Rare Large Specimen of Mariposa Butterfly, Calcite Mounted


Mexico, 18th c. c.

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A rare piece of Mariposa butterfly calcite that weights over 50 pounds. It has been mounted on a sturdy decorative display box. This specimen comes forms only one specific mine which is now underwater.
This highly aesthetic specimen of Mariposa (Butterfly) Calcite comes from Mina Buena Tierra, in Santa Eulalia, Chihuahua, Mexico. On specimens from this mine, the red phantoms present in two ways: some are completely encased inside larger see-through crystals, while on others the calcite has only grown part way up the phantom, leaving the tip exposed. The protruding phantoms have a dark red layer of hematite, while the crystals that are completely covered were protected from this coating. The calcite crystals can be over 2″, and take the “dogtooth” (scalenohedral) crystal habit.

The 16th level where the calcite was found, is now underwater, and there are no plans to pump it dry again. It used to be that you had your choice of a hundred banana boxes chock full of these fine specimens, but, sadly, those days are over. We were very lucky to find this extremely large specimen.