|Aegirine on Microcline
|Item # AEG11125858
Aegirine and Microcline
Aegirine is a member of the Pyroxene group, a sodium iron silicate that forms as long, prismatic crystals.
These impressive crystals have become classics among collectors. The tall opaque monolith-like crystals that
rise majestically from their host rocks are absolutely stunning. These may form as long, prismatic crystals that
may be terminated in a steep pyramid or flat ends. Aegirine is opaque to translucent, it is dark in color, most
often black, though sometimes greenish-black or brownish-black, and is commonly found in alkali-rich volcanic
rock. Aegirine is named after the Norse god of the sea, Aegir, and was given when the first specimens of the
mineral were discovered in Norway. The aegirine crystals collected vary considerably in their crystal form, size
and association with other mineral species. Extremely lustrous onyx-black single crystals can occur. Groups of
elongated, prismatic aegirine crystals may form haystack-like groups. Some aegirine crystals are studded with
white microcline crystals.
Most of the Feldspar found at Mount Malosa is Microcline. Groups of Microcline are common and often
associated with Quartz, Smoky Quartz, and Aegirine. The Microcline is white to very pale-cream in color and
twinning is very common.
Malawi, officially the Republic of Malawi, is a landlocked country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as
Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east,
south and west. The location is described as very remote, requiring a long hike down the Zomba Mountain into
the valley and up the other side to the Malosa Plateau, often involving paths so narrow one foot must be placed
in front of the other.
The site where the crystals are excavated is extremely dangerous. The mineral excavation is on the
northwestern side of the mountain where a series of major faults have cut through the mountain. These faults
have produced scarps with vertical cliff faces up to 2600 feet (800 meters) high. These specimens are found by
using primitive equipment and bare hands. There are no mines operating in the region. The specimens are all
hand dug from outcrops. Standard climbing equipment like ropes and pitons are not used. The faces are
climbed using hands and feet only. It is amazing that under such dangerous and precarious conditions that any
of these beautiful and often fragile specimens are collected and survive the excavation trip undamaged.
|Aegirine with small Quartz Crystals and Microcline crystals from Mt. Malosa
Zomba District Malawi in southeast Africa
This is a rare ultra high quality specimen of lustrous, jet black Aegirine crystals
and contrasting Microcline Feldspar matrix with small clear quartz crystals
embellishing this stunning specimen.
This fluorescent Microcline specimen is Red under SW Ultra Violet light.
The piece measures 3.8 x 2.6 x 1.59 inches (9.7 x 6.7 x 4 cm) the long Aegirine
Crystal measures 3.3 inches (84.3mm) x 0.32inches (8.3mm) x 0.19 inches (5mm).
This specimen weighs 5.9 oz or 0.37 lb (168g)