HALITE & SYLVITE

04384

Locality

Intrepid Potash East Mine, Carlsbad Potash District, New Mexico, USA

Dimensions (H x W x D)

5.3 x 7.5 x 6.6 cm

Weight

186 g

Description & Provenance

Although salt is a common resource, it rarely crystalizes in substantial sizes, and even less often does it develop in collectible forms. Halite crystals are an exceptionally large, macrocrystalline form of salt that materialized in areas that once held salt lakes and seas that existed millions of years ago that have since evaporated. Not only is halite incredibly collectible in the mineral collecting community for its relatable base of salt, but it is also prone to the spectacular quality of fluorescence.

The Carlsbad Potash District (a.k.a. Carlsbad Potash Basin) has been embraced as a contemporary classic its halites are of an instantly recognizable blue-purple coloration. The best specimens also have excellent crystal expression, and nearly transparent clarity. Blue is among the rarer colors represented in halites and the gorgeous blue-purple tone of CPB halites has proven itself unique and exceptional. Blues and purples are not found in all halite deposits and are a product of the halite’s association with the mineral, sylvite. The bombardment of potassium within the sylvite restructures the chloride within the halite, recoloring the crystal. This radioactive process takes the better part of 140 million years.

The height of halite recovery at CPD ran between 2007 and 2012, with specimens of exceptional quality a sporadic and celebrated occurrence. Many of the finest examples were recovered and reserved by a geologist with ties to the CPD’s mining rights owners. Daniel Trinchillo of Fine Minerals International acquired the best half dozen of the halites of which this was one. This specimen has a sharp, cubic crystal habit with good size, luster, and is in fine condition overall. Its captivating blue color is evenly saturated yet retains enough transparency to let the crystal produce a vivid glow with just a hint of light. Accented by transparent white sylvite, the piece also has wonderful contrast and composition. With its uncommon coloring, great aesthetic appeal, and rarity in the market, this specimen is a wonderful addition to any collection.

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