MINERAL OF THE MONTH: March 2009 Selenite Desert Rose


Several different minerals form into rosette shapes including chalcedony, aragonite, hematite, barite, and selenite (a form of gypsum). This month’s mineral is the selenite “Desert Rose.” It is most similar to barite roses, but its edges are sharper and the crystalline structure is less hard. Thus, Desert Roses are brittle and can break quite easily.

These natural sculptures form in arid sandy environments through the evaporation of shallow saltwater basins. The “petals” of selenite desert roses are usually well defined and are crystals flattened along the cleavage planes. This mineral is also known as: sand rose, rose rock, gypsum rose, and gypsum rosette.

It is believed that selenite rose can enhance clarity and improve awareness. It is used by some in meditation to help them connect to the higher self. Others use selenite rose to improve their positive outlook on life.

Selenite rose is found in arid desert areas throughout the world including California, Libya, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. Most of the commercially available selenite rose, including this specimen, comes from Mexico.

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