Stilbite Crystals

Stilbite from Nasik India

About Stilbite crystals

Before 1997, stilbite was thought to be a single mineral, but then the International Mineralogical Association recognized the fact that there are two different minerals:

  • Stilbite-Ca
  • Stilbite-Na

Stilbite-Ca is by far the more common of the two. It is a hydrous calcium sodium and aluminum silicate, NaCa4(Si27Al9)O72·28(H2O). In the case of stilbite-Na, sodium dominates over calcium.

The two species are visually indistinguishable, and the series name stilbite is still used whenever testing has not been performed.

Stilbite is a low-temperature secondary hydrothermal mineral. It occurs very frequently in the cavities of basaltic volcanic rocks, like in the Deccan Traps in India. It also forms in hot spring deposits and as a cementing agent in some sandstones and conglomerates.

Associated minerals are other zeolites, prehnite, calcite, and quartz.

Stilbite occurs in a multitude of colors: white, yellow, brown, pink, salmon, orange, red, green, blue, or black.

The luster is generally vitreous, and on the perfect cleavage parallel to the plane of symmetry it is markedly pearly. Crystals are transparent to translucent.

The hardness is 3+1⁄2 to 4 and the specific gravity 2.12 to 2.22.

Stilbite from Nasik india
Red stilbite from Jalgaon india
Green stilbite from Ahmednagar India
Stilbite on chalcedony from nasik india

Crystal shape

Crystals are typically thin and tabular, flattened parallel to the dominant cleavage, and elongated along the a-axis.

Aggregates may be sheaf-like or in bow-ties, also fibrous and globular. Twinning, cruciform, and penetration, are extremely common.

Stilbite on calcite stalactite from Jalgaon India
Bowtie stilbite India
Stilbite from Aurangabad India
Stilbite ball from Pune India

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Thanks to our new joint venture with the Indian crystal dealer “Crystal Divine“, we can now source and provide those beautiful crystals for you and ship them directly from India to your doorstep. Contact us for more information and orders.

Confusions with other crystals:

For the untrained eye, it is often very difficult to impossible to distinguish between Stilbite and Heulandite which often occur alongside in India (see the page on Heulandite).

Epistilbite is a distinct zeolite species unrelated to stilbite (see the page about epistilbite).

Heulandite and stilbite jalgaon india

The Geology of the Indian Deccan Traps.

 

The Deccan Traps is one of the largest volcanic features on Earth. It consists of numerous layers of solidified flood basalt that together are more than about 2,000 meters (6,600 ft) thick. Today it covers an area of about 500,000 square kilometers (200,000 sq mi), and has a volume of about 1,000,000 cubic kilometres (200,000 cu mi).

The term trap is derived from the Swedish word for stairs (trapp) and refers to the step-like hills forming the landscape of the region. The name Deccan has Sanskrit origins meaning “southern”.

The Deccan Traps began forming 66.25 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous period, when lava began to extrude through fissures in the crust known as fissure eruptions. This series of eruptions may have lasted for less than 30,000 years.

The release of volcanic gases, particularly sulfur dioxide, during the formation of the traps may have contributed to climate change. An average drop in temperature of about 2 °C (3.6 °F) was recorded during this period.

Work published in 2014 by geologist Gerta Keller and others on the timing of the Deccan volcanism suggests the Cretaceous–Paleogene (K–Pg) extinction event may have been caused by both the volcanism at the Deccan traps and the Chicxulub impact event in North America, which would have produced a sunlight-blocking dust cloud that killed much of the plant life and reduced global temperature (this cooling is called an impact winter).

 

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Stilbite on chalcedony from Nasik India
Green Stilbite from Ahmednagar India
Radial stilbite from jalgaon India
Stilbite Bowtie from Nasik India
Stilbite from Jalgaon india
Red stilbite from Jalgaon india
Stilbite Bowtie from Nasik India
Green Stilbite from Ahmednagar India
Stilbite from Jalgaon india
Stilbite on chalcedony from Nasik India

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