In hand sample, staurolite frequently occurs as twinned prismatic crystals known as “fairy stones” or “fairy crosses.” In thin section, it displays a poikiloblastic texture which people often liken to vomit spatter—gross, but effective.

Physical Properties
Chemical formula Fe2Al9Si4O23(OH)
Class Nesosilicate
Isolated tetrahedra
Crystal system Monoclinic
Habit Prismatic
Color Brown to black
Hardness 7 to 7.5
Specific gravity 3.75
Cleavage Poor {010}
Fracture Subconchoidal
Luster Vitreous
Transparency Translucent
Streak White or gray
Optical Properties
PPL Poikiloblastic texture
Clear to yellow or light brown
XPL Max 1st order yellows
Frequent quartz inclusions
δ 0.013
Twinning Penetration
after Perkins, 346

Staurolite in Hand Sample

Staurolite in muscovite staurolite schist

Staurolite in Thin Section

Thin Section GigaPans

Staurolite in  plane polars
Staurolite in crossed polars

Staurolite, PPL

Staurolite, Plane Polars

Staurolite displaying its characteristic yellow-brown pleochroism. Magnification: 40x To see this mineral in XPL, click here: To…

Staurolite, XPL

Staurolite, Crossed Polars

Staurolite in crossed polars. Magnification: 40x To see this mineral in PPL, click here: To explore this slide in PPL, click her…

Further Reading

Staurolite at
Staurolite at