Zeolites And Apophyllite Crystal Information

2022
21
MAY

Zeolites And Apophyllite Meaning And Information

Stilbite Zeolite With Chalcedony

What Are Zeolites

Zeolite is a name for a group of aluminosilicate, tectosilicate minerals that contain alkali. 

Each Zeolite varies widely in colour and composition due to different mineral contaminations caused by the unique molecular filtering and sieving properties of the stone. 

There are approximately 45 types of natural Zeolite minerals, and over 100 synthetic forms of Zeolite. 

Popular Zeolites include Stilbite, Natrolite, Chabazite, and Heulandite, among many others. 

Stilbite Zeolites

Zeolites History

Zeolites have been used in many ancient civilisations such as the Romans, Greeks, and Maya for various purposes, most notably, water purification in aqueducts

However, Zeolites were re-discovered and officially named by Swedish mineralogist Cronstedst in 1756: their name comes from the Greek for "boiling" and "stone", owing to the fact that when Zeolites are heated enough to boil, they emit steam due to their high water content. 

Zeolites

How And Where Do Zeolites Form? 

In nature, Zeolites form in basalt volcanic environments in cavities (also known as "vesicles" or "geodes") in volcanic rock

Ash and rock released by volcanic eruptions, over millions of years, react chemically with alkaline water from oceans, lakes, and other water sources to create Zeolite crystals

Stilbite Chalcedony Zeolite

Natural Zeolites are rarely pure owing to their highly porous structure which enables to the absorption of other minerals and metals: they often include other Zeolites, minerals, and metals which change their colouring. 

Zeolites also commonly grow alongside other minerals such as Quartz/ Chalcedony, Calcite, and Apophyllite, creating unique and unusual mineral specimens. 

The process of Zeolite creation happens all over the world, including in Iceland, the USA, and Pune, India

Zeolites

Zeolite Crystal Structures

Zeolites are microporous minerals made of up of Aluminium and Silica molecules in a tectosilicate crystal structure (also known as a framework silicate crystal structure). 

In the Zeolite crystal structure, there are open cavities between these Aluminium and Silica molecules which often contain water molecules, and these open spaces serve as cages and channels for molecular exchange. 

Water molecules can easily move in and out of the crystal matrix due to these cavities: as a result, water can evaporate and be re-absorbed easily into the crystal framework, generally without damage. 

Green Zeolites

Consequently, molecules that are smaller or the same size as water molecules can also move in and out of the gaps in the crystal matrix, although larger molecules cannot move in and out of the Zeolite structure as they do not fit into the gaps. 

Therefore, Zeolites can be considered a type of molecular sieve or molecular filter. They can sieve and filter out smaller molecules as gas and liquid molecules move in and out of them: this makes them very useful for various purposes in industry. 

Zeolite Minerals

What Do Zeolites Look Like? 

Each Zeolite can be incredibly diverse in appearance due to the differing compositions of varying molecules in each crystal structure as it sieves and absorbs them.

Furthermore, Zeolites often form unique specimens as they grow alongside different minerals and metals such as colourful Quartz and Apophyllite crystals

Zeolites range in colour from colourless to white, brown, pink, peach, orange, red, and green, among other colours. 

Zeolites

Zeolite Crystal Habits

The external shapes, or crystal habits, of Zeolites also can vary widely: some Zeolites, such as Natrolite, display needle-like crystals (this is known as an acicular crystal habit), or even a filiform/ capillary crystal habit (a very thin, hair-like structure).

Other crystal habits include the characteristic tabular, flat crystals of Stilbite, which often forms in the unique wheat sheaf crystal habit

Heulandite also displays tabular crystals, however these crystals appear in a unique coffin-shaped habit. 

Chabazite is characterised by rhombohedral crystals, however the angle of the crystals means that the crystal shape often looks like a cubic crystal habit

Zeolites

How Hard Are Zeolites?

Ranging from 3 to 5 on the Mohs scale, Zeolites tend to be soft minerals, and care should be taken not to damage their surfaces, especially fragile specimens such as Scolecite and Natrolite with their needle-like crystals. 

Zeolite Crystals

Zeolites In Mineral Collections

Zeolites, with their incredible diversity, make perfect additions to any mineral collection.

Zeolite crystals also make great choices for home decor, aesthetically, due to their commonly pearly lustre / vitreous lustre: in fact, the Zeolite variety known as Stilbite was named after this property from the Greek for "shining"/ "glittering". 

Buy Zeolites Online

Zeolite Uses In Industry

Zeolites have many industrial and commercial uses, and over a hundred new types of Zeolite have been synthetically created for this purpose. 

Due to the unique sieving qualities of the Zeolite crystal structure, Zeolites are commonly used industrially as absorbents and to filter out toxins and de-contaminate substances.

Zeolites are used to purify water, for example by removing toxins such as ammonia in wastewater, sewage water, swimming pools, and aquariums, and can even be used to de-contaminate radioactive waste.

