today!

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