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>> Group(s) : carbonates
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Described in 1808 by German mathematician Karsten (1768-1810), it owes its name to its component: magnesium and the town of Greece, Magnesia, where it came from.

Exploited sites

It is found worldwide : the Binn valley in Switzerland, Cornwall in England, in Styria in the Austrian Alps, Greece, Slovakia, Saudi Arabia, Finland, Sweden, on the Kola peninsula in Russia, Congo, Namibia, South Africa, Brazil, Chile, Canada, the United States.

See pictures of the mines / other pictures

Use in jewelry

Its hardness makes it only a stone collection, cut in facets or transparent rhombohedra used to observe the birefringence as calcite.

Daily care and precautions

Fragile with its easy cleavage.

Looking alike stones

anhydrite , apophyllite , calcite , dolomite , natrolite

Historical healing properties

This stone would help to "give up" all that it is too much... negative thoughts, troubles, overweight.

Imitations and treatments

Its whitish variety is dyed to imitate turquoise, lapis-lazuli or coral.

Chemical characteristics

magnesium carbonate

Physical characteristics

Main color : colourless

Other colors : white, brown, grey, yellow, pink

pearl white

Color of streak : white

Luster : vitreous, pearly

Hardness : 3.5 to 4.5

Density : 2.95 to 3.12

Cleavage : perfect

Fracture : uneven

Optical properties

Transparency : transparent, translucent, opaque

Refractive Index : 1.508 - 1.715

Double refraction : 0.190

Very strong uniaxial ( - )

visible double refraction : yes

Pleochroism : variable

Number of colors : 2

Present in varieties with cobalt

Fluorescence : weak



Often in scalenohedrons such as calcite


Crystal system : trigonal

Other informations

Astrological sign : Libra

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