The Mineral Mesolite

mesolite picture

mesolite mineral picture

Mesolite, from the group, Zeolite, is tectosilicate and closely correlates with naturalist and has and even shares its appearance. Its orthorhombic crystallization characteristically forms acicular or prismatic crystals or masses.  Glowing needlelike crystal sprays are not unusual. It has a vitreous luster and its color is clear to white.

 Chemical Formula  
Na2Ca2 (Al2Si3O10) 3·8H2O

Derivation of Name  
Mesolite gets its name from the Greek word "Mesos", meaning "middle", and "Lithos",  meaning stone. It is named so as it falls in the middle of a chain comprising of Natrolite and Scolecite.

It was discovered in 1816 near Catania in Sicily  in the Islands of the Cyclops. Like other zeolites, it is found in amygdaloidal basalt in the form of void fillings plus in hydrothermal and andesitic veins.           

Its crystals are elongated in baguette cut. This stone is favored by collectors.

It is prominently found in Poona, India; Skye, Scotland; Ireland; Colorado, Berufjord, Iceland and New Jersey and Oregon, USA.

Mesolite is a delicate associate of the zeolite group. It exists nearly exclusively in fragile, needle-like crystal habits. It is strongly correlated to Scolecite and Natrolite and may look extremely similar to them. Occasionally, optical tests or chemical analysis is needed to differentiate Mesolite from Scolecite and Natrolite. A lone crystal may have part of each mineral in its different zones.

Colorless, white, yellowish and gray.                

2.2 to 2.4.

Mohs hardness
5 to 5.5

Refractive Index
nα=1.505 nβ=1.505 nγ=1.506

Mineral Mesolite Mesolite Mineral Mesolite
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