satin spar vs. selenite: are they the same?

satin spar vs. selenite: are they the same?

Selenite vs. satin spar is one of the most debated topics in the crystal community lately. Is satin spar really "mislabeled" or "fake" selenite? What is the difference between the two?


Selenite and satin spar are both varieties of the mineral gypsum. Satin spar is the most common variety of this mineral that you will see in almost every crystal shop and every time you search up selenite online. However, many say that this is "fake" selenite because there is another variety of gypsum that is known to be true selenite. This true selenite is usually transparent, flat and flaky. Satin spar has a silky, cats-eye appearance and won't be transparent at all unless thinly sliced at the right angle. 

Because both selenite and satin spar are the exact same mineral, I don't find any harm in using the term selenite to describe both true selenite and satin spar. Especially because satin spar is so widely known as selenite already, that is what most people expect to see when looking for selenite. Additionally, both of these gypsum varieties have the same metaphysical and healing properties, so you can use them interchangeably for those purposes. Both selenite and satin spar are fairly affordable and accessible, although true selenite might be a little more difficult to find. 


Satin spar vs selenite 



Gypsum is a sulfate mineral with the chemical formula CaSO4·2H2O. Gypsum occurs on every continent and is the most common of all the sulfate minerals. Because of its softness, 2 out of 10 on the Moh's scale, it is great for carving and you will see selenite carved into many shapes and designs. Not only can it be scratched very easily, but selenite can also break easily. Satin spar can break off in chunks and selenite can flake off in layers.

Gypsum is formed as an evaporate mineral from saltwater, frequently found in alkaline lake muds, clay beds, evaporated seas, salt flats, salt springs, and caves. It is often found alongside other minerals such as copper ores, sulfur, sulfides, silver, iron ores, coal, calcite, dolomite, limestone, and opal. Gypsum has been dated to almost every geologic age since the Silurian period, over 400 million years ago.

Some of the largest crystals ever found are of selenite, the largest specimen found in the Naica Mine's Cave of the Crystals with a length of 12 meters and weighing 55 tons. 

Selenite is typically colorless, but the satin spar variety can appear very vibrant white! It can be tinted slightly due to inclusions, but doesn’t vary much in color. Some selenite can have iron inclusions giving it a golden color, giving it the name golden healer selenite or gold phantom selenite. As mentioned earlier, the satin spar variety naturally comes in a peach color in addition to the common white.


Varieties of gypsum

  • Selenite: This is what most people consider to be real, natural selenite. It forms in large, transparent slabs that flake easily

  • Golden healer selenite: Normal selenite with iron inclusions 

  • Satin spar: The most common gypsum on the market with fibrous, needle like crystals 

  • Peach selenite: Peach colored variety of satin spar 

  • Desert rose: formed in sandy conditions with water and wind

  • Gypsum flower

  • Tabular gypsum

  • Alabaster: fine grained variety of gypsum



Selenite forms in many places across the world, including most US states. Utah has the most abundant selenite deposits, as well as North & South Dakota, Arizona and California.

Morocco, Mexico, Brazil, Canada, Argentina, Australia, France, Germany, China & more. Gypsum is found on every continent on earth! 


Safety & care

Because of its softness, selenite should be kept out of water as it can break down. It should definitely NOT be used in any crystal water mixtures that will be consumed. Selenite is safe in the sun for short periods of time, but can become dull if exposed to the sun for too long. Selenite is one of the best crystals for cleansing the energy of other stones, but how can you safely cleanse the cleanser? Selenite is able to cleanse its own energy, so you don’t need to do anything to keep yours charged and ready to go! If you want to cleanse it, you can safely use smoke cleansing, moonlight, or sunlight in small amounts. 

Selenite doesn’t make a good stone for jewelry due to its softness; it can scratch and break very easily. While it’s an easy stone to damage, it isn’t unsafe to wear; you definitely can wear selenite jewelry if you know the risks to your stone, maybe just wearing it for small periods of time. 


Treated & fakes

Many people consider satin spar to be "fake" selenite, however as we already discussed, selenite and satin spar are varieties of the same mineral and are both completely naturally occurring. Therefore I would not consider satin spar to be fake in any way. 

I have personally never seen truly fake, man-made selenite on the market. Especially since selenite is such an abundant and affordable mineral, it would be more time and money to create fakes of it. I wouldn't be too worried about receiving fake selenite from any reputable crystal shop, but here are some things to look out for. 

Others say they have seen glass or clear quartz being sold as selenite. The biggest way to tell if your selenite is real is if it scratches easily. Selenite is much softer than glass, quartz, or plastic and can be scratched easily by a fingernail. Any fake crystals made of plastic or glass may also have air bubbles in them which is a giveaway that it has been man made. But again, I have never seen anything man made being passed off as selenite before. But of course, just because I haven’t seen it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist! When it comes to authenticity tests such as the burn test or temperature test, I don't find these to be useful or necessary, especially for selenite. If you are questioning if the selenite or satin spar in your collection is genuine, it most likely is. There is WAY more genuine selenite than fake on the market; it is so accessible and affordable. 

Sometimes you may see dyed satin spar on the market, but it is almost always labeled as dyed. Remember that satin spar selenite comes in white and peach colors; any other unnatural colors are artificial. 

Dyed satin spar sticks


Ulexite is a completely different mineral than gypsum, however looks almost identical to satin spar selenite! Ulexite is not very common on the crystal market, so I wouldn’t worry about getting these two mixed up. I’ve only seen ulexite sold a couple of times, and it is more expensive than satin spar and typically comes in small pieces.

Ulexite has a hardness level of 2.5, so using the scratch test to differentiate between the two won't be very helpful. The best way to tell the difference is by comparing their fiber optic properties. You will be able to see through ulexite at multiple angles, not just from the top. Whereas you will not be able to see through satin spar at even a small angle. 


photo source


You may see cool specimens of amethyst with large sheets of selenite balancing on top. While these sculptures are beautiful, they are not naturally formed! The amethyst and selenite themselves are natural crystals, but they are not found like this in nature. 


Spiritual & healing properties 

Selenite is associated with the crown chakra and is one of the best cleansing stones out there. Selenite can be used to purify the energy within you, your home, and even your other crystals. You may see selenite charging plates which can be used to set your other crystals on to cleanse their energy. It is great for removing negative energy and energy blockages. 

Selenite is a great stone to meditate with as it removes anxiety, provides mental clarity, and brings a feeling of deep peace. It has a very high vibration that allows you to connect to higher realms and awakens psychic abilities while working with it. You will feel your vibration raise and experience more peace in your life when keeping selenite nearby. 


Shop our selenite HERE



  • Beth

    Nice article! I’m still unsure if true selenite and satin spar have the same high vibrational cleansing properties?

  • Lisa

    This article is so well written and the visuals are perfect for explaining the differences. Great job!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published