Posted in Crystals
Gem Kyanite Crystals, Central Australia
My “love affair” with Kyanite first began almost 15 years ago when I was visiting the Harts Ranges in central Australia with a gem club. We’d stopped at Epidote location and I’d gone for a wander (as I often tend to do!) and happened to find a handful of vibrant teal-blue Kyanite crystals scattered around the base of a tree. The colour of these crystals was so intense, like nothing I’d ever seen in Kyanite before (later to be named “ocean kyanite”). I could tell straight away that they had been dropped there but they had to come from somewhere around there right? My increasingly wide circles of walking the area failed to show any outcrops of Kyanite and I reluctantly had to return home with the gem club, leaving that little mystery for another trip.
It was another 5 years or so before I was able to return to the area, this time armed with a little more geological knowledge. If those few crystals I’d spotted didn’t come from that area, they must have come from one of the Kyanite deposits further away. Bit by bit I explored the area, driving as far as I could then hiking into the potential kyanite locations, each time finding only very pale coloured crystals, nothing like those few fragments I spotted.
It took several trips over a couple of years before I finally found the source of the “ocean kyanite”. It was late one afternoon (its always late in the day when the best stuff is found!) and I’d climbed a small low ridge, a large band of black biotite mica schist running the length of it, and there scattered on the slope was this vibrant teal kyanite. Within a few minutes I’d found where they were weathering out of and started digging through the weathered mica. I’ll never forget when the first large piece of Ocean Kyanite rolled out….magic!
Over the last 10 years or so I have gradually explored these Kyanite deposits, each trip I’d hike a little further following the productive belt of geology that these crystals have formed in, a band of biotite mica schist surrounded by metamorphic gneiss.
The crystals are embedded in the mica and range in colour from lime green, aqua, light blue and the rare and incredibly rich teal coloured “ocean” Kyanite.
The crystals themselves can form up to quite large sizes (over 30cm!) however these generally tend to be pale and less translucent. I’m quite sure there are many more deposits yet to be found in the Harts Range as the potentially area is so large and often difficult terrain to access. I look forward to continuing to explore its frontiers!