Believe it or not, this gorgeous stone is actually a fossil sediment that formed deep in a Lower Cretaceous marine environment around 120 million years ago! Mookaite is a particularly colorful and highly prized gemstone variation of a type of rock called radiolarite that is largely composed of silica from the skeletons of unimaginable numbers of minute marine organisms known as radiolarians. Each radiolarian is only 0.1�0.25 mm long and they are a major part of the ocean's zooplankton. Their skeletons slowly accumulate on the floor of the ocean at a rate of a few millimeters every thousand years. Gradually the muddy ooze is compacted to form a hard flinty rock which, in the best of cases, takes an incredible polish. And in even fewer cases, the colors and patterns emerge in gem grades of this stone as mineral-rich groundwater soaked through the rock. The swirling color you see today is dominated by red, yellow, white, pink and purple shades and the polish that this particularly hard, jasper like stone achieves is truly incredible. This stone is mined exclusively in the Kennedy Ranges of Western Australia. We've produced a brilliant shine on this natural artwork, ready to display on your wall or mantle. This is a large, magnificent and showy example of one of Australia's most prized semi-precious stones! It's an absolutely gorgeous picture stone that produces the most artful natural displays and with our trademark mirror perfect polish it's ready for your wall! By far the best and largest I've cut to date!This big slab was cut from a massive boulder, ground and polished on a flat lap to bring out all that gorgeous color! It's ready for display in your own rock & gemstone collection, but it could be cut again into jewelry (just don't tell me about it!) The polish is absolutely brilliant, the likes of which most never see until they find our shop! You'll really appreciate both our hard earned skill and the natural ability of this stone to show off a really high quality polish! This larger slab measures about 7 3/4" x 5 1/2" wide across the polished face and is about 0.42" thick. It weighs about 1.14 lbs.
NOTE: Second photo is taken of a mate slab from the same nodule. It's included to show edge detail and finish quality which are virtually identical in this piece but difficult to capture reliably in a photo.
This is a really beautiful specimen of Mookaite. I only recently obtained my first rough specimens of this material and had a chance to work some up, though I've admired the beautiful colors, patterns and glossy finishes of this Australian gemstone for years. Mookaite is one of the most highly prized and unique varieties of lapidary grade stones found in the southern hemisphere. The flowing lines reflect the sedimentary origins of the stone in reds, pinks and golds. The colors go from really dark to soft pastels and every one is truly unique. The stone is often cut up as cabochon jewelry which is very attractive, but my personal taste is towards large specimens that show how this gorgeous stone looks when simply cut and polished in its discovered state.
A nice, unique naturally wonderful stone collectible exclusively from Sticks-in-Stones Lapidary.