Arfvedsonite vs Astrophyllite (Comparison)

If you’re shopping for crystals, particularly arfvedsonite or astrophyllite, you may notice a few different trade names, such as the “fireworks stone.”  It can be confusing.  While “firework stone” can be a name, it’s not accepted by any official gem organization as it really doesn’t tell us as to what’s inside the mineral.  This is often a marketing gimmick to give it a “cool” name in hopes it will sell better.  Let’s preface in that a “firework stone” doesn’t exist.

There are a lot of inconsistencies between these two stones and this guide was created to help you determine the true differences between these names.  Hopefully, by the time you read this, you can have a better understanding of these two stones.

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What is the difference between arfvedsonite and astrophyllite?

In terms of physical properties, the two minerals are very different in their chemical compositions, color and typical structures.


First, let’s talk about astrophyllite.

This will form gold with iridescent sprays, and the color will be a bronze yellow to a golden yellow, sometimes brown.  Some stones will have more gold, whereas other specimens will have more yellow.  This can be said about a lot of minerals as colors can greatly vary, and it’s the reason most stones will have a “range.”  If you see a blue hue, however, it’s not astrophyllite.  Keep this in mind.

This is a complex mineral that is a hydrous potassium iron titanium silicate mineral and will be found in fibrous or star-shaped aggregates.  Its name comes from the Greek words for “star” and “leaf” due to its unique appearance.  It’s primarily composed of potassium, sodium, iron, titanium, and silicate ions.  It will have a pearly to vitreous luster and a hardness of 3 on the Mohs scale, which means it is less hard than many harder minerals such as quartz.

It’s not all that common throughout the world, however, smaller deposits have been noted in Norway, the Kola Peninsula of Russia, as well as Colorado in the USA.  Collectors will purchase this stone mainly for jewelry, but some keep it as a collector’s piece.


Arfvedsonite, on the other hand, will be bluish black to black and it closely resembles black tourmaline.  This mineral will be very dark with black crystals or an almost dark blue look.  It will form long, thinner prismatic crystals with a glassy to vitreous luster.

It’s a mineral that will form in granite and syenite, often found in bladed crystal formations and is a sodium rich amphibole.  As part of the amphibole group of minerals, it’s defined by its double chain silicate structure and will be composed of sodium, iron, and silicate, along with smaller amounts of hydroxyl groups.

This is a crystal that was named after the Swedish chemist Johan August Arfwedson, someone who was a noted pioneer in lithium chemistry.  It’s found throughout the world, mainly Greenland, Canada and Russia.  Most purchase it for jewelry purposes.

Metaphysical differences

Both minerals are used for metaphysical purposes, however, they are associated with different attributes.

Arfvedsonite is closely associated with spiritual growth and finding the truth.  It’s said to help you visualize new possibilities as well as manifest your future desires, with some even saying it’s a great stone to help reduce tension.

Astrophyllite is more associated with self-knowledge and life purpose.  It’s said to help understand your purpose in life and may help you better understand a sense of self acceptance.  If you’re looking for a purpose behind your life experiences, it could be a stone to consider.

To recap, let’s note the following differences:


  • Type: Sodium amphibole mineral.
  • Color: Typically dark blue to a darker black.
  • Formation: Usually forms in granite and syenite.
  • Appearance: Often found in attractive, bladed crystal formations.
  • Metaphysical: Associated with spiritual growth and the ability to see the truth.


  • Type: Hydrous potassium iron titanium silicate mineral.
  • Color: Brown to golden-yellow.
  • Formation: Found in fibrous or star-shaped aggregates.
  • Appearance: Unique star and leaf-like appearance.
  • Metaphysical: Associated with self-knowledge and the ability to recognize one’s purpose in life.

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About Me

Hi! I'm Lauren, and I run Moonlight Gems AZ. I'm an avid crystal collector and would love to share my expertise with you.