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Mesolite

07127

Locality

Kamshet Quarry, Poona District, Maharashtra, India

Dimensions

17.8 cm x 36 cm x 16 cm

Weight

4,530 g

Description & Provenance

This mesolite is perhaps one of the most perplexing pieces we are offering in our current collection and is undoubtedly a fan favorite. 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 in a radiating spray so dense, they form a domed semi-sphere. These structures are remarkably beautiful, but extremely delicate. Mining, handling and transport often take their toll, and it is not uncommon for specimens to already be broken even before they are extracted (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, adding to the difficulty in keeping them undamaged. More often than not, these stunning specimens are reduced to broken tufts.

This specimen has hundreds, if not thousands of undamaged, ultra-thin mesolite crystals 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 (as well as an inclination to want to touch the specimen to verify their roused senses- an inclination that is advised against). Accentuating these gorgeous bursts is a dark, shimmering matrix from which the mesolite seems to explode. Approximately 90% of all other examples are found on pale matrices or companion minerals that are similar in color to the mesolites crystals. This piece has the incredibly rare component of having a matrix with a distinctly contrasting color. The burnt orange coating on the matrix provides the perfect backdrop allowing the mesolite spheres to explode and burst into view. This creates an impactful drama that is hard to match not only in this species but in the kingdom of mineralogy. Its matrix not only enhances its aesthetics, but it aids in handling these delicate structures. One could not ask for a better canvas to both display and protect these exquisite mesolite formations.

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