SpiritRock Shop
Click on any photo to see a larger version
Museum Specimens
Official PayPal Seal
Sand Calcite
Sand Calcite Crystals from Washabaugh County, South Dakota

Washabaugh was first established in 1883 as a county in Dakota Territory from a part of Lugenbeel County
. It
became a county in the new state of South Dakota in 1889.  Washabaugh remained an unorganized county lying
entirely within two American Indian reservations until it was dissolved when it was merged with Jackson County in
1983. The county encompassed the northeast corner of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation including the
community of Wanblee. The eastern portion of the county was within the Rosebud Indian Reservation.
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is an Oglala Lakota Native American reservation originally included within the
territory of the Great Sioux Reservation
. Rosebud Indian Reservation is the home of the federally recognized
Sicangu Oyate (the Upper Brulé Sioux Nation) - also known as Sicangu Lakota, and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe
(RST), a branch of the Lakota people.
These Rosebud Reservation nations together with the Oglala Lakota, who
are mostly based at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, are often called Southern Lakota.

Rattlesnake
(Snake) Butte located in Washabaugh (Jackson) County, southwestern South Dakota has been
known since the 1800’s as a source for Sand Calcite crystals. These crystals are a really interesting member
of
the calcite family. The crystals are composed of about 40 percent Calcite with about 60 percent sand inclusions
in the Calcite. They naturally occur as double terminated, hexagonal scalenohedron crystals sometimes modified
by rhombohedrons.  The crystals are found in a bed of coarse sandstone, about three to four feet in thickness, at
the top of the butte.  We have been unable to locate more information about these amazingly unique crystals.
 
Other Sand Calcite concretions have been found in only a few localities around the world, including the Mount
Signal Imperial Valley-Salton Sea area of California.  Here, the secondary growth of calcite has cemented
together grains of the surrounding sand and formed the well-known Mt. Signal “Sand Spikes”.  Similar sand
crystals have been found in a few rock and mineral shows from “unknown locations” or an "old collection".
Specimens of crystals from the
Middle East claim to be Sand Calcite, but we have found no valid information
about the geology of these crystals.

Warning to Rock Collectors, Disclosure Statement
The Rattlesnake (Snake) Butte Sand Calcite crystal location in South Dakota was designated as a National
Natural Landmark (NNL
) in 1967.  The National Park Service acts as a steward for the National Natural
Landmarks Program.   Rattlesnake (Snake) Butte is managed by the Oglala Sioux Parks and Recreation
Authority and is located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.  It is illegal to collect or sell fossils, artifacts and
minerals on reservation land without a permit from the tribe. Since collecting these Sand Calcite crystals has
been illegal since 1967 it might make the best sense to purchase a specimen from a reputable dealer at your
favorite rock shop.  They make exceptionally interesting display specimens and are very rare and unique.  Get
them while they are still available…

Ref: Cirone, A. and E. Law, 2005, Microstructure of Calcite Sand Crystals and Implication on its Crystallization Process (abst.):  Geological
Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 37, no. 1, p.59.
Wanless, H. R., 1922, Notes on Sand Calcite from South Dakota; American Mineralogist, v. 7, pp. 83-86.
https://csmsgeologypost.blogspot.com/2014/01/calcite-sand-crystals-south-dakota.html
Item # 1SCAL11161002
Classic Sand Calcite Crystal
Specimen from Washabaugh
County, South Dakota


$39.00
Here's an excellent large single Sand Calcite crystal formation from the famous Washabaugh (now
Jackson) County in South Dakota.
 This specimen is from a 1950's Private Collection we
procured. It has an old Mineral Dealers Identification card from Adams" Gems & Minerals in
Beach City, Ohio.


specimen weighs 3.3 oz or 0.2 lbs (94.5g) and measures 3.3 x 1.1 x 1 inches (8.5 x 2.9 x 2.6cm)
Item # 2SCAL11162002
Classic Sand Calcite Crystal
Specimen from Washabaugh
County, South Dakota

$4
4.00
Here's an excellent large four crystal Sand Calcite  formation from the famous Washabaugh (now
Jackson) County in South Dakota.  This specimen is from a 1950's Private Collection we
procured. It has an old Mineral Dealers Identification card from Adams" Gems & Minerals in
Beach City, Ohio.

specimen weighs 3.9 oz or 0.24 lbs (111g) and measures 3.5 x 2.5 x 1 inches (8.8 x 6.3 x 2.6cm)
Item # 3SCAL11163021
Classic Sand Calcite Crystal
Specimen from Washabaugh
County, South Dakota

$2
5.00
Here's an excellent medium six crystal Sand Calcite  formation from the famous Washabaugh
(now Jackson) County in South Dakota.  This specimen is from a 1950's Private Collection we
procured. It was a
lso from Adams" Gems & Minerals in Beach City, Ohio, but has no Identification
tag
.

specimen weighs 3.9 oz or 0.24 lbs (111g) and measures 3.5 x 2.5 x 1 inches (8.8 x 6.3 x 2.6cm)