2.4" Green, Twinned Calcite Crystal on Black Chalcedony - New Find!
This is a unique and gorgeous formation of green twinned calcite that formed over a black chalcedony encrusted matrix. This specimen was collected from India and is a recent find (2020). The green color of the calcite is a result of green inclusions within the outer layers of the calcite. While these twinned crystals resembled beta quartz, both chemical and mechanical tests have been conducted to confirm the composition of the crystals. However, the composition of the green inclusions remains unknown.
Calcite, CaCO3, is a carbonate mineral and the most stable polymorph of calcium carbonate. The other polymorphs are the minerals aragonite and vaterite. Calcite crystals are trigonal-rhombohedral, though actual calcite rhombohedra are rare as natural crystals. However, they show a remarkable variety of habits including acute to obtuse rhombohedra, tabular forms, and prisms. Calcite exhibits several twinning types adding to the variety of observed forms. It may occur as fibrous, granular, lamellar, or compact. Cleavage is usually in three directions parallel to the rhombohedron form.
Chalcedony is any microcrystalline variety of silica composed of very fine intergrowths of quartz and moganite. Microcrystalline meaning the crystals are microscopic and cannot be observed by the naked eye. Both quartz and moganite have the same chemical formula SiO2 (silicon dioxide) but different crystal structures. When free from impurities, chalcedony is colorless and transparent. Dependent on impurities present during formation, chalcedony can form in a wide variety of colors including red, yellow, green, blue, purple, grey, white and numerous color hues in between. Chalcedony is quite hard, being a 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, which makes sense considering quartz is the benchmark mineral for a 7.