DescriptionAPOPHYLLITE-(KF) on STILBITE: "THE SNOW ANGEL"
Momin Akhada, Ahmadnagar Dist., Maharashtra, India
The Deccan Trap of Central India is a series of lava flows of unimaginable scale, covering some 500,000 square kilometers of land in layers over 2 kilometers in thickness. At the time of the Cretaceous (65-67 MYA) when the flows were laid down, it is estimated that the flows may have covered up to 1.5 million square kilometers and may have played a major role in the extinction of the Dinosaurs. For lack of any other material, this lava rock is quarried throughout this part of India for road gravel, etc. In these lava flows, are found cavities. And in these cavities, the remnants of gas bubbles in the lava flows, are often lined with varying amounts of Zeolite minerals of which Apophyllite and Stilbite are some. Depending on the source quarry the form and color of these minerals can be quite different in appearance.
At the 2001 Munich show, Muhammad F. Makki unveiled a new find of Apophyllite-(KF) which had an entirely new crystal form, very reminiscent of "disco balls." This find was an immediate sensation. The attractive "snowball" habit and mint-green color of these radiating crystal groups are quite unique to the area around Momin Akhada, and serve to differentiate them from other Apophyllites. The kicker was that these were discovered while digging a well - definitely a chance encounter. The two photographs above show Muhammad Makki going into and out of that well in his quest for mineral specimens.
This specimen has three very large spherical aggregates of light green Apophyllite up to 3 inches (7.6 cm) in diameter that are nestled into cream-colored masses of Stilbite blades, arranged in a roughly "Y" shaped form, hence the "Snow Angel" appellation. The obverse side shows traces of the host basalt; otherwise the piece is composed of only the two minerals. The condition is pristine and many consider it to be one of the most aesthetic specimens from this unique find.
Overall measurements: 10.5 X 8 x 3 inches (26.7 x 20.3 x 7.6 cm). Offered at no reserve.
Provenance: Leonard Himes [Hoppel Catalog # D2168]
[Scale: 1 inch, with mark at 1 cm]
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