The scientific tourist #282 — Blue Aragonite under Black Light

Aragonite is one of two naturally occurring crystal forms of calcium carbonate (the other being calcite).  It is considerably less common than its crystalline sibling, forming under a much narrower range of conditions, and being less stable over time (speaking on a geological time scale).

Aragonite is naturally whitish in color, but can take on a variety of colors based on trace minerals trapped in its crystal structure — and here, as you can see, it fluoresces under UV light.

Blue Aragonite

This particular sample came from the historic mining district of Santa Eulalia, Mexico — but is on display at the Holden / Marolt Mining and Ranching Museum on the west side of Aspen, Colorado.

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