Gaspeite Meaning and Properties

Gaspeite History

Gaspeite is a rare mineral, found in only a few places. Named after its original location of discovery (the Gaspé Peninsula of Quebec, Canada), gaspeite is a bright yellow to apple green color with brownish veining. It was originally considered only a gangue mineral--a stone which contains a metal ore in its makeup, but that metal cannot be viably extracted from it.

Visually, gaspeite is similar to dyed forms of magnesite (which is a related gemstone material), but its density is higher (similar to that of garnet) as is its hardness (closer to that of apatite). It is most commonly shaped into cabochons and other larger stones.

Gaspeite Metaphysical Properties

Gaspeite has been traditionally used among Australian Aboriginal peoples as a vision stone. It is believed to also have powerful healing abilities and to aid in weight loss. It is affiliated with the heart and solar plexus chakras.

Gaspeite Geological Properties

Discovered in 1977, gaspeite is one of the newer gemstones on the market. The presence of gaspeite indicates to the mining community the area contains nickel-rich minerals. Artistically, this brittle stone displays perfect cleavage in three directions, making it easy to cut--and also sensitive to impact.

Other than the original deposit in Quebec, gaspeite can be found in Australia, Greece, Italy, South Africa and the state of New Mexico in the United States.

Mineral Information Carbonate of nickel, magnesium and iron
Chemical Composition (Ni,Mg,Fe)CO3
Color Pale to bright yellowish green or apple green
Hardness 4-1/2 to 5 (Mohs)
Specific Gravity 3.70
Refractive Index 1.61 - 1.81

Proper Care of Gaspeite

Gaspeite is part of the calcite group and, like other carbonates, is sensitive to impact and acids. Although higher on the Mohs Hardness Scale than other carbonates, gaspeite is also a brittle, easy to cleave stone. It should be treated with the same care as apatite or opal.

As most dust is quartz-based particles, simply wiping this stone can cause scratches. Use a damp cloth to pat the stone to first clean and then dry it. Avoid ultrasonic and steam cleaners, as well as bleach or other household chemicals. Remove jewelry containing this stone before perspiring. Wrap in a soft cloth or fabric-lined box to store.

Designing with Gaspeite

This stone's softness and sensitivity to impacts make it best showcased in earrings, brooches and shorter necklaces. A number of techniques can be used to prolong the life of gaspeite, including stringing on silk thread, knotting between beads or using bead caps or stringing with similarly soft materials such as opals, pearls, malachite and turquoise. It can also be set into tall bezels that will protect the stone.

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**Please note that all metaphysical or healing properties listed are collected from various sources. This information is offered as a service and not meant to treat medical conditions. Fire Mountain Gems and Beads® does not guarantee the validity of any of these statements.

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