4.6" Keokuk Calcite Geode with Iridescent Chalcopyrite - Missouri

 
 
This is a lustrous calcite and iridescent chalcopyrite crystal filled keokuk geode, collected from Lewis County, Missouri. It's been cracked open to reveal an interior lined with both brown and clear calcite crystals that are peppered with chalcopyrite crystals. Both halves are included.

This specimen is a part of an old collection that we recently acquired. Some of these Keokuk geodes come from locations that are no longer collectable.

Unlike most geodes that form in volcanic rock, Keokuk geodes are found in the sedimentary rock. They started out as concretions, balls of mud, which formed around organic material about 340 million years ago. The outer shells of these concretions were subsequently replaced by chalcedony and the interiors of the concretions were dissolved, leaving a hollow space into which quartz crystals could grow. Most geodes are 2 to 5 inches wide, though specimens as large as two feet across have been found.

Keokuk geodes contain a variety of minerals, but quartz is dominant in most. Many geodes are filled with clear to white quartz crystals. Micro-crystalline quartz, or chalcedony, whose component crystals are too small to be seen with the naked eye, forms the outer shell. Chalcedony layers also encrust the interior walls of many geode cavities, covering the surfaces of the earlier-generation quartz crystals in a variety of colors, including white, gray, blue, yellow and orange. Calcite is also a common mineral in many geodes though 17 other minerals have been identified in Keokuk Geodes including pyrite and sphalerite.

The area around Keokuk, Iowa is sometimes referred to as “the geode capital of the world. In 1967 they were even named the official state rock of Iowa. Geodes have been collected from the Lower Warsaw Formation within about 100 miles of the city for over 150 years.

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.

Chalcopyrite is a brass-yellow colored mineral which is one of the most important ores of copper. When weathered chalcopyrite loses it's metallic luster, turning a gray-green color. When acids are present the tarnish can develop a red to blue to purple iridescence.
DETAILS
SPECIES
Calcite & Chalcopyrite
LOCATION
Lewis County, Missouri
SIZE
4.6" wide
CATEGORY
SUB CATEGORY
ITEM
#144727