This specimen hosts part of a cavity of red chabazite crystals. The crystals are sharp and lustrous, with some penetration twins. The nicest crystal (a twin) hosts a smaller secondary crystal perched on it, of a different more complex form, which itself is also a penetration twin. In excellent condition, with incomplete crystals around the periphery where this was attached to the surrounding rock. A nice 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.