Although we don’t pick a lot of calcite up, we do find it everywhere we go here in Scotland.
Many people think that calcite can’t exist in Scotland because it doesn’t do well in wet weather. While this is partly true, we still get an abnormally large volume of calcite in Scotland simply because of the way it forms. Calcite crystals are the result of years of dripping water fuelled by the minerals that it runs through. Calcite appears in vesicles underground, in caves, and in old mine shafts… all of which Scotland has in plentiful supply.
Let’s learn more about calcite crystals together. How do they form, where are they found, and what makes them so interesting? We bet you didn’t know half as much about this complex yet abundant mineral as you first thought. Unless you’re a geologist, in which case maybe just skip the article and go straight to the coffee break at the other end.
What is Scottish Calcite?
At its loosest term, Scottish calcite is a mineral formed by calcium carbonates. It can appear in a thousand different forms, although it is most commonly found in caves where it forms stalagmites and stalactites. Stalagmites are the pointy piles of dripping calcite that point up the way out of the floor, and stalactites hang down from the ceiling. Either one will give you a sore one if it hits you.
Interestingly, the removal of either from their caves is an invasive act, so if you find one, leave it where it is. The calcium carbonate that it forms from is often highly alkaline, which means that the salt and vinegar crisps you just ate have enough residue on your fingers to start melting the stalagmite or stalactite from the moment you remove it from the cave. But back to the calcite…
Calcite is a polymorph, which means it comes in multiple crystal forms. Most crystals have a single habit or two, calcite is remarkable in that there are countless shapes and sizes of it. We sell massive rose calcite in chunk form, but we also come across bladed calcite and other varieties, too. We might find aragonite or dolomite, or other forms and varieties closely linked to calcium carbonate minerals.
When we leave calcite for long enough, it morphoses into marble. This is why marble and calcite share a lot of properties and why the optical qualities are so similar. We find calcite in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks. It really is everywhere.
How to Identify Calcite?
When you find calcite, here’s how to identify it. Calcite has a Mohs hardness of 3, which means it is brittle and easily breaks. It breaks with perfect cleavage in three directions. Instead of looking at how it breaks, look at the colour. Calcite should be very pale, nearly white. Impurities give it slight colours. You can also get honey calcite and blue calcite, although these are rare. The crystal habit can be massive, crystalline, granular, rhombohedral, and concretionary.
If you place calcite in acid – vinegar will do – you will see small bubbles that emerge from it. They look like froth. If you try to scratch calcite with a knife, you will be successful. If it is quartz – which is commonly confused with calcite – there will be no scratch marks and no bubbling.
Calcite can be colourless and opaque. It can also be black with impurities and totally translucent. Calcite that is fully translucent is known as optical calcite. Iceland Spar is completely see-through and is though to be the stone they used to navigate the sees with. Calcite can also be reactive to fluorescent light, and you will notice there is a piece of this in our online crystal shop.
Scottish Calcite – Where To Find It?
In caves, of course. Calcite is prevalent anywhere there are caves or old mines. We have even found calcite in the sea! Although it disintegrates over time in salt water, this takes many, many years. Nevertheless, you should keep your calcite away from both salt and water. We commonly find calcified rocks in aggregate. Aggregate quarries produce the chips and gravel in your garden, so this is a good place to start. Calcified rocks will have a thin coating of a white mineral on the surface layer. This may form sparkling crystals up close.
What is Calcite Used for in Crystal Healing?
We say calcite is not used enough in crystal healing. It is the great rebuilder: forming one of the main minerals in limestone and being used in construction as a mineral for solidifying other construction work. Calcite is a supporter. In terms of crystal healing, it is the crystal used to rebuild broken things… including people.
Crystal healers use calcite for decalcification purposes. To unblock that third eye, you could use a calcite crystal. We would suggest blue calcite to engage that chakra point. Our rose calcite is best used on the heart chakra but can be used to induce a sense of passion in the root chakra, too. It will be gentle. This calcite works best for the slow burn.
Calcite is even used to amplify energies and clear spaces in the world of Fung Shui.
Calcite is a wonderful crystal that we think is highly underrated. Join us on TikTok or YouTube where we routinely find calcite for your entertainment. You can also join us on Facebook or shop for other rough Scottish Minerals with the Stone Circle Crystal Shop. We are always delighted to help our crystals find their forever homes.