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The Mineral scolecite




Scolecite is a member of the zeolite group, and is closely related to Natrolite and Mesolite. It forms a series with those two minerals, and is the calcium-rich end member. Chemical analysis or optical tests may be required to distinguish Scolecite from Natrolite, and a single crystal may even contain part of each mineral within different zones of the same crystal.

Scolecite can be very brittle, so care should be exercised when handling specimens. Scolecite is named after the Greek term "skolec", which means "worm", alluding to its worm-like reaction to a blowpipe test.
Chemical Formula CaAl2Si3O10 · 3H2O
Composition Hydrous calcium aluminum silicate
Color White, colorless, light yellow, light pink. Rarely orange.
Streak Colorless
Hardness 5 - 5.5
Crystal System Monoclinic
Crystal Forms
and Aggregates
Most often in acicular and radial groupings, with individual slender crystals clearly distinguished. Individual crystals in an aggregate may be grouped tightly together, or there may be a space between each crystals. Individual prismatic crystals are very rare. Commonly in tall columnar bundles of prismatic crystals. Also in reticulated groups, V-shaped twins, in grainy masses of slender crystals, tight radiating masses, and as linings of cavities.
Transparency Transparent to translucent
Specific Gravity 2.2 - 2.4
Luster Vitreous, silky
Cleavage 1,2
Fracture Uneven
Tenacity Brittle
In Group Silicates; Tectosilicates; Zeolite Group
Striking Features Crystal habits and environment
Environment In cavities of volcanic basalt; rarely in granites and gneiss.
Rock Type Igneous
Popularity (1-4) 3
Prevalence (1-3) 2
Demand (1-3) 2


Scolecite AUCTIONS



USES
Scolecite specimens are of interest to collectors, especially those specializing in zeolite minerals.

NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES
India is the most important producer of Scolecite, where excellent specimens are found in the basalts of the Deccan Traps in the state of Maharashtra. The districts that have produced excellend Scolecite include Nasik, Pune (Poona), Ahmadnagar, Jalgaon, and Mumbai.

Other worldwide localities include the Das Antas tunnel, Veranópolis, Rio Grande Do Sul, Brazil; Teigarhorn, Berufjördur, Iceland; Arvigo, Grisons, Switzerland; and several deposits in the Ossola Valley, Piedmont, Italy. In the U.S., Scolecite come from Elk Mountain, northeast of Pigeon Springs, Cowlitz Co., Washington.

COMMON MINERAL ASSOCIATIONS
Heulandite, Stilbite, Apophyllite, Calcite, Celadonite, Epidote

DISTINGUISHING SIMILAR MINERALS
Scolecite can be very difficult to distinguish from Natrolite.


scolecite PHOTOS
 
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
 
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