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Gypsum: Complete Guide (2024)

gypsum stone

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Gypsum is a mineral that comes in many different forms, one being the gypsum crystal–also known as “selenite”. If you’re a fan of versatility you’re going to love gypsum! This crystal, which also happens to come in 11 different colors, is much more present in your day-to-day life than you think!

Apart from being utilized for its metaphysical properties while in crystal form, it’s also used in fertilizers, cement, insulators in the building industry and household items. 

You could always just google “gypsum wiki” but that will give you tons of information to sift through whereas this article is a short, sweet and thoroughly researched complete guide just for you!

Read on to get the low-down on all things gypsum!

  • Gypsum Meaning
    • What is Gypsum
      • Gypsum Etymology
      • Is Gypsum a Rock or Mineral
      • Is Gypsum Organic or Inorganic
      • Is Gypsum Toxic?
      • Is Gypsum Rare
      • Gypsum Spiritual Meaning
      • What is Gypsum Used for
      • What is Gypsum Used for in the Garden?
      • What does Gypsum Look Like
    • Where is Gypsum Found
    • How is Gypsum Mined
  • Gypsum Properties
    • Gypsum Healing Properties
  • Gypsum vs Calcite
  • Gypsum vs Quartz
  • Gypsum vs Limestone
  • Gypsum Types
    • Raw Gypsum
    • Natural Gypsum
  • Gypsum Color
    • Gypsum White
    • Yellow Gypsum
    • Orange Gypsum
    • Green Gypsum
    • Pink Gypsum
    • Black Gypsum
    • Gray Gypsum
    • Gold Gypsum
    • Blue Gypsum
    • Red Gypsum
    • Clear Gypsum
  • Gypsum Uses
    • Gypsum Powder
      • What is Gypsum Powder?
      • Where to Buy Gypsum Powder
    • Gypsum for Lawns
    • Gypsum Ceiling
    • Gypsum for Soil
      • Where to Buy Gypsum for Soil
      • What does Gypsum do to the Soil?
      • How much Gypsum do I Add to Clay Soil?
    • Gypsum Cube
    • Gypsum Sand
      • What is Gypsum Sand Used for
    • Gypsum in Household Items
  • Gypsum for Sale
    • Gypsum Price
    • Garden Gypsum for Sale
    • Gypsum Fertilizer for Sale
    • Gypsum for Sale Near Me
      • Gypsum Powder at Walmart
    • Gypsum Bulk

Gypsum Meaning

Gyspum has many meanings due to its many uses! Therefore, the gypsum definition is a broad one! Read on to find out exactly what we’re talking about!

What is Gypsum?

Gypsum is a mineral made up of hydrated calcium sulphate that forms in certain types of sedimentary rock. When first mined, the gypsum mineral is in crystal form–its primary form. The gypsum crystal is clear and can be easily mistaken for a clear quartz crystal. But, it’s important to note that gypsum and quartz are two very different stones with very different make-ups. There are many gypsum varieties including clear crystals, the alabaster variety, gypsum selenite and the satin spar variety.

The clear crystals (selenite) are known to be very large, colorless and transparent with a moon-like glow. The satin spar variety is a compact, fibrous aggregate that has a satin-like look due to the way it reflects the light. And finally, the alabaster variety is a fine-grained, heavy material that is used for ornamental stone carving.

Gypsum Etymology

Let’s start at the very beginning. This is the history of gypsum! Get ready because we have tons of interesting gypsum facts coming your way! So, the word “gypsum” is derived from the Greek word “gypsos” which means “plaster”.

This is fitting because the stone/mineral is used as an ingredient in the substance of plaster in the building industry–but more about that later. 

Is Gypsum a Rock or Mineral?

Both statements are true! Gypsum is both a rock and mineral. It’s actually a rock-forming mineral. Massive beds of gypsum rock are produced as a result of precipitation in highly saline waters. This is partly why we are big advocates of the versatility of gypsum!

Is Gypsum Organic or Inorganic?

Gypsum is an inorganic compound which means it does not contain carbon as most organic compounds do. 

Is Gypsum Toxic?

As gypsum is widely used as an ingredient in household building materials, it is completely non-toxic. However, when the mineral is not properly processed, then it can become toxic. You can get gypsum poisoning when exposed to unprocessed gypsum.

