Author Topic: Crystal and Mineral Reference Guide  (Read 9930 times)

Offline zorgon

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Crystal and Mineral Reference Guide
« on: August 30, 2011, 05:22:08 PM »
Welcome to Zorgon's Rock Shoppe

Being a geologist as one of my interests, and an active collector of specimens, this topic is naturally one of my favorites. Over the next few month's I will add minerals to this sticky locked thread showing the picture in its crystal form and its raw form. This thread will be a reference work for crystal enthusiasts. The data will be presented in three groups. 1) The scientific makeup and known properties including man made versions 2) The energy properties generally accepted by adepts and 3) any other properties that have been attributed to a stone but not necessarily verified. Any questions I (or someone else) will try to answer in a new thread as time allows.

I will also include some information about Meteorites and even some stuff about Moon Rocks. And at the end of each item you will find a link to purchase some specimens. (No I don't have any Moon rocks, though a few meteorite fragments are claimed to have originated on the Moon or Mars :D )

Back in Toronto years ago the Royal Ontario Museum had a crystal Cavern as entry to their Earth's Treasures display. This cave was a reproduction of an actual crystal cave found in Minas Gerais, Brazil, the gem mining district. Huge crystals of quartz, various colors and some giant topaz. They grew in clusters of different colors and the reproduction was an awesome spectacle.  I have been trying to find some old photos of that display and when I find them I will add them here.  I do have a few shots of some of the closeups, though they do not have size reference...

Rose Quartz Crystals

Quartz Crystals

Amethyst Quartz Crystals

Yellow Quartz Crystals - Citrine

A few years ago a Mining Company in Mexico drained water out of a cave and made an amazing discovery. Crystals so huge that they dwarf a human and remind one of Superman's Fortress. These are now some of the world's largest known natural crystals and the images are surreal, seeming more like a movie set for a sci-fi film.

So let's start off the collection with a common mineral

GYPSUM - Crystal form SELENITE
« Last Edit: September 05, 2011, 02:24:23 PM by zorgon »

Offline zorgon

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Re: Crystal and Mineral Reference Guide
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2011, 11:26:40 AM »
Giant Selenite Crystals from Naica, Mexico

April 9, 2007—Geologist Juan Manuel García-Ruiz calls it "the Sistine Chapel of crystals," but Superman could call it home.

A sort of south-of-the-border Fortress of Solitude, Mexico's Cueva de los Cristales (Cave of Crystals) contains some of the world's largest known natural crystals—translucent beams of gypsum as long as 36 feet (11 meters).

How did the crystals reach such superheroic proportions?

In the new issue of the journal Geology, García-Ruiz reports that for millennia the crystals thrived in the cave's extremely rare and stable natural environment. Temperatures hovered consistently around a steamy 136 degrees Fahrenheit (58 degrees Celsius), and the cave was filled with mineral-rich water that drove the crystals' growth.

Modern-day mining operations exposed the natural wonder by pumping water out of the 30-by-90-foot (10-by-30-meter) cave, which was found in 2000 near the town of Delicias (Chihuahua state map). Now García-Ruiz is advising the mining company to preserve the caves.

"There is no other place on the planet," García-Ruiz said, "where the mineral world reveals itself in such beauty."

Read the full story of the new discovery.

Photo Set Courtesy of National Geographic
NOTE: Right click and view image for full size

Researcher standing on a Giant Crystal in Naica, Mexico

Caption: Geologist Juan Manuel García-Ruiz calls it "the Sistine Chapel of crystals," but Superman could call it home.  More

Caption: Delicate as glass, the "megacrystals" require great humidity and a temperature of about 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius) to maintain their current form.  More

Caption: Deep inside Naica mountain, the Cave of Crystals is a horseshoe-shaped cavity in limestone rock about 30 feet (10 meters) wide and 90 feet (30 meters) long.  More

Caption: The two brothers who discovered this Cave of Crystals "antechamber" dubbed it the Queen's Eye, because the opening leading to it resembled an eye. More

Caption: Its walls studded with crystal "daggers," the 400-foot-deep (120-meter-deep) Cave of Swords is closer to the surface than the Cave of Crystals. More

Giant Crystal Cave In Mexico

The Naica Mine of Chihuahua, Mexico, is a working mine that is known for its extraordinary crystals. Naica is a lead, zinc and silver mine in which large voids have been found, containing crystals of selenite (gypsum) as large as 4 feet in diameter and 50 feet long. The chamber holding these crystals is known as the Crystal Cave of Giants, and is approximately 1000 feet down in the limestone host rock of the mine. The crystals were formed by hydrothermal fluids emanating from the magma chambers below. The cavern was discovered while the miners were drilling through the Naica fault, which they were worried would flood the mine. The Cave of Swords is another chamber in the Naica Mine, containing similar large crystals.

The Naica mine was first discovered by early prospectors in 1794 south of Chihuahua City. They struck a vein of silver at the base of a range of hills called Naica by the Tarahumara Indians. The origin in the Tarahumara language seems to mean "a shady place". Perhaps here in the small canyon there was a grove of trees tucked away by a small canyon spring.

From that discovery, until around 1900, the primary interest was silver and gold. Around 1900 large-scale mining began as zinc and lead became more valuable.

