This is a really neat specimen, a pocket of the chabazite extracted from the surrounding basalt. The chabazite crystals inside are sharp and lustrous, and they are associated with small, bright, pearly heaulandite crystals. The crystals inside the pockat are in excellent condition (and obviously those around the periphery are incomplete, where this was extracted from the adjoining pocket walls). Stands perfectly for display as photographed – a nice cabinet piece.
About These Red Chabazites From Wasson’s Bluff
In one relatively small zone at Wasson’s Bluff, the chabazite crystals are a particular dark red hue – more intense and lighter than a brown, and most are a bit deeper and darker than a brick red or deep orange. This zone has produced sporadically over history. Most often, days of very hard work in this area yield absolutely nothing, but a few isolated finds in recent years have produced a small number of excellent pieces – these specimens are from those finds.
In historic times, these particular deep-coloured chabazites from Wasson’s Bluff were known as “acadialite”, named for Acadia (which is the English for L’Acadie, the colonial-era name for this part of Canada). The name “acadialite” is sometimes still seen on older collection labels, sometimes as a species name and sometimes as a varietal name. Under current nomenclature, these specimens are known as chabazite, with “acadialite” now considered a historical synonym.