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Cobaltoan Calcite


HISTORY, NAME, LOCALITIES: Calcite, pronounced CHAL-site, has been known since antiquity and is the most abundant carbonate mineral.  The name is derived from the Greek chalx, meaning “lime” or any white, calcareous mineral.  The term “cobaltoan,” pronounced coh-BALT-oh-an, indicates the presence of the accessory element cobalt, which is a powerful chromophoric (color causing) agent.  Cobaltoan calcite is collected in China, Germany, Spain, Argentina, Mexico, Turkey, and the United States (Missouri, North Carolina, Utah, Wisconsin).

MINERALOGY, PROPERTIES, OCCURRENCE: Cobaltoan calcite [calcium carbonate, CaCO3] contains small amounts of the accessory element cobalt that imparts a distinctive, bright, pink-magenta color.  The physical properties of cobaltoan calcite are the same as those of calcite.  It crystallizes in the hexagonal (trigonal) system, usually as rhombohedrons, scalenohedrons, and prisms.  It has a Mohs hardness of 3.0, perfect cleavage in three directions to form rhombohedrons, and a specific gravity of 2.7-3.0.  The pink-magenta color of cobaltoan calcite is diagnostic.  Calcite forms in many mineralogical environments; when cobalt is present, it crystallizes as the cobaltoan variety.

METAPHYSICAL PROPERTIES, LORE, USES: Medieval practitioners used cobaltoan calcite to treat ailments of the blood.  Metaphysical practitioners believe that cobaltoan calcite is a calming stone that fills the heart with love, heals inner-child hurts, relieves anxiety and stress, and overcomes fear of nightmares.

COLLECTORS’ INFORMATION: Because of its eye-catching pink-magenta colors, cobaltoan calcite is one of the most widely collected forms of calcite and frequently used for display purposes.