In 2020, Aaron interviewed a geologist to have the difference and similarities between Selenite Ice and Satin Spar selenite explained.
Geologist: Satin Spar is the common variety out of Morocco and Madagascar mostly, but the Selenite Ice variety is often considered the more true version by definition because it is perfect with little to no inclusions.
“In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific crystal structure, that occurs naturally in pure form” – Wikipedia
However, I will say more, that a mineral is an atomically arranged pattern, usually of positive and negative combined elements into a chemical formula compound that repeats itself over and over in a lattice structure. A mineral can be very small and even microscopic under these definitions. A crystal is a mineral that holds that lattice structure of a mineral in a clean and orderly way, usually formed by careful undisturbed environments in water of solutes in solution or slow cooling in magma that allows for that arrangement to slowly take effect. As unstable elements have time to migrate to their most favorable stability in the transition from liquid states into solid states, crystals have more time to grow. Crystals tend to be larger arrangement of a mineral. Essentially, every crystal has a mineral at its heart, and every mineral has the formation of that crystal structure type in it’s core.
The best thing that I can explain about the two different structures between the lenticular perfect basal cleavage of the Selenite Ice variety vs the Satin Spar is the beginning subtle differences of the chemistry in trace minerals and the pull of those trace elements upon the hydrated water into iso-columnar forms of a single line direction down the C-axis-bat the atomic level vs an A/B-Axis arrangement into two directions for the Selenite Ice variety.
Some have a liner di-pole effect and others have a two-directional charge pull.
It is likely also influenced by the speed of water changes and pH of dissolved calcium and sulfur into the solution, much like carbonic acid leaches calcium out of limestone rock, and then reforms as CO2 (gas) and moving water escape and migrate through voids, making a critical super-saturate that precipitates out the solid minerals left behind. However, the difference is Carbon vs Sulfur – Selenite (Hydrated Calcium Sulfate) is similar to Onyx (Calcium carbonate) But often have a different lattice structure. As water and other elements enter and leave the precipitation zone, they have a profound effect upon that crystal structure arrangement. Acidity and alkalinity, types acids and alkaline elements, electrical charge of surrounding host rocks and voids, and speed of water flow and precipitation are all other effects that may dictate the crystal formation beyond just their internal chemistry.
Satin Spar has more room for other impurities, even though it is still 99.5% the same chemical formula as Selenite Ice. It’s less stable/structured chemical lattice is kind of like camping Quartzite to a Quartz crystal.
Aaron: Would you say that powder from crushing Selenite Ice vs Satin spar would be the same in that form or would there be more purity in one over the other?
Geologist: Often, yes. The Satin spar types usually have more trace elements. But not always. Sometimes just different kinds. I believe that trace elements such as Lithium, Selenium, Barium, Potassium, and Magnesium, etc. (which/others?) have effects upon the beginning seed-crystal phase upon which all the rest or future development of the atoms arranged that repeating lattice structure throughout the full crystal.
Also trace elements of Calcium, Carbon, Silica, etc
Geologist: The loose bonds between the fibers or plates may not only be by the chemical formula alone but whether hydrate of the water is columnar or basal.
Aaron: How would you tell a customer the difference in the retail world. Quick, easy differentiating facts between the 2 types? Can you define a clear difference between the two for a customer looking for mineral purity which often equates into rarer, more powerful crystals?
Geologist: Selenite Ice is
* More pure form than Satin Spar
* Forms in a more pristine environment
* More rare, by a factor of 1:100 or more
* Has a 2-Direction AB-crystal perfect basal cleavage lattice structure (planar) which allows for light (and energy recharge) to pass through almost perfectly, which is why it is so transparent. Satin Spar crystals are linear in structure and is why light mostly only travels through the C-axis in fiber-optic fashion.
Satin spar is the Morocco variety that most people are familiar with.
However, “Spar” means a grade or derivative of a mineral, but not the truest crystal form. Satin spar has a fiber-optic quality, but it’s also for that same reason that it’s only linear in its crystal formation. Selenite Ice it has an AB axis plainer crystal, which is a whole other dimension higher in its crystal growth than the linear type. So, it is more resonant for harmonic frequencies and amplitude and speed of healing. The proof of this is because light its self resonates perfectly clear with it, which is why it is perfectly clear.
Aaron: Thank you for taking the time to openly share your knowledge to help break down the differences of Selenite Ice vs Satin Spar.