The way this works is the following: When the unprocessed gypsum becomes damp it contains anaerobic bacteria which, when combined with water, turns the calcium sulphate into calcium sulphide. The calcium sulphide then produces a toxic gas called hydrogen sulphide. 

Is Gypsum Rare

Yes and no! In mineral form, gypsum is an abundant substance but gem-quality gypsum crystals are extremely rare. The reason for this is due to the fact that gypsum is very difficult to facet into gems however it’s easy to carve into other decorative objects.

Gypsum Spiritual Meaning

A variety of gypsum crystal is referred to as “selenite” when in gem form. It’s known as the “goddess stone” and is named after the Greek goddess of the moon. It’s a soothing stone and is known to bring harmony, protection and soul healing to the mind, body and home.

Gypsum is a very soft stone (compared to other precious stones) in crystal form and its softness represents how we should move through life: with gentleness.

sketch of a woman in a long dressBy Crystal Vaults

What is Gypsum Used for?

The gypsum mineral is very versatile and has tons of uses which we’re about to get into below. From gardening, to household building, to decorative objects, this substance is used by humans to the max! Which, by the way, is a very environmentally friendly way to utilize a natural resource.

What is Gypsum Used for in the Garden?

Gypsum is used to increase the fertility and productivity of soil in the garden. It’s added to very compact soil with the purpose of making it more porous and thus able to absorb more moisture.

This has a knock-on effect and many more benefits occur as a result. Better soil drainage and air circulation for plants result in better absorption of nutrients and therefore, better growth.

What does Gypsum Look Like?

What gypsum looks like very much depends on what form it’s in. When gypsum is in crystal form it can either be clear, white, yellow, orange, green, pink, black, grey, gold, blue or red. This array of colors is due to other substances known as impurities that have penetrated and dyed the stone.

Rusty iron oxide is an example of an impurity that gives the gypsum crystal a red, orange or yellow coloration. It’s known as an extremely soft crystal that you’re able to scratch with just a fingernail. Selenite is solid, clear crystals, alabaster is solid, white rock and satin spar are clear, silky fibrous blocks.

Where is Gypsum Found?

Gypsum is very commonly found in the United States. It gets mined in nineteen states. The most abundant being California, Iowa, Nevada, Texas and Oklahoma. Other countries include Pakistan, Iran, Jamaica, Thailand, Spain, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Canada. 

How is Gypsum Mined?

A gypsum mine is massive. Gypsum in its natural state is known as ore and is also found layered with limestone. Surface mining is the method used to mine gypsum from its natural state.

The ore then needs to be crushed into a form whereby it can be sold. Heavy industrial machinery is needed to achieve this. It’s then set aside to await further processing.

Gypsum Properties

Gypsum Healing Properties

Selenite is known to be a powerful healer with many benefits bestowed upon its holder. The stone vibrates at a very high frequency which results in the elevation of spirit, spatial cleansing as well as camaraderie and connection.

It also provides clarity, promotes peace and calm, clears blocked energy and allows you to tap into your intuition. And last but definitely not least, it strengthens your power to manifest your dreams.

Gypsum vs Calcite

Gypsum and calcite are both rock-forming minerals but different in their makeup. Marble and limestone contain calcite whereas gypsum is a mineral rock in its own right.

Both minerals are very soft and easily scratched and both take on various colors depending on the type of impurities that have penetrated them. Rocks that calcite is found in have a rating of three on the Moh hardness scale whereas gypsum is rated a two.

Gypsum vs Quartz

First and foremost, both stones have very different ratings on the Moh hardness scale! These ratings make quartz suitable for jewellery use and the use of gypsum for jewellery unsuitable. A quartz rates a seven on the Moh hardness scale and a gypsum gem rates a two.

Despite the fact that the quartz and gypsum may look similar, there is no such thing as “gypsum quartz.” You’ll be able to scratch a gypsum with your fingernail and see the scratch whereas there is no way you’ll be able to do the same with a quartz crystal.

Gypsum vs Limestone

The main difference between gypsum and limestone is the fact that calcium sulphate is the main component in gypsum while calcium carbonate is the main component in limestone.

Limestone is known as sedimentary rock which forms mainly in shallow, warm, calm waters. The ocean is no exception! Limestone is known to form amongst shells, coral and mollusks.

