The most distinctive feature of staurolite is its shape. Staurolite either forms long, prismatic crystals with the distinctive cross-section shown below or a pair of crystals ('twinned') that form a cross either as an X or a +. Each crystal making up these crosses also has the distinctive cross-section.

These are three long staurolite crystals. The longest is about 10 cm long.

The end-view of the staurolite on top shows their typical cross-section. Sometimes the vertical sides are reduced to where a diamond cross-section results.

The three long ones (also shown above) are studded with garnets.

The five small specimens show two intergrown crystals forming X-shaped crosses. These are known as Saint Andrew's crosses. Plus-shaped crosses (+) are known as Roman crosses.

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