Melanterite is a hydrous iron sulfate mineral belonging to the class of sulfates. Its general physical characteristics include a vitreous luster, a green to blue-green color, and typically occurs as fibrous, crusty, or granular masses. The mineral is known for its unique property of being water-soluble and can be found in a variety of geological environments.


Melanterite has limited commercial use due to its solubility in water and its unstable nature. However, it has been used in the past for producing sulfuric acid, and its natural salts have been employed in some traditional medicinal applications. Melanterite is mainly valued by mineral collectors for its unique physical properties, aesthetic appeal, and rarity.


Melanterite is not considered a gemstone due to its solubility in water, softness, and lack of transparency. However, it is sometimes prized by mineral collectors for its unique appearance and rarity, making it a desirable addition to mineral collections.


Melanterite forms in nature as a secondary mineral resulting from the weathering and oxidation of sulfide minerals, particularly those containing iron, such as pyrite. It can also be found in areas where acidic, sulfate-rich waters react with iron-bearing minerals, leading to the precipitation of melanterite.


Melanterite occurs in a variety of geological environments, including sulfide-bearing veins, coal seams, and mine waste dumps. The mineral is found in many locations worldwide, with notable occurrences in countries such as the United States, Spain, Germany, and the Czech Republic. Melanterite is often associated with other sulfate minerals, such as gypsum and jarosite, and is typically found in environments where acidic conditions prevail.


While melanterite does not have a strong metaphysical presence due to its rarity and solubility in water, some people may still attribute certain spiritual properties to the mineral. Melanterite’s unique green to blue-green color can be associated with healing, growth, and renewal. Some believe that it can help to cleanse and rejuvenate one’s energy, while also promoting emotional balance and stability. Its connection to the element of water may be seen as a symbol of adaptability and the ability to flow with life’s changes.

Hardness (Mohs)2
ColorGreen to blue-green
CleavageGood in one direction
Specific Gravity1.89 – 1.91