Gypsum Types

As mentioned above, when it comes to the gypsum rock crystal there are many varieties including clear crystals, the alabaster variety, gypsum selenite and the satin spar variety. But there are also different types of household gypsum such as impression plaster, dental plaster and dental stone which we’ll cover later on!

Raw Gypsum

Freshly mined gypsum rock can be referred to as raw gypsum. It definitely doesn’t have the beauty of a gypsum gem (which is formed as the mineral rock evaporates) but this is the mineral in its most raw form.  

raw gypsumBy Eisco Labs

Natural Gypsum

All gypsum is natural! Well, all gypsum was natural at the beginning of its inception. Gypsum becomes more processed and less natural when it’s turned into powder form, which is used in fertilizers, cement and wall plaster. 

Gypsum Color

The original gypsum is clear in color. But, amazingly enough, gypsum also comes in eleven additional different colors! As mentioned before, this is due to other substances known as “impurities” that have penetrated the stone and dyed it a specific colour.

Gypsum White

This is the alabaster variety (also known as white gypsum). It is massive, fine-grained and a perfect substance for sculpting. Vases, lamps, sculptures, chess boards and urns are examples of things one can create using alabaster.

Yellow Gypsum

This bright, vibrant variety of gypsum could easily be confused with citrine or golden healer quartz! Rusty iron oxide is the impurity responsible for the yellow gypsum’s gold coloring.

Orange Gypsum

This beautiful variation could also easily be mistaken for golden healer quartz or even tangerine quartz! Its deep orange hue is stunning and would make an excellent addition to a shrine in your home. Just remember to be careful when handling it as gypsum is very soft and fragile.

Green Gypsum

This unusual specimen of gypsum originates from Southern Australia. The deep green splatters of color interspersed amongst the white crystal are due to copper ions being present and having penetrated and dyed the stone.

green gypsum stoneBy Crystal Age

Pink Gypsum

Pink gypsum has a beautiful pale pink color and could easily be confused with a rose quartz crystal. This specific variety of gypsum is known as satin spar and is found in thin layers amongst rock gypsum that is mined.

Black Gypsum

There are two different versions of black gypsum. The black gypsum crystal and processed black gypsum granules. The black gypsum crystal is a clear gypsum crystal that’s been exposed to lignite during its formation. Lignite is another word for brown coal. And black gypsum crystals are used for soil conditioning.

Gray Gypsum

Gray is the color of raw gypsum when it is freshly mined from the ground. The ore that is mined from the sedimentary rock is gray and the smaller rocks that are created after the gypsum has been cut up are also gray.

Gold Gypsum

gold ceiling decor

By Ali baba

When referring to “gold gypsum” we mean gypsum that has been processed to become gold. Ornaments like mantelpieces can be made from white alabaster gypsum and then painted over with gold leafing or gold paint.

Blue Gypsum

A beautiful variation of blue gypsum is called “azurite gypsum” or the “buda rock”. Its royal blue color is due to a coating of royal blue azurite that has penetrated the stone. 

blue gypsum stoneBy Wiki Wand

Red Gypsum

The amount of red included in your red gypsum crystal really depends on the amount of hematite that’s been included in the stone. Hematite is an impurity that gives the otherwise clear crystal its red hue.

Clear Gypsum

The clear gypsum crystal is the “original OG” gypsum crystal! This is the basis from which all the color variations started. They are sold mostly in shards and are rough and natural in shape.

clear gypsum stoneBy Wikipedia

Gypsum Uses

As we’ve mentioned before, gypsum is a super versatile mineral and has a plethora of uses. Things we use on a day-to-day basis contain gypsum. Hang tight and read on to find out exactly what these are!

Gypsum Powder

What is Gypsum Powder?

Gypsum powder is the processed form of gypsum which is used for many things. It’s used in building materials such as drywall as well as to enhance fertilizers for soil conditioning. It’s also added to certain foods as a food additive. It’s known as a thickener, to enhance texture in processed foods.

