This is a beautiful piece, featuring a combination of dark red chabazite crystals and cream-coloured heulandite crystals. The chabazite crystals are sharp and lustrous, with some colour zoning, including a couple of translucent golden zones. The heulandite crystals are sharp with the characteristic bright pearly lustre. In excellent condition as displayed, there’s an incomplete crystal at the far left and the upper crystals are not complete from behind. This is a super display specimen, oriented as in the first photograph – the dark red colour and contrast are striking.
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. There have been no finds from this zone since 2017.
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.