Magnesite is a beautiful gemstone that looks similar to Turquoise or Howlite. When cut and polished into beads, Magnesite features a dark thread of veins or a web-like matrix across its surface, making it an attractive gem to use for jewelry-making projects.
In this post, we’ll explore some key facts and characteristics about Magnesite, starting with a little background as to how this gemstone is formed.
Mineral makeup and origin of Magnesite
Magnesite is a calcite group mineral that contains the chemical formula “magnesium carbonate” (MgCO3). Magnesite usually forms in three-dimensional rhombohedral shaped crystals and cleavage fragments when magnesium-rich rocks come into contact with carbon dioxide-rich water.
When mined, Magnesite usually appears as chalky white, but can also be found in gray, brown, yellow, orange, pale pink and colorless varieties too. In terms of luster, Magnesite is often dull, with a matte surface in its original state.
However, this is a porous gem that can be easily dyed and polished to create bold and vibrant colors. It’s often dyed to a light blue color, because with its dark veining, it very closely resembles Turquoise. In some cases, Magnesite is often passed off as Turquoise by unscrupulous gemstone dealers (Turquoise is a more expensive gemstone).
Magnesite is mined from many sources across the United States, Europe, Africa, Brazil and China.
Other uses for Magnesite
As well as being used for jewelry-making after being cut into beads or cabochons, Magnesite also has a number of other uses.
Magnesite is often used to make fireworks because of its magnesium-rich formula. It is also used for construction materials, for example as a binder for flooring and it’s used in the preparation of magnesium based fertilizers.
Healing and metaphysical meanings of Magnesite
Magnesite is a popular stone to use for mediation because of its soothing and calming properties. It’s believed that this gem helps its wearer to think with clarity, aiding the process of creativeness and imagination.
In terms of Chakra healing, Magnesite is known to encourage the powers of love. It is said to open the heart chakra, allowing a person to find wellbeing, personal happiness and joy. In turn, this gem helps to boost self-esteem.
Magnesite is an inexpensive gemstone that looks very similar to Turquoise (see our light teal green beads above). Because this is a porous gem, it can be dyed in many beautiful colors. For jewelry-makers, this is one of the huge advantages of Magnesite over Turquoise (along with the cheaper price)!
You can really unleash your creativity with Magnesite beads as you’ll be able to find many shapes, sizes and different colors to experiment with.
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