Wenshan Mine, Wenshan County, Yunnan Province, China

Dimensions (H x W x D)

7 x 10 x 5.5 cm


241 g

Description & Provenance

Aragonite is a polymorph of calcium carbonate, meaning it has the same elemental makeup as calcite but with a different crystal lattice that makes it form in differing shapes. Aragonite forms under much rarer conditions than calcite and is significantly scarcer. Most aragonite is white or colorless, but under certain circumstances, it may be imparted with trace elements that can color it blue, green, red or violet. Wenshan has produced some interesting, coral-like, light-blue aragonite specimens. Their coloring is a result of trace amounts of copper. Many of the examples are almost white with just a whisper of blue color, or else they have an uneven dispersion of color with blue areas that dissipate into white. This lovely example is particularly well-saturated with vivid, turquoise-blue color. It is an amalgamation of bright aragonite in a rounded shape and with a texture that looks as though it were soft to the touch, often likened to frothy foam or cotton candy. The specimen’s matrix (host rock) has an ivory and tan coloration and smooth, sharp texture, almost resembling birch bark or bone. The juxtaposition makes for a visually intriguing marriage of textures. Visually perplexing, this is specimen invites study and admiration.

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