5.9" Chalcedony Stalactite Formation - Indonesia
This is a beautiful formation of chalcedony stalactites that was collected from Indonesia. The chalcedony gathered in layers after a preexisting mineralization along the ceiling of the cavity.
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.
Silicon Dioxide, also known as SiO2 or Quartz, is the second most abundant mineral in the Earth's crust. Quartz crystals generally grow in silica-rich, hot watery solutions called hydrothermal environments, at temperatures between 100°C and 450°C, and usually under very high pressure. Quartz veins are formed when open fissures are filled with hot water during the closing stages of mountains forming, and can be hundreds of millions of years old.