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Aragonite Properties, Facts and Photos

the mineral aragonite

What is Aragonite?

Aragonite is the crystalline form of calcium carbonate.  This chemical compound occurs naturally in rocks around the world.  It's the main ingredient in limestone, chalk, the shells and skeletons of sea creatures and pearls.

Aragonite and calcite have the same chemical composition but form under slightly different geological conditions.  Their crystal structures are almost identical but not quite.

In their crystalline form it's quite easy to tell one from the other.  When their crystal habit is "massive" it can be far more difficult.

The term "massive" describes a type of crystal habit or growth form. It refers to the way a mineral's crystals grow.

Crystals described as massive lack visible faces or a well-defined external shape.  They grow tightly together as a solid mass or lump.

The mineral aragonite takes its name from Molina de Aragón in Spain where it was discovered in 1797.

aragonite mineral specimen against a blackened background

An acid test is often used on minerals for the purpose of identification. Carbonate minerals which include calcite and aragonite fizz (effervesce) when they come into contact with acid.

Calcite is more stable than aragonite and far more abundant in nature. Over time and under the right conditions aragonite turns into calcite.

Aragonite can be colourless or can occur in different colours including white grey green blue violet brown and varying hues of red and yellow.

Aragonite often forms at low temperatures quite close to the surface of the earth.  It can also be found as stalactites in caves and in the vicinity of hot springs.

The form that many people are familiar with are small clusters known as sputniks.  These shapes exhibit a twinned crystal habit in which the crystals radiate outwards.

This form of aragonite was named after the satellite launched by the Soviet Union in 1957 because of its shape. aragonite crystal known as a sputnik

Aragonite Healing Properties

When used for its metaphysical healing properties aragonite is a grounding stone that brings stability.  It can help you to feel more centered and balanced.

Aragonite is often used to promote emotional stability and to reduce stress.

This mineral has a close connection with Earth.  It increases awareness of nature and encourages us to become more connected with the environment. 

It can assist with emotional healing by encouraging patience, acceptance and forgiveness.

Aragonite connects with the root chakra which is at the base of the spine. This chakra is responsible for grounding, stability and a sense of security.

Article Pictures

The aragonite in our first photo is from Sicily.  The piece in the second photo is from Castile-La Mancha in Spain. The third is an aragonite sputnik. Photos courtesy of Stan Celestian.

All three images are clickable and redirect to the original photos.

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