3.2" Scalenohedral Calcite Crystal Stalactite - Wenshan Mine, China

This is an unusual calcite stalactite formation that features beautifully formed, scalenohedral crystals. There is a hole at the "bottom" of the specimen that marks the center of the stalactite. It is part of a new find at the Wenshan zinc mines in the Yunnan Province of China. The specimen is accompanied by an acrylic display stand.

Under short-wave ultraviolet light, the calcite crystals exhibit a stunning white fluorescence.

Cave calcite is not actually calcite but a formation of aragonite crystals. Calcite and aragonite are both carbonates with the same chemical formula (CaCO3), but different crystal structures and symmetries.

Cave calcite forms underground due to groundwater deposition. While it often forms stalactites and stalagmites on cave ceilings and floors, it can also form as unique, branching, tree-like structures. These beautiful formations are sometimes known as ‘floss ferri’ (flowers of iron) and frostwork.
Wenshan Zinc Mine, Wenshan City, Yunnan, China
Entire Specimen: 3.2 x 1.75"