Zeolites

Historically, ancient civilisations including the Romans, Greeks, and Maya used Zeolites in their aqueducts to purify their drinking water.

Zeolites make great water softeners as they can remove Calcium ions from hard water, and are also important as catalysts in the refining and purification of natural gas and petroleum. 

Zeolites are also used for many purposes in other industries, including the health industry: some people crush zeolites into a powder and consume them for purported health benefits, believing the Zeolites will filter out toxins in their body, and in agriculture, Zeolites have been added to the feed of livestock for this purpose. 

Zeolite Minerals

Zeolite Crystal Meaning And Spirituality

Spiritually, Zeolites are believed by crystal healers to detoxify one's body and energy as they are said to absorb negative energy.

Zeolites are commonly used in Reiki healing

Zeolites are said to exude a soothing, peaceful energy due to their strong water energy, however their volcanic history also means that they are believed to also contain contrasting fire energy, which can provide one with boosts of joy, passion, and motivation. 

Zeolites

Zeolite Chakras

Zeolites, with their endless variety, are associated with all chakras, but especially the Crown Chakra

When meditated with upon the Crown Chakra, a Zeolite is said to help attune and balance your energies, making it perfect for use in purificationdetoxification, and chakra balancing work. 

Zeolites

Buy Zeolites online now at Madagascan Direct. 


What Is Apophyllite?

Apophyllite is the name for a group of phyllosilicate minerals which are very similar in composition and appearance to zeolites (with which they are often found). 

Apophyllite, much like a Zeolite, is very popular with mineral collectors owing to its diversity in appearance and gemmy, pearly lustre (vitreous lustre) which makes each specimen uniquely aesthetically pleasing.

Apophyllite Crystals

What Is The Difference Between Apophyllite And Zeolites

Apophyllite and Zeolites are very similar in many properties, and commonly grow alongside each other in the same environments, often together in the same specimen alongside other minerals such as Quartz and Calcite crystals. 

Both mineral groups are silicates which have a high water content, however Apophyllite does not contain aluminium like Zeolites: Zeolites are aluminosilicates whilst Apophyllite minerals are potassium-calcium-fluorosilicates containing potassium, calcium, and fluoride

There are also slight structural differences between the two mineral groups: Zeolites have a network-like tectosilicate crystal structure whilst Apophyllite has a layered, sheet-like phyllosilicate crystal structure of alternating silicate layers. 

 

Apophyllite With Stilbite Crystals

Apophyllite History

In 1806, French mineralogist René Just Haüy named a single mineral Apophyllite using the Greek for "leaf apart" or "flakes off", owing to the fact Apophyllite minerals often break apart when sufficiently heated due to the loss of their high water content. 

In 1978, the single mineral Apophyllite was re-defined as a group of similar minerals. 

Blue Apophyllite Crystals

Types of Apophyllite

The Apophyllite Group as defined in 1978 contains three types of Apophyllite: Fluor-apophyllite, Hydroxy-apophyllite, and Natro-apophyllite.

Fluor-apophyllite is the most colourful and common type of Apophyllite, whilst Natro-apophyllite, with its signature brown colour, is the rarest type of Apophyllite. 

White Apophyllite Crystals

What Does Apophyllite Look Like? 

Apophyllite ranges in colour from colourless to white, grey, green, and brown, among other colours, and is often found with other colourful minerals such as blue Chalcedony or colourful Zeolites such as peach-coloured Stilbite

Most Apophyllite crystals display a pointed, prismatic crystal habit or cubic or tabular crystals, many of which can be rather large. 

Apophyllite With Stilbite Crystals

How Hard Is Apophyllite?

Measuring 4.5 to 5 on the Mohs scale, Apophyllite is a somewhat soft mineral, and care should be taken not to damage its surface.

To clean the crystal, simply use water and a soft cloth. 

White Apophyllite Crystals

Where Does Apophyllite Come From?

The Apophyllite at Madagascan Direct was sourced from Pune, India, where it was found in basalt volcanic environments. 

However, Apophyllite can be found in many different locations worldwide, including countries such as the USA and Norway. 

Apophyllite With Blue Chalcedony

Apophyllite Crystal Healing Properties

Apophyllite is believed by many crystal healers to have a strongly calming, cleansing energy, making it a perfect stone for those struggling with feeling stressed and overwhelmed. 

Apophyllite With Chalcedony Crystals

Apophyllite Chakras

Apophyllite is said to work well with the Third Eye Chakra and Crown Chakra

Said to be a very mystical stone, when meditated upon these chakras, many people believe that Apophyllite can open the door to improved psychic abilities and spiritual experiences such as astral travel. 

Apophyllite With Stilbite Crystals

Apophyllite Crystal Collections

Apophyllite is an incredibly diverse group of minerals, and for this reason, there are many unique specimens to collect, including those with striking mineral inclusions and associated zeolites such as peach Stilbite

White Apophyllite Crystals

 

Buy Apophyllite online now at Madagascan Direct. 

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