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The Mineral Chabazite

Chabazite is a tectosilicate mineral belonging to the family of zeolites and is directly linked to gmelinite ( A series mineral including  calcium, sodium, and potassium).


It is a calcium aluminum silicate mineral. Its known varieties are Chabazite-Ca, Chabazite-Na, Chabazite-K, and Chabazite-Sr, as per the  status of the designated cation (An ion group or a single  ion acting like a positive anode in electrolysis, moving in the direction of the (-) electrode).  It crystallizes in the triclinic crystal structure,  having characteristically rhombohedral formed crystals, which are pseudo-cubic. The twinned crystals may have  contact twinning or penetration twinning (Twinning is when two different crystals symmetrically share some similar crystal lattice points) .

Chemical Formula  
(CA, K2, Na2) 2 [Al2Si4O12] 2·12H2O

Derivation of Name  
Louis-Augustin Bosc d'Antic gave it its present name, deriving it from Greek “chabazios,” meaning melody or tune, appearing  among twenty stones included in the poem “Peri lithos,” which decorated the intrinsic worth of minerals. The poem is credited to Orpheus, celebrated originator of the Orphic cult that thrived in Greece during early centuries.

Occurrence         
Initially, it was found in cavities of basaltic rocks,  but has subsequently it has been frequently located  in distorted pyroclastic rocks as well. It substitutes for rhyolitic (containing  glassy pumiceous, fragments and small Basaltic frothy lava remitted by volcanos containing  quartz, alkali feldspar, biotite, and the like) vitric (resulting from eruptions from fissures in volcanos) Tuff in lacustrine (lake) beds from alkaline, saline lakes and trachytic Tuff (volcanic rocks) in Italy plus other places. Some exceptional, but revealing incidents of chabazite are found in distorted basaltic rocks in deep sea deposits of trench margins, in a shallow-level variation of pillow basalt in ophiolite (a stratified unique rock complex) sequences, and geothermal organism contained in basalt.

Gemology  
The mineral Chabazite offers an accepted group of minerals for collectors. Some also make a significant collection of minerals for healing and industrial applications. They are a combination of  beauty, complexity, rarity,  and distinctive crystal characteristics. Naturally formed in cavities or vesicles of volcanic rocks "basalt", these are the outcome of an awfully low level of metamorphism.

Source 
Its famous sources are in Poona, India, Columbia Co., Berufjord, Iceland,  Passaic Co., Oregon, New Jersey, Yellowstone Park, USA, Nova Scotia, Cumberland Co.,  Rhineland, New Zealand,  Switzerland and  Germany.

Mineralogy  
A number of materials having a structure similar to chabazite mineral have synthetically been produced in laboratories. SSZ-13 is a zeolite of CHA type having a Si/Al ratio of 14. This composition is not available in nature. Its distinct rhombohedral crystals are well formed and may appear as individuals or in groups. Since the crystal has an angle very near to 90 degrees, it looks like a cube. The sequence is defined by the existence of a number of the inconsistent elements in the order of: calcium, sodium, potassium, and strontium.

Color           
They could be colorless or be white, brown, pink, orange, yellow or green color.

Density                              
2.035 g/cm3

Mohs scale hardness
4-5

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