Staurolite is an iron aluminum silicate hydroxide mineral belonging to the nesosilicates class, recognized for its distinctive brownish-black to dark brown color and vitreous to resinous luster. The mineral’s unique physical characteristic is its well-formed prismatic or tabular crystal structures, which often intersect at nearly right angles, creating cross-shaped formations called “fairy crosses” or “fairy stones.” Staurolite is commonly found in medium- to high-grade metamorphic rocks, such as schist and gneiss, and is often associated with minerals like muscovite, garnet, and kyanite.


While staurolite is not considered an economically important mineral, it holds great value among collectors and enthusiasts for its intriguing cross-shaped formations. The distinctive shape of staurolite crystals has led to their use as talismans and in religious artifacts. In the industrial sector, staurolite is sometimes used as a component in abrasive materials due to its hardness.


Although not commonly used as a gemstone, staurolite’s unique cross-shaped formations and earthy brown tones can make for striking and symbolic jewelry pieces. The mineral’s rarity and fascinating folklore contribute to its appeal, making it an intriguing choice for those interested in unusual gemstones and artifacts.


Staurolite forms in nature as a result of regional metamorphism, typically in rocks such as schist and gneiss. The mineral forms under high pressures and temperatures, which lead to the alteration of clay-rich rocks containing aluminum, iron, and silica. The resulting staurolite crystals can be found in a range of sizes and shapes, with the characteristic cross-shaped formations occurring due to the mineral’s twinning habit.


Staurolite can be found in various geographical locations, with notable deposits in the United States, particularly in the states of Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia. Other significant occurrences of staurolite can be found in Russia, Brazil, Switzerland, and France. These regions are known for their abundance of medium- to high-grade metamorphic rocks, which provide ideal conditions for the formation of staurolite minerals.


In metaphysical and spiritual practices, staurolite is believed to possess a range of beneficial properties. The mineral is said to help individuals connect with the earth, grounding and stabilizing their energies. Staurolite is also considered a powerful protective stone, shielding its wearer from negative influences and promoting a sense of balance and wellbeing. Additionally, the mineral is thought to foster emotional healing, personal transformation, and a deeper understanding of one’s spiritual journey.

LusterVitreous to resinous
Hardness (Mohs)7 – 7.5
ColorBrownish-black, dark brown, reddish-brown
CleavageGood in one direction, poor in another
Specific Gravity3.74 – 3.83