Close
Home

Beading How-To's

Beading Resources > EncycloBEADia > Magnesite, White

 White Magnesite Gemstone Properties 



Magnesite is a magnesium carbonate with the same crystal structure as calcite, a calcium carbonate with a hardness and texture similar to turquoise and marble. Magnesite forms when magnesium-rich rocks such as serpentine or dolomite are exposed to carbon dioxide-rich water.

Typically white in color, magnesite ranges from yellow to white to grey in its natural form. The translucent to opaque stones can have a web-like pattern and a surprising fluorescing quality under shortwave UV lamps due to the high content of magnesium, which is how they are sometimes found in deep caves in Nevada. Magnesium-rich magnesite is even used as an element in the manufacture of Epsom salts and fireworks.

This stone can be enhanced through dyeing because of its good porosity. The dyed blue-green color makes it an economical simulation of turquoise. Magnesite gemstone beads with brown and black surface patterning are flooding the beading and jewelry-making market. It can be difficult to distinguish enhanced magnesite from genuine white and colored turquoise.

Native Americans, including the Pomo Tribes of California, carved white magnesite gemstones into beads for jewelry and currency. The currency beads were traded individually versus by the strand like most other valued beads.

Designing with White Magnesite

Dyed white magnesite is an economical substitute for turquoise. It can be dyed vivid shades of turquoise blue, lime green or red with fantastic thick matrix patterns that texture the surface. Use large nuggets with antiqued sterling silver beads for a wonderfully ethnic design with world cultural appeal.

Mix rustic white magnesite with opal-colored Swarovski® crystal beads and glossy black onyx gemstone beads for high impact designs. For a more classical approach, pair white magnesite with Swarovski® crystal golden shadow beads, finely faceted red garnet gemstone beads and bright gold vermeil filigree beads for designs of subtle luxury.

The Power of the Stone

Metaphysical Properties

White magnesite is known for its calming properties, helping to improve creative visualization and imagination. It is also commonly believed to bring deep peace and silent relaxation during meditation, stimulate passion in the heart and help strengthen bones and teeth. Experience the properties of magnesite when you wear magnesite gemstone beads strung on elastic Powercord® on your wrists, neck and ankles for a bone strengthening, extra calming meditative yoga session.

Geological Properties

Magnesite ranges from translucent to opaque with variable amounts of carbonates, oxides, silicates of iron, calcium, manganese and aluminum that give it a milky appearance. Major deposits of white magnesite can be found in Austria, Italy, Poland and the state of Nevada.

Mineral Properties of White Magnesite
Mineral InformationMagnesium carbonate, commonly with some iron and calcium
Chemical Composition: Fossilized ResinMgCO3
ColorColorless, white, grayish-white, yellowish-white, brownish-white
Hardness3-1/2 - 5
Specific Gravity3.0-3.2
Refractive Index1.508-1.700

Care and Cleaning

White magnesite is easily scratched, so special care should be taken in cleaning and storing this stone. Use water and a soft cloth to safely clean. Storing in a drawstring bag is a quick and easy way to protect the stone from scratches. It is not recommended to use ultrasonic and steam cleaning on dyed magnesite.
To learn more about white magnesite and other gemstones, order your copy of Walter Schumann's revised and expanded edition of GEMSTONES of the World.

For inspirational jewelry design ideas featuring white magnesite, visit the Gallery of Designs.

For the most up-to-date fashion and color forecasts, visit Fire Mountain Gems and Beads® Fashion Spotlight.

Shop for White Magnesite

**Please note that all Metaphysical/Healing Properties listed are collected from various sources. This information is offered as a service and not meant to treat varied conditions within one's life. We do not guarantee any of the statements made or the validity of these statements.


How did you like this resource? Your feedback helps us provide resources that matter to you most.

Products sold by Fire Mountain Gems and Beads® are intended for experienced jewelry-makers and designer-artists;
children 14 years of age or younger should use these products with adult direction.

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, Inc. - One Fire Mountain Way, Grants Pass, OR USA 97526-2373
Copyright 2008-2014 Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, Inc. All rights reserved.