5.2" Cave Calcite Stalactite with Fluorescent Calcite - Wenshan Mine

This is an interesting cave calcite stalactite formation with a radiating, yellow calcite crystal flower perched atop the stalactite. It is part of a new find at the Wenshan zinc mines in the Yunnan Province of China. The base of the specimen has been cut flat, however it is accompanied by an acrylic display stand to assist with presentation.

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: 5.2 x 2.8"