While the California State Gem Mine / Dallas Gem Mine is world famous its stupendous Benitoite crystals, the often ignored species from this locality is the white Natrolite in which the Benitoites are found. As a matter of fact, the Natrolite is often dissolved away with hydrochloric acid in order to exposed the Benitoites hidden within.
With that said, most of the Natrolite that one will see from this locality is massive, uncrystallized material, so when you find a cabinet sized display piece that is loaded with TERMINATED CRYSTALS (!), it's a big deal. You can see that this specimen features many sharp, well-formed, thick, tetragonal, prims with four-sided pyramidal terminations measuring up to 1.8 cm sitting atop host rock matrix. It is not only rare to find terminated crystals of Natrolite from this mine, but there are more of them on this specimen than almost anything I've seen from the locality. The edges of the specimen are contacted where the piece was removed from the pocket wall, but the central portion of crystals are undamaged and very fun to view up close. If you collect zeolites or minerals from this famous locality, this is an excellent piece to add to your collection. The piece comes with an old Pala Minerals label.
Locality: Dallas Gem Mine (California State Gem Mine), Santa Rita Peak, New Idria Mining District, San Benito County, California
Specimen Size: 10.7 x 5.5 x 5.2 cm (cabinet)
Largest Crystal: 1.8 cm
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Last updated 3 July 2022.
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