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It's salt!  This one is ok to lick, although we don't recommend it if you want to keep the beautiful crystals intact. 


From the Great Salt Late, Utah.  Acquired at the Wasatch Spring Gem Show, 2024.


Halite, commonly known as rock salt, is a fascinating mineral for collectors due to its simplicity and beauty. Its chemical formula is NaCl, and it typically forms through the evaporation of saline waters in environments like salt lakes and playas. Halite crystals are most often cubic, with perfect cleavage, which allows them to break into smaller cubes. These crystals can be transparent to translucent and come in a variety of colors, including colorless, white, blue, pink, and red, depending on impurities and inclusions.


The mineral has a Mohs hardness of 2 to 2.5, making it quite soft and easily scratched. Halite’s distinctive salty taste is well known, though licking specimens is not advisable for preservation and hygiene reasons. Its natural occurrence in large, sedimentary evaporite deposits can lead to spectacular crystal formations and massive beds. Collectors appreciate halite for its aesthetic crystal forms, historical significance as a vital resource, and the interesting geological conditions of its formation. Proper storage is crucial for halite specimens, as they are highly soluble in water and can deteriorate in humid conditions.

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