Kamshet Quarry, Poona District, Maharashtra, India

Dimensions (H x W x D)

12.5 x 11 x 7 cm



Description & Provenance

Mesolite is a plentiful variety of zeolite that forms in transparent, colorless to white, acicular (needlelike) crystals. Each individual crystal tip has a vitreous, dipyramidal termination, creating a reflective window that both reflects light and allows one to peer into the crystal itself. Often, hundreds of these needlelike crystals will grow outwards from a central point, forming a radiating spray so dense, they sometimes create a domed semi-sphere. These structures are remarkably beautiful but extremely delicate. Mining, handling and transport often all take their toll. Even when crystals initially form in dense semi-spheres, it is not uncommon for them to already be broken, even before extraction (due to geologic events). This makes fully intact examples extremely difficult to acquire. In addition to all that, mesolites are prone to detaching from their matrices (host rock), adding to the difficulty in keeping them undamaged. More often than not, these stunning specimens are reduced to broken tufts.

This specimen is made up of hundreds of ultra-thin mesolite crystals that have formed in astoundingly complete, spherical aggregates. They are so fine that collectively, they create what people typically perceive as soft, fur-like pompoms, which is contrary to their actual texture. The effect on the viewer is often delight and a sense of uncanny confusion. The focal point of this piece are two, intergrown “puffs.” They are accented by smaller clusters, and a surprisingly vibrant, ochre-colored matrix. Approximately 90% of all other examples that stay on matrix are found on pale matrices or companion minerals that are similarly pale, offering little to no contrast in color. This piece has the incredibly rare component of having a matrix with a distinctly contrasting color. The burnt-orange tone provides the perfect backdrop for the mesolite spheres to burst into view. One could not ask for a better canvas to both display and protect these exquisite yet delicate, star-like formations.

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