From: Kerr McGee Mine, Carlsbad, New Mexico
Size: 9.3 x 7.8 x 4.2cm
If you've been following our store for a while you know that we love Blue Halite specimens from New Mexico, and we have had quite a few for sale. This one, however, is by far the best we've ever had, and in our opinion it is the best one we've ever seen, period! What makes this one so good is a combination of aesthetics, condition, and color. The blue halite crystal cube itself is highly saturated, yet extremely gemmy. The clear halite that it is embedded in is like a chunk of glass. Unlike most of these blue halites this one shows virtually no humidity damage which has kept the surface of the specimen super clean. The condition is almost perfect with only one tiny edge ding.
The blue halite would have formed first - tens of millions of years ago. The surrounding Sylvite mineral contains radioactive Potassium 40 which has an incredibly long half-life of 1 billion years. This means the radiation is so low that geiger counters have a hard time even picking it up. Potassium 40 is also found in bananas, but the radiation is so low that it's harmless to ingest. That being said, over tens of millions of years this low radioactivity takes its toll on the halite, effectively altering the crystal lattice which gives it its blue color. The blue is not chemical - it's just a result of radiation on regular old table salt. The clear halite grew in more recently, and it hasn't had time to be turned blue by the potassium in the Sylvite.
This is a truly incredibly specimen, and since they aren't pulling any more of these out of the mine it is unlikely you'll see another one this good for sale anytime soon. The specimen comes with a labeled acrylic display base.