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8.9" Smoky Quartz, Orthoclase and Aegirine Association - Malawi
This is a large, gorgeous association of smoky quartz crystals with white orthoclase and black aegirine crystals. This mineral cluster was collected from Mount Malosa in the Southern region of Malawi, Africa. The base is relatively flat, allowing for aesthetic presentation of the crystals without the need for a display stand.
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.
Smoky quartz is a grey-brown to black variety of quartz. This common name is derived from from the appearance of smoke within the quartz crystal. Dependent on the location and the chemicals present during formation, smoky quartz can appear opaque black, however it’s typically translucent to some extent. It’s believed that the quartz gains this color from a combination of natural irradiation and aluminum impurities.
Orthoclase is a feldspar mineral with the chemical formula KAlSi₃O₈ and has a hardness of 6 - 6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. It is considered a key component in many igneous rock formations and is one of the more abundant minerals throughout the continental crust. It can form individual crystals, however it's most commonly known for its pink coloration within granite rock. It has many commercial uses, including application in the production of a wide variety of ceramics and is sometimes used in the manufacturing of glass.
Aegirine is a sodium iron silicate with the chemical formula NaFeSi2O6. It is a member of the pyroxene group and it shares the same crystal structure as augite, however the chemical composition is different. It's known to form long slender crystals that can bare a reddish-black, brown, black or greenish coloration.