Aragonite is a calcium carbonate mineral with the same chemical formula as calcite but with a different crystal structure. It occurs in a few different colours and is formed at low temperatures close to the surface of the earth, in caves as stalactites and around hot springs. It was first named in 1797 after the village of Molina de Aragón in Spain and some of the finest specimens still come from that area. Aragonite is the main component of corals, pearls and the shells of many marine molluscs.
This is the only piece of aragonite that we have in our collection. Most aragonite that you see being offered for sale tends to be in shapes known as sputniks which are orange coloured crystal clusters made up of multiple twin crystals.
Taking a decent photograph of this piece on a light background was no easy task. White and colourless minerals are never easy to photograph especially under studio lighting and they can even be a challenge for the most accomplished photographer.
This crystal formation is slightly translucent and exhibits a vitreous lustre. It's important to note that unlike calcite aragonite is soft and brittle so must be handled with care. On Mohs scale of mineral hardness it's graded 3½ to 4.
Weight (grams): 131.2
Size (cms): 8.7 x 5.6