• Chemistry: Fe2Al9Si4O22(OH)2, Iron Aluminum Silicate Hydroxide
  • Class: Silicates
  • Subclass: Nesosilicate
  • Uses: mineral specimens
  • Specimens

Staurolite is a common metamorphic mineral that is useful to geologists to determine the degree of metamorphism. Staurolite is famous for its twinned crystals that form into the shape of a cross. Its name comes from the greek for cross. The twin is a classic penetration twin where it appears as if two crystals grew into and out of each other. It actually forms two twin types; one that is nearly 90 degrees and one that is nearly 60 degrees. The 60 degree type is more common but the 90 degree type is the most sought after. It was associated with Christianity as a symbol for the cross and as a good luck charm. It has been given the names "Fairy Stone" or Fairy Cross". Some scarcer specimens show both twin forms and can look like a blunt six rayed star.


  • Color is reddish-brown, brown, and black.
  • Luster is vitreous to resinous to dull.
  • Transparency crystals are translucent to opaque.
  • Crystal System monoclinic; 2/m
  • Crystal Habits: the typical crystal are prismatic or tabular. Some crystals can have a psuedo-hexagonal cross-section but most are flattened into a more diamond shaped cross-section with two of the four points truncated. Twinning is seen in about 35% of the specimens encountered in nature. Twins are cross (+) or X-shaped and can be both at the same time. Crystals sometimes grown onto kyanite crystals.
  • Cleavage poor, in one direction.
  • Fracture is uneven to conchoidal
  • Hardness is 7-7.5
  • Specific Gravity is 3.7-3.8
  • Streak white
  • Associated Minerals include almandine, micas, kyanite and other metamorphic minerals.
  • Other Characteristics:
  • Notable Occurances Ducktown Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia and Montana, USA; Brazil; Scotland, Italy and France.
  • Best Field Indicators are color, associations, twinning and crystal habit.
STAUROLITE specimens:
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STAUROLITE specimen sta-1
$ 30.00
Dims: 1-3/4" x 2" x 1"
Wt: 2.4 oz
Kola Peninsula, Russia
This specimen from the Near East has a classic "cross" of Staurolite crystals intersecting at a 60-degree-angle in a finely-divided Muscovite matrix. Upon turning the specimen over one can see a complete individual crystal, which is actually less-commonly occurring than the twins are! Not very many dealers sell this mineral in the matrix, and our specimens are probably some of the first to come out of Russia. Now you can have your own little piece of "Glastnost!"
no photo
sta-1 ($ 30.00)
Kola Peninsula, Russia
STAUROLITE specimen sta-2
$ 27.00
Dims: 2-1/8" x 1-3/4" x 3/4"
Wt: 1.6 oz
Kola Peninsula, Russia
I just noticed something strange about this piece. There are two 60-degree "crosses" on each side of the matrix rock, and they just might be connected by an individual crystal that lies at the end of one crystal in each cross. If that isn't an odd-enough possibility, then one can also notice that the two crosses are almost exactly in positional phase with each other! I'm itching to start digging through the Muscovite matrix to see for myself if they're connected, but I'll let one of you lucky devils do it, so long as you write back to tell me of the results!
no photo
sta-2 ($ 27.00)
Kola Peninsula, Russia
STAUROLITE specimen sta-3
$ 45.00
Dims: 1.3" x 0.8" x 0.4" (3.3 x 2.0 x 1.0 cm)
Wt: 7.7g
Keywy, Kola Peninsula, Russia
This small thumbnail specimen consists of one of the only Staurolite specimens that we have found that contains a "cross" in which the crystals intersect each other at 90-degree angles- most that we find intersect each other at angles of 60-degrees. The specimen shows considerable damage, as one of the intersecting crystals is broken and not quite complete. Both crystals measure less than 1" (2.5 cm) in length and have a monoclinic prismatic form that is rounded and rather difficult to discern. They have the dark brown coloration that one expects of this mineral, and their luster is a dull waxy that is nearly matte. They are, of course, opaque. The "cross" rests in a matrix of highly compressed muscovite particles. There are a few other individual Staurlolite crystals present in the matrix, but these are all broken and incomplete.