During the Mexican Revolution the mine was producing a great deal of wealth. Revolutionary troops entered the town and demanded money from the owners. One of them was assassinated when he refused to pay, causing the mine to shut down from 1911 to 1922.

Just before the mine was closed, the famous Cave of Swords was discovered at a depth of 400 feet. Due to the incredible crystals, it was decided to try to preserve this cave. While many of the crystals have been collected, this is still a fascinating cave to visit. In one part there are so many crystals on one of the walls, they appear to be like an underwater reef moving in a gentle undulating motion in an ocean current.

In April 2000, brothers Juan and Pedro Sanchez were drilling a new tunnel when they made a truly spectacular discovery. While Naica miners are accustomed to finding crystals, Juan and Pedro were absolutely amazed by the cavern that they found. The brothers immediately informed the engineer in charge, Roberto Gonzalez. Ing. Gonzalez realized that they had discovered a natural treasure and quickly rerouted the tunnel. During this phase some damage was done as several miners tried to remove pieces of the mega-crystals, so the mining company soon installed an iron door to protect the find. Later, one of the workers, with the intention of stealing crystals, managed to get in through a narrow hole. He tried to take some plastic bags filled with fresh air inside, but the strategy didn't work. He lost consciousness and later was found thoroughly baked.

08 Eylül 2007 Cumartesi
Giant Crystal Cave In Mexico

Naica: The Crystal Cave of Giants

Photo Set Courtesy Endless Tours blog

Photograph by Richard D. Fisher

This is the largest of the three caverns, the mystically stunning Candles Cave.

Naica: The Crystal Cave of Giants

Crystal Cave of the Giants - Discovery of the Largest Crystals on Earth


Hollow Earth: Evidence of FantasyLand (Must See !) - ATS Thread lots of photos

Naica Crystal Cave - Balkan Express (not in English but tons of photos)[/b][/size]

So how is that for a starting point? There will not be so many photos for each specimen for the rest of the thread, but I will try to find choice specimens in both the crystal form and one in the mineral form for identification
« Last Edit: January 24, 2012, 01:09:27 AM by zorgon »

Offline zorgon

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Re: Crystal and Mineral Reference Guide
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2011, 03:46:03 PM »

Formula:   CaSO4 · 2H2O Calcium Sulfate Dihydrate
System:   Monoclinic   
Colour:   Colourless to white
Hardness:   2
Name:   Named in antiquity from the Greek "gypsos," meaning plaster.

Good images of the various forms of Gypsum
More info and more specimens

Industrial Uses

1. Drywall, Wallboard
1. Plaster, Plaster of Paris (medical casts)
3. Fertilizer and soil conditioner.
4. A component of Portland cement used to prevent flash setting of concrete.

Medicinal and Food Uses

1.  A tofu (soy bean curd) coagulant, making it ultimately a major source of dietary calcium, especially in Asian cultures which traditionally use few dairy products.
2. Adding hardness to water used for homebrewing.
3. A common ingredient in making meade
4. In foot creams, shampoos and many other hair products.
5. A medicinal agent in traditional Chinese medicine called Shi Gao.
6. Impression plasters in dentistry

Medieval and Ancient Uses

1. A wood substitute in the ancient world; for example, when wood became scarce due to deforestation on Bronze Age Crete, gypsum was employed in building construction at locations where wood was previously used.
2. In the medieval period it was mixed, by scribes and illuminators, with lead carbonate (powdered white lead) to make gesso which was applied to illuminated letters and gilded with gold in illuminated manuscripts.

Healing and Mystical Uses

1. Selenite is named after the Greek Moon Goddess, Selene. The crystals' apparent magical properties, in seeming to glow from the inside, are reminiscent of moonlight.
2. Selenite is used by some to calm the emotions and provide clarity of reflective thought.
3. It has also been crushed and used in cosmetics. Selenite powder has been used cosmetically for thousands of years to enhance one's natural beauty.
4. Selenite, the gypsum crystal, named after the Greek goddess of the moon, Selene, due to its soft white light, is said to have many metaphysical and healing benefits. It is believed that this crystal assists with mental focus, growth, luck, immunity, and soothes the emotions.
  • Stone Name: Selenite
    Stone Color: Cloudy white, gray, green or golden brown
    Element: Wind
    Chakra: 6th, 7th, 8-14th
    Key Properties: Spiritual activation; communion with Higher Self, spirit guides and angels
    Spiritual Properties: clears etheric blockages and debris; freeflow of energy through higher chakras
    Emotional Properties: Stimulates emotional body; compels forward movement; overcomes stagnation
    Healing Properties: Stimulates healing with high frequency energy
    Harmonizes With: Almost any other stonegood for making energy tools, such as attaching other stones to a selenite wand; for example, you can attach a stone for each chakra onto a wand for a powerful chakra healing tool

    Information Source - Healing Crystals Data Base

Some images of the various forms of Gypsum/Selenite. It is very collectible due to the variety of species available and it's abundance. However the mineral in all it's forms is soft, thus easily damaged and is water soluble, so must be stored in a dry container

The Rock form of the mineral, usually white to orange yellow with black veins. Powdery and soft texture

Selenite Crystal

Selenite Rose

"Ramshorn" Gypsum

Selenite Green

Ye Olde Rock Shoppe - Selenite and Gypsum
« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 12:41:12 AM by zorgon » USA, LLC
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