Gypsum is a soft, hydrous calcium sulfate mineral belonging to the class of sulfates. It is characterized by its clear to white, sometimes tinted color and pearly to vitreous luster. Gypsum can form in a variety of shapes, including massive, granular, or fibrous, and is well-known for its beautifully transparent, bladed crystals called selenite.


Gypsum has a long history of usage, dating back to ancient civilizations. Today, it is most commonly used in the construction industry as the main component of drywall and plaster. Gypsum is also utilized in agriculture as a soil amendment to improve soil structure and reduce soil erosion. Additionally, it has applications in the food industry as a coagulant, thickening agent, and filler.


While gypsum itself is not considered a gemstone, its transparent variety, selenite, is prized for its aesthetic appeal and is often used for decorative purposes. Selenite’s delicate, transparent appearance and unique crystal formations make it a popular choice for collectors, and it is sometimes incorporated into ornamental pieces or carved into various shapes.


Gypsum forms in nature through the evaporation of mineral-rich water, typically in marine environments, evaporite deposits, or hot springs. It can also form as a secondary mineral in the oxidation zones of sulfide deposits, through the interaction of sulfur-bearing minerals and water.


Gypsum is a widespread mineral and can be found in numerous locations around the world. Large deposits are found in the United States, Mexico, Canada, France, and Spain. It often occurs in association with other evaporite minerals, such as halite and anhydrite, as well as with clay minerals in sedimentary rock formations.


In metaphysical and spiritual practices, gypsum, particularly selenite, is believed to possess a range of properties. The mineral is said to promote mental clarity, spiritual growth, and emotional healing. Selenite is also considered a powerful energy cleanser, capable of clearing negative energies and enhancing the flow of positive energy in one’s environment. Additionally, selenite is thought to facilitate communication with higher realms and encourage spiritual insight.

FormulaCaSO4 · 2H2O
LusterVitreous to pearly
Hardness (Mohs)2
ColorColorless, white, gray, yellow, brown, pink
CleavagePerfect in one direction, distinct in another direction
Specific Gravity2.3 – 2.4