Cavansite & Stilbite



Wagholi Quarries, Wagholi, Pune District, Maharashtra, India

Dimensions (H x W x D)

19 x 21 x 14 cm


3.997 kg

Description & Provenance

Maharashtra lies within an expanse of approximately 500,000 square kilometers called the Tertiary Deccan Traps. The area underwent an extensive period of transformative volcanic activity during the Cretaceous period (approximately 68 m.y.a.). The magma helped form the plentiful basalt found in the region today. Numerous minerals in the zeolite class also formed thanks to this volcanic activity. They crystalized when alkaline ground water trapped within the magma’s vesicles interacted with the volcanic rocks and ash.

Cavansite is among the zeolites for which Maharashtra is famous. It is a calcium, vanadium silicate that is loved by collectors for its vibrant color. Prior to the 1990s,however, it was only observed with microscopic crystals. Indian cavansites became an instant sensation because they formed in dense aggregates that could actually be seen by the naked eye. Not only were they visible, but they formed in specimens of collectible sizes and in a striking teal to royal blue color. Of the macroscopic cavansite, the most famous examples formed spherical aggregates, sometimes reaching up to 5cm in diameter. Since then, they have become a popular sight in fine mineral collections worldwide. Finding specimens with good condition, however, as well as great aesthetics has always been difficult, especially now that less and less new material becomes available year by year.

This specimen is a highly unique example with incredibly intriguing aesthetics. It consists of a sizable amalgamation of cavansite and stilbite crystals. The cavansite occurred as a second generation of growth on top of the stilbite cluster. The stilbite crystals can be seen throughout the specimen thanks to their sharp, tabular forms, and piercing, white color. The cavansite is plentiful and exhibits an eye-catching, bright cerulean-blue color that pops all the more against the contrasting stilbite crystals. Both minerals have a sparkling luster that adds to the overall visual appeal. Large, lustrous, and colorful, it is a great example of why Indian cavansite has surprised and delighted collectors since its discovery.

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