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Natural Zeolite Crystal Stilbite 9.7cm
Natural Zeolite crystals for sale from India.
This stunning Natural Zeolite Crystal measures 9.7cm tall and displays glistening druzy peach-orange Stilbite crystals inside a crystal cave.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 such as water purification and waste decontamination.
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.
However, there are 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.
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.
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.
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 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, 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 purification, detoxification, and chakra balancing work.
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 now at Madagascan Direct.