odontolite

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Turquoise after bone (odontolite)

Locality: near Searchlight, Clark County, Nevada, USA


Amazingly, the mineral turquoise has totally pseudomorphed an animal bone, turning it a light green color. On rare occasions animals and humans die in the vicinity of ore bodies, primarily copper, and their skeletons are replaced cell by cell by the minerals. A bone replacement is essentially a pseudomorph similar to Turquoise after Apatite, and this is a very educational example of how we ourselves are “mineralized.” From the well-known pseudomorph collection of Ken Roberts. Specimens of this quality are very rare.

Turquoise psm after Bone (Odontolite) - Yarvicoya Mine, Oruro, Oruro Dept., Bolivia

Occasionally, in arid areas in/near copper deposits, animals perish and their bones are replaced by copper minerals from the water running through the veins and cracks in the rocks over thousands of years - a phenomenon known from a few places around the world. Here, in this case the replacement is by turquoise of carving grade! This rare pseudomorph of turquoise after bone (odontolite) exhibits a pleasing light teal-blue color. It is apparently the jawbone of a mammal, probably dated around 20-40,000 years old.