Where to Buy Gypsum Powder

There is no shortage of gypsum powder on the market! You can buy gypsum 
powder at any building store. They even stock gypsum powder at large-scale 
department stores like “Walmart” in the United 

Gypsum for Lawns

Gypsum powder is known to be a fantastic gardening tool. It’s used as an enhancing agent for fertilizers. The fertilizer then gets spread onto the lawn and the benefits are reaped. It reduces the compaction of the soil which leads to the increased movement of air which then promotes growth.

Gypsum Ceiling

gypsum ceilingBy Pinterest

Many modern home dwellers opt to utilize their ceiling space as a design opportunity. Ready-made gypsum plasterboards are therefore used to create fake ceilings in these cases. They come in different sizes and thicknesses and can create an interesting look in your home!

Gypsum for Soil

It’s routine practice for gypsum powder to be sprinkled over soil and then dug in. It makes the soil more fertile so that more plant growth can be achieved. However, it does take a long time to dissolve and the full effects will only be observed over a period of a couple of months.

Where to Buy Gypsum for Soil

Gypsum powder is the substance used for soil treatment and as mentioned above, you can buy it at any building store or large-scale department store.

What does Gypsum do to the Soil?

Gypsum helps the soil absorb water better, helps prevent soil erosion, limits movement of phosphorous from the soil into lakes and streams and it improves the quality of vegetables and fruits. These effects combined results in soil that is much more fertile.

How Much Gypsum do I Add to Clay Soil?

The effect gypsum has on clay soil is the following: it helps break the clay up and it 

increases the soils calcium content which also eliminates excess sodium. Adding one kilogram per square metre and then digging the powder into the ground by 10-15cm will work well.

Gypsum Cube

Gypsum cubes are just that, cubes! They come in a multitude of different sizes and varieties. For example, you get alabaster gypsum cubes which are fine-grained and white and you also get more fragile, clear, satin spar gypsum cubes. They can be used as side tables or decorative ornaments.

Gypsum Sand

Gypsum sand is very rare and the reason for this is due to the mineral being very water-soluble. There is a specific national monument site in the state of New Mexico called “White Sands National Monument” where there is a massive white dune field full of gypsum sand. It’s a natural phenomenon and definitely worth seeing!

What is Gypsum Sand Used for?

Gypsum sand and gypsum powder should not be confused! Gypsum powder is a processed, versatile substance which is used in toothpaste, drywall and fertilizer but gypsum sand is a naturally occurring substance found in the basin of Lake Lucero. This sand stays put and is a protected site where tourists behold the large gypsum crystals that form as a result of the sand.

Gypsum in Household Items

There are tons of household items in which gypsum is present! Toothpaste, shampoo, cement, drywall, molds for dental impressions and dinnerware, tiles, blocks, fertilizers and ornaments.

Gypsum for Sale

There is no shortage of gypsum for sale–anywhere! If you’re wanting to shop in person you could always visit builders’ stores, department stores or crystal shops depending on what type of gypsum you’re looking for. 

Gypsum Price

The foundation price for one ton of raw gypsum ore is $160 and for a 19 ounce selenite crystal it costs about $15. 

Garden Gypsum for Sale

The price of 50kg of garden gypsum powder is about $39 and you can purchase these at any plant store or online!

Gypsum Fertilizer for Sale

Agricultural gypsum for fertilizer is also available to purchase at most plant/garden stores as well as online. It costs the same as garden gypsum in the previous paragraph because these two products are essentially the same thing.

Gypsum for Sale Near Me

If you google the phrase “gypsum for sale near me” a whole lot of different options of gypsum products will pop up! Do your research and check out one of the many online options. 

Gypsum Powder at Walmart

Walmart is a great large-scale department store that sells everything you can imagine-including gypsum powder! The current price is $61 for 50 pounds of gypsum powder.

Gypsum Bulk

Buying gypsum in bulk makes sense if you’re going to be using the powder for your garden. Reason being, soil needs months of regular gypsum treatment in order to benefit from its full effects.


Wow! What a journey this has been exploring the versatile world of gypsum! In summary, gypsum is an incredibly impressive mineral that also happens to be a delicate, powerful and beautiful crystal.

Incorporating a gypsum crystal (selenite) into your life will not only benefit your good energy but will also remind you of all the ways gypsum is incorporated into your life when you look at it! 

Did You Enjoy This Article?

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this article, you might also like the following articles: Phenakite: Complete Guide and New Jade: Complete Guide.

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