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May 2008: Apophylite

The mineral of the month for May 2008 is Apophylite. This specimen was acquired from a Brazilian dealer who was liquefying his entire inventory at the Tucson show a couple of years ago. He said something about wanting to go fishing. Apophyllite is in the Silicate class of minerals, which tend to be translucent and are lower in specific gravity and harder than most minerals. All silicates contain the silicate atomic structure, whose fundamental building block is the tetrahedron, in which one silicon atom is surrounded by four equally spaced oxygen atoms. Other silicates include quartz, chalcedony, opal, orthoclase feldspar, and amazonite.

Apophyllite is a hydrous calcium potassium fluorsilicate. It can either be colorless or white, gray, green, yellow, or red. It has a hardness of 4 ½ to 5, a specific gravity of 2.3, and has perfect cleavage in one direction. The crystals are tetragonal, usually cube like or tabular and square in cross section. It forms at low temperatures and is commonly found in cavities in basaltic pockets, where it is often associated with zeolites and prehnite. Although this specimen is from Brazil, Apophyllite can be found in the copper mines on the Keweenaw Peninsula among other places world-wide.

The name, Apophyllite, means "to leaf apart" in Greek. The name derived from the tendency of the crystals to peel off when specimens are heated due to the sudden loss of water molecules within the structure. Although collectors refer to this mineral is Apophyllite, it is no longer officially classified as a mineral. Originally, the group name referred to a specific mineral, but was redefined in 1978 to stand for a class of minerals of similar chemical makeup. Apophyllites are popular as with collectors due to their well-defined crystals, color, and abundance.

The metaphysical properties of Apophyllite are thought to enhance your analytical skills and enable you to act in a truthful and honest manner. It can also be used to help you evaluate your behaviors and attitudes so that you can identify and correct any shortcomings.


Mineral of the Month Archives

May 2007: Rainbow Fluorite

June 2007: Lake Superior Michipicoten Agate

July 2007: Labadorite

August 2007: Rain Flower Agate

Fall 2007: Malachite

December 2007: Nepheline Syenite

January 2008: Native Copper

February 2008: Amazonite

March 2008: Lake Superior Agate

April 2008: Shadow Agate

May 2008: Apohpylite

June 2008: Ocean Jasper

Summer 2008: Marra Mamba Tiger's Eye

September 2008: Mohawkite

October 2008: Mexican opal

November 2008: Prehnite

December 2008: Picture Jasper

January 2009: Sea Shell Jasper

February 2009: Polychrome Jasper

March 2009: Selenite Desert Rose

Spring 2009: Coyamito Agate

July 2009: Obsidian Needles

August 2009: Goethite

September 2009: Banded Iron Formation

Fall 2009: Fairburn Agate

March 2010: Fossilized Dinosaur Bone

April/May: 2010 Kentucky Agate

June 2010: Nantan Meteorite

July 2010: Mookaite Jasper

Aug/Sept 2010: Polyhedroid Agate

Fall 2010: Ammonite Fossil

September 2011: Petoskey Stones

Spring 2011: Petrfied Wood

Winter 2011: Argentina Condor Agate

January 2012: Mary Ellen Jasper

March 2012: Mexican Crazy Lace Agate

June 2012: Moqui Marbles

September 2012: Chlorastrolite Greenstone

March 2013: Jacobsville Sandstone

August 2013: Unakite

November 2013: Skip-an-Atom Agate

April 2014: Tiger's Eye

September 2014: Black Corundum

February 2015: Condor Agate

June 2015: Petoskey Stone

November 2015: Slag

June 2016: Lake Superior Copper Replacement Agates

March 2017: Chert

July 2017: Kona Dolomite

December 2017: Septarian Nodule

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Gitche Gumee Museum.
E21739 Brazel Street
Grand Marais, Michigan 49839


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