no photo
sta-3 ($ 45.00)
Keywy, Kola Peninsula, Russia
STAUROLITE specimen sta-4
$ 45.00
Dims: 1.2 x 0.9 x 0.4" (3.0 x 2.3 x 1.0 cm)
Wt: 7.1 g
Lovozero, Kola Peninsula, Russia
This small thumbnail specimen consists of a mica schist matrix that contains several Staurolite crystals, including one 90-degree twin, which is sometimes called a fairy cross. It consists of two crystals that neatly intersect each other at 90-degree angles. Each of these crystals measures 0.6" (1.5 cm) long and 0.1" (3 mm) in diameter, and are in very good condition, showing only a small amount of damage. The largest crystal on the piece is not twinned, and has dimensions of 0.8 x 0.3 x 0.1" (2.0 x 0.8 x 0.3 cm). Like most of the other crystals on the piece, it is broken and incomplete, though it may have undergone slight partial healing. All have excellent monoclinic prismatic form that has a nearly orthorhombic appearance- though the twinned crystals are slightly worn, the rest have well-defined edges and clean faces that possess a waxy luster. All have the standard dark brown coloration of Staurolite and are completely opaque. The matrix rock is a much paler, almost cream color, and is very shiny due to its mica content.
no photo
sta-4 ($ 45.00)
Lovozero, Kola Peninsula, Russia
STAUROLITE specimen sta-5
$ 45.00
Dims: 2.1 x 1.4 x 1.0" (5.3 x 3.6 x 2.5 cm)
Wt: 1.96 oz. (55.5 g)
Lovozero, Kola Peninsula, Russia
At least 5 Staurolite crystals rest in the mica schist host rock of this specimen. Two of them are almost completely embedded, but the others are quite visible and are in good condition, showing no damage but moderate natural wear. The largest of these crystals appears to be singular and has dimensions of 1.0 x 1.0 x 0.6" (2.6 x 2.5 x 1.5 cm), and has the best monoclinic form of the lot, with well-defined edges and clean faces that possess a dull, waxy luster. Three of the crystals intersect each other, two of which form a twin- these crystals intersect each other at a 90-degree angle. All have the dark brown coloration that is standard for this species, and are opaque. The schist matrix in which they rest has a very pale brown color and a moderate sparkle due to the countless tiny mica platelets.
no photo
sta-5 ($ 45.00)
Lovozero, Kola Peninsula, Russia
STAUROLITE specimen sta-6
$ 25.00
Dims: 1.8 x 1.3 x 0.6" (4.6 x 3.3 x 1.5 cm)
Wt: 22.3 g
Lovozero, Kola Peninsula, Russia
This small thumbnail specimen consists of a finely-grained micaceous host rock in which are embedded at least 4 Staurolite crystals. Two of these crystals appear to be singular, but the other two are in the form of a 90-degree penetration twin that is sometimes referred to as a "fairy cross". The largest crystal makes up half of this twin, and reaches 1.2" (3.0 cm) in length. Both crystals that make up the twin show moderate damage, and the others are mostly obscured in the host rock. Their monoclinic prismatic form is moderately good, as all are somewhat worn and not very well-defined. They have the classic dark brown color and pearly luster of their species. The host rock is quite soft- thus, the smaller crystals can rather easily be exposed.
no photo
sta-6 ($ 25.00)
Lovozero, Kola Peninsula, Russia
STAUROLITE specimen sta-7
$ 45.00
Dims: 1.8x1.7x0.5" (4.6x4.4x1.3cm)
Wt: 1.12 oz. (31.8g)
Kola Peninsula, Russia
This is a 90 degree twin crystal of staurolite (also known as a "Fairy Cross"). It has a nearly perfect form, except that the "top" of the cross is possibly damaged (it has been sheared off, or possibly just distorted (the surface looks natural) and appears to tilt down into the matrix.
no photo
sta-7 ($ 45.00)
Kola Peninsula, Russia


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