Wow - everyone enjoys seeing quality and craftsmanship, the likes only Creation can reveal!
Glad that most here are enjoying the view. I am an ametuer geologist, and have the wide viewed sense of knowing my rocks and where to locate them. I
possess a rather large gem and mineral collection, which possesses a Selenite Crystal from the Chihuahua mines!
This isn't my crystal, but this image gives you an idea of what it looks like. Mine actually has four points, and forms what's known as spar. A
quadralateral dos eduis formation, if you will... =
These rock formations have been forming for tens of thousands of years within these caverns. If it were not for the fact that the magma batholith
formed underneath it these formations would instead look like regular caverns - flow stone, dripstone, and rock curtains. The minerals that make up
these crystals are in fact closely related to the same minerals that form speleosphereic formations, namely Calcite, Limestone, Rhyolite, Traverine
and Onyx... all of which are the mineral composition that make up what we call Stalagmites and Stalagtites.
They ARE NOT made of quartz... unfortunately, lol, as I too am familiar with the all powerful quartz crystal. If we discovered a Quartz Crystal Cavern
of this magnitude, you can bet your bottom dollar you may never hear of it. The owner of that place would survey it for trace gems such as Tourmalines
and Corundrums (ruby, saphire, emerald, garnet, tanzanite, topaz, citrene, amethyst, olivine, and beryl) as well as for precious metals like Gold,
Copper, Silver, and Platimun / Rhodium / Paladium.
These formations are pure gypsum, also known as Selenite. The rock itself has a hardness on the Mohs of around a 4 to 5, whereas quartz based
materials and other silicates have a hardness of 7. Selenite also has sort of a plastic like feel to them, and the crystals are delicate and will
bend, just like soft plastic. It's a good thing the crystals in these caverns were as solid and as big as they were - for these people to be walking
around on them
I can however state that these caverns, if left untouched for another ten thousand years or so would have been transformed into quartz - as the heat
and pressure from the batholith would have caused the minerals to lose more of the hydrolic elements they are still composed of, packing them into
denser forms, altering their elemental axis with the forced insertion of additional electrons into the atomic structures via increased pressures.
Pressurize the chamber even more and you would start seeing minerals develope alongside the quartz such as the ones I mentioned above, which begin to
form a hardness of 8 to 9, ultimately with diamond having a hardness of 10. Aqua Marines and Topaz can get as hard as 9 mohs.
That being said, I hope this gives you a little more insight about this find. I know where there is a location here in the United States where
crystals similar to these have been found, however the mine is owned by a friend of mine and it is securely locked lol... I have specimens of selenite
from that mine too.
The best mines I've been to however are the ones located on the Pala Indian Reservation near San Diego California, in an area located just outside of
Temecula, near Lake Elsinor. The Pegmatites there are absolutely gorgeous! even pulled a 438 karat Rubelite tourmaline out of the main mine, that is
before the owner stopped giving tours due to insurance reasons. I also puled out an 8 karat tanzanite from another mine there. Definitely one of my
favorite places to go lol!...
[edit on 7/10/2010 by Megiddodiddo]